Creativity & 10 tips for better brainstorming


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An understanding of creativity, how it works, how we work, and getting the most out of brainstorming

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Creativity & 10 tips for better brainstorming

  1. 1. Hello, this is me and what I do (-;
  2. 2. This is where I work, it’s Redweb’s innovation studio, lab, & greenhouse
  3. 3. Let’s start with a definition of Creativity.
  4. 4. And a definition of innovation too.’s about making ideas become real
  5. 5. One converges, one diverges. It’s important to keep the first phase diverging for as long as possible
  6. 6. If we don’t get wide enough, we restrict our innovation options. But it needn’t be a struggle...
  7. 7. Let’s have a look at 5 Creative Behaviours (Gardner). Some people describe these as windows as they’re also ways in which we view the world
  8. 8. Some people thrive in research, comp analysis collating data, testing or finding trends
  9. 9. Some like structure, sorting, filtering and auditing, seeing what they have and rearranging
  10. 10. Or is your idea of fun doing something totally free form,with no rules whatsoever?
  11. 11. Do you look for meaning, significance & purpose in your actions? (Great for interface & brand designers)
  12. 12. Some have skills in reconstructing, being detached and asking difficult & challenging questions.
  13. 13. These can help us understand how people operate creatively. Where do you naturally fall? Do you recognise where colleagues may fall?
  14. 14. It can also be seen as a process How do you move a creative project around this diagram?
  15. 15. I start at different points depending on the nature of the project. I often talk to a ‘Maverick’ early on, for a good sense of perspective
  16. 16. Improvising is the area that is often overlooked, under valued and rushed through. Remember, we don’t want to converge too soon
  17. 17. Let’s look at 2 points that are vital for getting the most out of improvisation
  18. 18. We recognise things by association with past experiences - we don’t need to think about getting dressed, we recognise clothes shaped items and we instantly know what to do with them (thankfully)
  19. 19. It’s so natural & so important day to day, we just go with the flow. But it’s difficult to break when we want to be creative. We get stuck in a particular river of thought because of our past experiences
  20. 20. We need to jump into different rivers. From there we can make connections back to the original scenario Ideas come when you take a break, go outside, take a shower etc, because you’re letting you’re mind flow down different rivers
  21. 21. As individuals, we have unique experiences. These provide unique rivers and unique connection potential. the creative point is where you meet the world
  22. 22. Expand your potential by making more rivers. Try new things, different things, push your comfort zone & don’t be a slave to habit. Take a different route to work, walk to work, read a book you wouldn’t normally pick up, see a film you don’t think you’ll like, take up a new hobby, go on holiday somewhere new. You can only do more interesting work by being a more interesting person!
  23. 23. Freshness & jumping rivers is down to breaking habits. try stand up meetings, meetings with no table, meetings in the pub, in the coffee shop, at the beach (it is good being in Bournemouth!)
  24. 24. There books full of brainstorming tools & techniques. They’re keys to open doors, tools to help break habits and help make unexpected connections
  25. 25. Ideas are very fragile in their early stages. We need to nurture & encourage them. We need to let ideas grow before we can see what they could grow into
  26. 26. Everyday business is harsh, decisions are made quickly based on value judgements. Brainstorming is different, ideas need protection. If we judge too quickly, great ideas can be lost for ever
  27. 27. Fear holds us back from voicing our ideas. We don’t want to look silly in front of our peers. We’re afraid our idea is wrong, or not good enough, or not fully formed, or too similar to something else. At this stage there are no wrong answers
  28. 28. We need to build courage through permission to speak up & acceptance of any point of view. If we don’t hold back our judgement and banish fear, people may never speak up
  29. 29. Try changing “no but...” into “yes and...” We need to build a constructive culture, we must accept & build in creative conversations
  30. 30. We need clear signalling to know where we are and what’s expected of us. Am I about to have a business conversation or am I talking about a tender shoot of an idea I need feedback on? It’s easier in a brainstorm but outside, how that conversation starts is vital: “What do you think about...” or “I know this is a bit weird, but stay with me for a few seconds, what do you think about...”
  31. 31. Once you have momentum, enjoy it, stay in the flow and have fun. Don’t start looking for meaning or judging too early. Listen to everything, don’t get hung up on those ideas that seem better, park them and keep moving
  32. 32. Engage people before hand by asking them to bring along research, examples, print outs, experiences, etc. They’ll be more engaged, contribute more value and hit the ground running.
  33. 33. Aim for a good mix of creative behaviours and a good mix from all departments or disciplines. All need to be willing to help, have fun, be positive, and be creative
  34. 34. Just like physical exercise you’ll need to warm up, & get yourself in gear. Try a few mental & team building games to get energised. Monday mornings and sessions straight after lunch might need more work to get going
  35. 35. Split long sessions into smaller tasks. Creativity can be exhausting, 1 hour is better as 3 x 20 mins. It’s easier to keep things fresh, energised, more fun & less stressful. Short sessions are also easier to fit in more often!
  36. 36. Looking at the question from different angles can lead to new questions, unseen problems & more creative solutions. There are a lot of brainstorming techniques that work on this premise.
  37. 37. Remember greenhousing? “no but...” becomes “yes and...” Permission & acceptance encourages building ideas vertically rather than just jumping horizontally from one idea to another
  38. 38. Use them within a creative framework to get a different angle, jump into new rivers and make connections
  39. 39. Break behaviours, habits and mental barriers. Keep changing things. Environment is key to changing behaviour and being creative
  40. 40. Withhold judgement & stay in the moment. Make notes of everything. Park ideas so you can keep moving Don’t close down too soon, this comes after the creative phase.
  41. 41. The more you practice this the better & easier it will be. Thomas Edison held 1,093 patents, He set himself a weekly quota. Try having 3 new ideas a day, after 2 weeks you wont be able to stop yourself