Hello and welcome to your Innovation Manual
This manual is designed to help you land all the
experiences you had with us, acting as a reminder of
the time we spent together on the Innovation
This will not give you all the answers, but it’s designed to
stimulate you – so keep it with you and capture the things
that inspire you!
Creating Maximum Impact
At the start of the workshop, we
asked you all to sign up to set of
behaviours that we all needed to role
model to make sure we had
‘Maximum Impact’ as a team.
Principle: when facilitating groups of people
to collaborate creatively together – think
about how you want them to behave, and
be explicit about it – getting them to
actively sign up to a behavioural contract.
They’ll have made a public commitment, so
are more likely to behave in a productive
way – and if they don’t, you can use the
behavioural contract as the basis for a
conversation around how you need them to
be moving forward.
What does success look like for your participants –
and what might get in the way?
Understand early on
what each of your
want from the project
personally – why are
Also find out what they
think is going to help
and hinder the project
or session – right at the
If you understand the
basis for the cynicism or
enthusiasm in the room,
you can harness it for
the benefit of the
project. Principle: the unspoken agendas, or reservations of your
participants are the ones that can cause you trouble later down
the line. If you know about them, then you can create a plan –
but without understanding, you have nothing!
Setting up any session: The first 15 minutes
• Hello, welcome and check in with people’s energy (how they feel about being
• Get to know each other (if needed)
• Intro session purpose – what we’re here to do
• Process and Pay off – how we’re going to do it and how will we all feel at the end
(incl agenda, logistics)
• Behavioural Agreements (how do you need people to be in the session?)
• Cynic Clinic (if needed – ensure that you hear what concerns and enthuses the
participants about the project or session. Capture and address concerns – but
don’t allow it to become a whinging match!)
• A good start to the session is critical – think through how people will
be feeling, and plot out the journey you need to take them on.
• Turn up as you’d like your participants to be - relaxed, energised,
enthusiastic, on time!
Creative Behaviours: Nurturing/Greenhousing
Greenhousing is all about nurturing ideas – building them and allowing them to grow.
When ideas are first presented, they are not fully formed and need help and input
from others before they can be judged and assessed. Too often in business we stamp
on ideas through the language we use, or wait for an opportunity to present our ideas
instead. Greenhousing is the behaviour that allows ideas to get better. Use “yes,
and…” instead of “yes, but…..”. Putting energy into seeing how something could work,
rather than forming judgments.
Creative Behaviours: Playfulness/Letting go…
It is human nature to be wedded to the outcome. As soon as an idea is born we
extrapolate forwards in time to see it happening for real in the world – this fills us
with fear and we close the idea down. The more we care about the outcome the less
playful we are.
Playfulness though is the key to creative genius – being in a relaxed, playful state
changes our brainwave frequency and allows us to tap into our best source of
inspiration – our subconscious brain. By caring less you are caring more, go on, release
the jazz monkey!
Creative Behaviours: Navigating/Signalling
Signalling is about letting other people know how you want them to be and
navigating them through the process. People like to know where they are and how
they need to be – you need to tell them otherwise it’s just guess work.
If people are in a creative session with both expansive (creative) thinking and
reductive (analytical) thinking, they won’t mix. Signalling is about communicating to
people whether you want them to judge an idea or help you build one. You can signal
physically (through environment or props), or verbally. If someone is in the wrong
behavioural mode let them know…..
Creative Behaviours: Freshness
Freshness is all about seeking new experiences and perspectives. New perspectives
help us make new creative connections. This can be done in two ways.
On going Freshness is a personal behaviour that you can model in everything you do;
listening to different radio channels, reading random magazines, seeking new
physical experiences, etc. By doing so you will top up your subconscious brain with
lots of stimulus which one day may help you approach problems from a different
Deliberate Freshness is what’s needed in sessions to help you get out of your river of
thinking and help to have new ideas.
You are always
in a river of
thinking – get
Creative Behaviours: Realness
Get ideas off the desk and bring them to life. Draw them, model them, walk through
them or make a video about the process you are solving.
Realness helps people to understand your idea so they ‘get it’ emotionally as well as
cerebrally. Realness also improves your idea.
Remember: there is no such thing as failure, just prototypes.
“If a picture says a thousand words, a prototype says a million.” Trevor Bayliss, Inventor of the clock-
Creative Behaviours: Momentum
People who are passionate about an idea get it going. You can spot a team with
momentum easily. If you want to kill the energy around a project, do it slowly! Too
often our busy, filled, stop-start diary prevents us from getting stuck into a project.
To create momentum, hot-house: take people away from the office with the
resources and time in order to solve the problem. They will do it!
Focus on one project at one time and don’t allow yourself to be spread too thinly.
Finally, create a sense of ‘crisis’. A deadline really focuses people’s energy around the
problem…but beware – don’t use it too often!
Creative Behaviours: Bravery
Innovation by its very definition is risky.
It’s a courageous thing to put your idea out there and risk it being judged and
laughed at. Often we feel that it’s not just our idea that is being judged, but our
personality and everything we stand for too! Divorce yourself from ideas that pop in
to your head and get them out there – they may act as stimulus for other people to
build on. You could also inspire others to be more brave with their ideas.
People who we admire the most are often those who put their ideas out there and
not worry about the response.
Acting brave will really kick-start other members of your staff and get projects in
Identifying your issue
We are so quick to react to a brief, or often don’t take enough time crafting them up. Before you start using
your precious innovation energy use a few tools to make sure the team are aligned, have clarity and are
excited moving forward to solve your issue….
Funnel of Focus Windows of Wisdom Rope of Scope Re-expression
The Funnel of Focus
A tool that allows you to check the level of focus that is
available on a project.
The funnel allows you to examine the level of your initial
issue, giving you options for how you want to address the brief.
Asking ‘why?’ pushes the project up the funnel
Asking ‘how?’ places the project down the funnel.
Generate alternative expressions of the project, placing the
broader toward the top of the funnel, and those with less
towards the bottom.
Check back with the problem owner. Ideally you should have
enough r room for creative exploration, but not so much that it
is difficult to gain focus and get a result.
Beware of leaders who like always like to talk up their own
Windows of Wisdom
A questioning tool that allows you to canvas the problem owners for
information about the problem.
Often we ask questions about the issue and the constraints but little
about the measure of success. In covering the four areas you’ll get a
greater understanding of the project and the problem owner.
Context: Why now? What’s the big picture? Why is it important?
What is your competition doing?
Constraints: What can and can’t we do? What are the time or
Politics: Who are my friends? Who are my enemies? Who will
help/stop this from happening
Vision of Success: What do you see as a successful outcome in six
months from now? How do you want this work to be presented
back? What is the world saying about us if we succeed?
The Rope of Scope
A tool that allows you to gather information using
ideas, proposals and suggestions.
Ask the problem owner to place your ideas in or out
of scope and then ask ‘why?’ they have placed them
where they have.
It might be that some elements of the suggestion
appeal and some don’t. By giving the problem owner
something tangible to react against, you will gain a
deeper understanding of the principles that questions
alone would not address.
Any ideas/principles that are out also work as
judgement constraints for later
This technique gets people excited and motivates your team to
work on the project.
It’s a great way of injecting creative energy at the beginning of
any project, using refreshing language and imagery to help
focus minds on the task at hand.
A great re-expression will avoid jargon, which can introduce
assumptions and hamper clarity.
Do a ‘Mum’ (or ‘child’, or ‘pub’) test - check that the project is
easy to understand.
Use motivating language that engages, excites and begins to
sensitise the team to the project.
Finally, use pictures to capture the essence of the information
you are presenting. Remember that a picture paints a
Getting under the skin of your customer is essentially a human skill. As humans we are naturally nosey,
instinctive and playful, so it’s just about tuning these when looking at your customer needs.
Be Curious – it’s all about digging Intuition- Where do you feel instinct?
deeper and asking ‘why?’, having a In your heart or gut. It’s your
genuine interest in the world around subconscious letting you know
us and trying to find out the meaning something before your rational brain
of things. has kicked in.
The Insight Process
1) What are the facts surrounding the 4) So what? Given
challenge? the themes, what
Avoid the temptation to interpret and are the
capture the data opportunities for
2) Why might that data
exist? Cut loose and
generate lots of different
3) What patterns
and areas of
you spot amongst
all the hunches?
Clues… Start by gathering the data/clues that are
close to hand and free to get hold of:
• Existing reports/research – ignore the
summaries/conclusions and go back to the
• Find an expert and get them to download
on the issue
• Send an email and ask lots of people for a
little information around the challenge
Talk to customers and consumers about the
issue – but try tuning yourself and your
project participants up to the assumptions
you’re making – by role playing them before
you meet them.
• Spend time explaining to your participants how you need them to
• Get everyone in the project involved – no matter how senior (it’ll
help with buy-in later on)
• Set achievable tasks – so people feel good about being involved
and not over whelmed
• Put the clues up some where visible to the whole project team
Getting new clues…
If you always get your data from the same places you’ll end up with the same insights you’ve had before,
the same that your predecessor had, the same the competition are having…. You need to get out of your
river of data sources – splash yourself out with an Insight Bomb!
Speak to people who have a deeper or more
weird/tangential relationship with the issue. With the
right mind-set you’ll learn loads.
• Be them – how can you live the life of your
consumer? Follow their diaries, pretend to be them –
put yourself in their shoes.
• With them – don’t take their word for it, hang out
with them. Be there when they wake up and go to
bed, live life next to them.
• About them – speak to people who know lots about
your consumer – what’s their perspective?
• Explain the theory to your team – they’ll be
more willing if they understand why they’re
• Do a little well – rather than trying to go
everywhere, and doing nothing properly.
Your hunching session is a creative session, allow proper time for it –
and ensure your participants understand they need to let go of the
‘right answer’ and live in the world of possibility.
Encourage people to capture their hunches in the first person and
use the word ‘because’. Push beyond the surface hunches, by asking
Maintain the energy in the session by
• Mixing up the groups throughout the session
• Getting groups to change environment
• Mix and clash the clues in different ways
• Go for depth as well as quantity
• Warm up the group by getting them to
have fun hunching around a silly, but
unrelated piece of data
• Make sure clues are marked off as
they’re used – so you know you’re
covering the ground
Lay out all the hunches and allow people to
Theming… browse and read them all. Encourage them to
do this in silence – so they can form their own
Ask people to capture the themes they spot
• Things which genuinely interest them or
make them go ‘ooooh.’
• Themes often have an edge or
contradiction ‘dirt is good’
• Could be an interesting expression of
• Only capture things which are genuinely
• Get them to note down the supporting
• Play some relaxed music to get people in the theming music
• If you can let people sleep on the hunches – they can often spot
• After they’ve captured their themes give the participants a
proforma to help them push their thinking (see next page)
• Get the group to share their proformas back on the funnel – playing
Flipping themes into Idea
After you’ve taken the groups themes – let
them go, and then sit with the core team to
work out which themes you’d like to progress
Progress the themes you think are the most
interesting, and are springy for ideas
Re-express the themes – bring them to life
• A catchy title
• ‘How to…so that’ statement using simple
• Use pictures
• Find the supporting hunches and clues
Give yourself to get this stage right. You
might need to sharpen and push the
themes if you don’t think they’re quite
If you can’t have an idea off an
opportunity area – it’s unlikely anyone
else will either!
Ideas: Productive Idea capture
We often find that the ‘traditional’ way of capturing ideas - lots of people around a big table shouting out words to a person who captures
them on a flip chart – is not very productive. The result is a list of thoughts – undeveloped ideas that you can’t ‘do’.
There is a much more productive way of capturing ideas that helps to encourage the right creative behaviours and produces a stack of ideas
that are formed well enough for you to later judge and implement…
Greenhouse one idea at a time.
Capture one idea per piece of paper.
Sit on the pen – don’t write straight away!
Park any ideas that do not fit with the idea you are working on
Draw it – allow others to build on the idea.
Headline it at the end.
If the idea is not tangible, draw a spider diagram.
Get your ‘Jazz Hands’ out, and have fun!
Breaking the rules/Revolution
Our brain is hardwired to hinder creativity, yet it holds all our experiences from which we could draw creative connections.
Our everyday lives and habits keep us in a river of similar thinking. We must always assume that at any given time we are
stuck in these rivers of familiar territory and we need deliberate stimulus to get us out and thinking differently. The Four Rs
are deliberate stimulus and they allow you to take different principles and apply them back to your problem.
Revolution: Challenging the rules. 1. List the rules. These have to be absolute fact and not generalisations or
This is a great technique for exploring an entire assumptions.
issue or process at once. 2. Provoke these facts by asking what if? The more extreme the
provocation, the more dynamic your ideas will become.
3. Ask under what circumstances could your provocations then occur to
make real new ideas.
Example: We were looking for new ideas for a Vehicle Recovery Business’
Everyone in market was competing around:
• Response Time (eg: we’ll get to you in 22min v. 25min)
• Priority to lone women
• + promotional, incentive/discount offers
We planned in an exercise based around ‘Revolution’ and realised how ripe
the potential was to focus on helping people avoid breaking down.
It led to a large number of ideas under the banner of XXX: the ‘Don’t
Parallel (Related) Worlds – Stealing!
Related Worlds: Steal solutions from other places and apply the
principles back to your issue.
Where else has a similar issue been solved?
1. It’s important to establish what it is you’re trying to do.
2. Then brainstorm lots of other places in the world where that issue has
3. Dive into that world and find out as much as you can about how they
solved the problem.
4. Apply the principles back to your issue – use this as stimulus to have
Remember that using a Naïve Expert is a great way to get rich
information about a new world.
Example: We were looking for new ideas for a Driving School.
One of the challenges was how to help 17 year old rebellious teenagers get along with old, bearded Driving Instructors.
To help us in this we looked at how this relationship works in well known films, looking at the role of ‘master and student’
in films such as Good Will Hunting, Dead Poets Society, Star Wars, Karate Kid.
From this we understood the need for RESPECT and used that to stimulate ideas.
What was ultimately rolled out was to have online profiles of instructors with more ‘interesting’ facts about the Instructor
(eg: has flown a jet aircraft, was a drummer in a rock band) and info to help teenagers select the one they liked the sound
of. A little change which has had a great impact.
Re-expression: Use alternative words/metaphors, senses,
perspectives to describe your issue.
1. Words/Metaphors: Use different language to stimulate
2. Senses: We live in a world of words! Experience the
problem using different senses smell, taste, touch. Draw
it…Act it out!
3. Perspectives: View the issue from a different perspective
– an alien, a child, an inanimate object.
Example: We were looking for new ideas to develop new products to drive growth in a stagnant Shoe Care market.
One of the first exercises we did was using re-expression. We acted out a day in the life of a shoe.
This showed that one of the main problems a shoe can have is smell…and the way that the inside of the shoe (the in-sole,
the toe, the leather) acted stimulated the idea for, a deodorant spray for shoes which was launched in 2004.
Random stuff!: Take completely random stimulus and force a connection to
The two stages of this technique are:
1. Find a random piece of stimulus – a picture card, an object, a word,
a piece of music – using a system to ensure that it is truly random:
blindfold people and pick up the first object, turn to page 17 and
choose the first word on the 4th row, 5 words in.
2. Force a connection - allow your mind licence to freely explore new
possibilities. Play around, dig deeper and go beyond the obvious.
Example: We were looking for new ideas for a meat-based snack.
Using picture cards placed face-down on the floor, we asked a person to pick one up. The picture was that of a donkey.
Associations placed with donkeys were explored: they’re stubborn, they’re beasts of burden, they’re associated with Christian
Biblical stories. They’re also ‘well hung’. Other things that are well hung include: paintings, curtains, chandeliers and Game.
Finally an idea based on the idea that Game is hung to increase flavour over time lead to a product whose packaging can be
peeled back to reveal the food, allowing it to increase in flavour as desired.
Selecting Ideas At the end of your ideas session, get your
participants to say which ideas they’re most
passionate about. Use a voting system – and
encourage people to vote for ideas that aren’t
This isn’t the selection – it’s a reward for effort
and a useful first indication of what might be
When running a selection/harvesting session:
• Convene the core team - committees don’t make
good decisions, so limit numbers. Consider
bringing in some fresh eyes.
• Theme the ideas – there is bound to be lots of
overlap (you might want to do this before the
• Reconnect with the brief and success criteria for
the ideas – but score ideas with your heart as well
as you head
• Creatively push ideas that are lagging but you
think might be interesting – sometimes the least
promising ideas provide the stimulus for genius
• Keep stepping between analysis and creativity –
until you’re excited with what you’ve got
• Plot the judgement criteria as a spider
• Judge each idea using your stargazer
• Have a creative session to work out how
you can improve each idea, where they’re
• Recapture the new ideas that you’re
• For every concept you intend taking
forward into development get clear on:
• The insight that underpins the idea
• The DNA, without which the idea
would cease to be compelling – the
aspects which CAN’T be lost
• The executional elements of the
idea as presently
Tune up your attitude
• Engineer positive experiences for yourselves and
others. Celebrate people when they do great work,
or exhibit innovation behaviours – and let yourself
take baby steps and build your confidence up
• Visualise success – think through your sessions
beforehand in real detail, making your pictures
positive ones – it’s the best preparation.
• Re-frame things that don’t go to plan. What have
you learnt – and what will you differently moving
• Question our own and others self-limiting beliefs.
We tell ourselves things that aren’t true – what’s
the actual data?
• Harness cynicism – people who care, but have had
negative experiences are bound to be cynical. If
you understand, care about, and address their
concerns, you’ll soon have passionate advocates.
• Role model – you’re now the person will look up to
around innovation. What you do is more powerful
than what you say.
Attitudes towards creativity are shaped by our experiences over time. Our input as ninjas affects belief and
attitude, so how can we confront attitudes and reframe perceptions? We need to help people create new
habits and develop a positive and productive way of being around creativity.
What positive experiences can we engineer and celebrate to help build belief within the
Over 80% of our ideas are directly affected by the environment in which we sit.
By creating a stimulating environment for our people, we give them a better chance of having great ideas.
Allow people the freedom to personalise their surroundings at work.
Be conscious of how our working environment impacts on our ‘state’ – which impacts on everything we do.
What can be done to create an even more stimulating working environment within your
For a culture of innovation to be created and sustained we need to put structures in place.
What structures need to be put in place or removed?
Thank you for throwing yourself into the
workshop – but of course what matters most
is what you do next!