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Demystifying creativity:!A user guide for left brainers.David MurphyFounder & Serial Thought Provokerwikibranding
Common refrain of left-brainers.•  I’m not creative.•  I don’t have time to be “artsy.”•  I’ve got to make the numbers.•  ...
Today’s goals•  Demystify creativity.•  Provide a useful framework for creating ideas.•  Apply this framework to Kimpton.
Kimpton’s culture of creativity.“We think diverse people will lead to diverse creativity.” ~ MichaelDepatie“We celebrate t...
My teachers through the years.
My teachers through the years.
What is creativity?
Do we know what creativity looks like?•  Which company do you feel is the most creative marketer? •  What has been the mos...
Creativity is nottorture or punishment.
Creativity is not ahollow exhortation.
Luck?!A dark art?!Serendipity?
Think of creativity this way: !It’s not art – it’s counter-intuitive problem solving.
Click to launch video.
Creativity in a business environment must be adefined, repeatable and measureable process...
…albeit one that is counter-intuitive and freelydefies conventions.
What if beer was marketed like a punk band?
What if we ignore the water and focus on thebottle instead?Click to launch video.
What if we re-imagine jewelry asa mouthwateringindulgence?
What if we think ofa sneaker as afashion accessory?
What if we don’t get too clever and instead focuson what’s hiding in plain sight.
Step one: Remove the self-inflicted obstacles.!How many can you spot in this video?
Click to launch video.
Stop!•  The 16 page “brief”•  Poor customer focus•  No prioritization•  Marketing-speak•  Ignoring the simple solution•  I...
Creativity killers.•  We accept assumptions – solve the wrong problem.•  We know what we know – perceptual narrowing / wel...
Use any of the symbols tomake this correct.I0 I0 I0 = 9.50!( × − + ÷ )!
Use any of the symbols tomake this correct.Answer: Why assume thisis a math problem – 9.50is ten minutes to ten.I0 T0 I0 =...
A woman parks her car outside a hotel and realizes that she’sbankrupt.Explain.
A woman parks her car outside a hotel and realizes that she’sbankrupt.Answer: A properly populatedbrainstorming team would...
By moving only oneglass, make both rowsthe same.
By moving only oneglass, make both rowsthe same.Answer: Why accept theassumed definition of“move” – pour a full glassinto t...
A man walks into a bar and asks for aglass of water. The barman pulls out agun and points it at the man’s head. Theman tha...
A man walks into a bar and asks for aglass of water. The barman pulls out agun and points it at the man’s head. Theman tha...
A framework for creativeproblem solving.•  Define•  Know•  Collaborate•  Invert
Define Know Collaborate Invert“Give me the freedom of atightly defined problem.”Norman	  Berry	  
Define•  Create a ruthlessly well-honed statement of the problem.•  Be specific about what you want to achieve.•  Challenge ...
Goal:Make it easier for bikersto grab their water bottle.
Goal:Make it easier for bikersto grab their water bottle.Tighter goal:Make it easier for bikersto drink water.
The Five Whys.•  Quickly determine the root cause of a problem by asking aseries of five whys.•  Reveal the true problem th...
The Five Whys.The assembly line keeps shutting downbecause we’ve got a problem with thefuses in our machines.
The Five Whys.Five Whys Root Cause1. Why did the machine stop? It blew a fuse.2. Why did the fuse blow? The fuse was the w...
Brainstorm.“We have a problem getting the secondvisit from around 80% of our guests.”Employ the Five Whys.What’s the true ...
Illustration of The Five Whys.Five Whys Root Cause1. Why aren’t we getting moresecond visits from InTouchguests?They only ...
Radical word pairings.•  Challenge the problem statement. Underline key words in the statement.•  Choose a pair of main wo...
Radical word pairings.We don’t get steady attendance at the InTouch training sessions.
Radical word pairings.We don’t get steady attendance at the InTouch training sessions.Continuous participationOngoing lear...
Radical word pairings.Continuous participationOngoing learningActive buy-inStrong commitmentInspiration festivalMotivation...
Brainstorm.Use radical word pairings to further refinethe second stay challenge statement.How would this restate the challe...
Define Know Collaborate Invert“A man paints with his brainand not with his hands.”Michelangelo	  
Know•  Creativity flows from knowledge, not guessing.•  Exposing yourself to new information disrupts preconceived solution...
Facts can make a big difference.Original brief:Create new GrandMarnier cocktails.Grand RomanceGrand CoolGrand CrushGrand T...
Three boxes.Turn data dump of information into areas of focus.Must Haves Historic Balls & ChainsOur Ideal future.Bucket re...
Brainstorm.Thinking about the challenge to get thatsecond visit…What information do we need? What are some examples ofinfo...
Define Know Collaborate Invert“We > Me”
Collaborate•  Practice collaborative creativity. •  Creativity is the collision of disparate ideas, perspectives, experien...
Six Hat Team•  Use Edward de Bono’s “six hat” model for lateral thinking.•  Disrupt “perceptual narrowing” and locking in ...
Six Hat TeamTeam Member Role ContributionBlue Hat Facilitation What process will keep the team on track?White Hat Informat...
Discussion.What would be an ideal six hat team tosolve the second stay challenge?Why type of expertise should be on thatbr...
Define Know Collaborate Invert“Imagination is more importantthan knowledge.”Albert	  Einstein	  
Invert•  Practice lateral thinking…disrupt mental routines.•  Look at the problem from a radically different perspective. ...
Turn lemons in to lemonade.•  Start a brainstorming session by developing a list of bad ideas (e.g., whatwould be the wors...
Category role play.•  Think beyond your specific relationship with your customer. What are the otherpassion points in your ...
Moons, planets and suns.•  Write down your initial ideas as fast as possible. These are moons.•  Step back and observe the...
Moons, planets and suns.Inner Circle AmenitiesGreetingMake guest feel good
Moons, planets and suns.Inner Circle AmenitiesGreetingMake guest feel goodFirst impressionFunAppreciation
Moons, planets and suns.Inner Circle AmenitiesGreetingMake guest feel goodFirst impressionFunAppreciationMemorable moments
Moons, planets and suns.Inner Circle AmenitiesGreetingMake guest feel goodFirst impressionFunAppreciationMemorable moments...
Parallel brainstorms.Break down the problem into distinct parts – e.g., customer insightsvs. brand values. Brainstorm each...
Brainstorm.Think about the challenge to get that second visit…Break down the challenge into distinct parts.Brainstorm idea...
A framework for creativeproblem solving.•  Define•  Know•  Collaborate•  Invert
Try some things that make youuncomfortable.!Find a style that works for you.
Thank you.
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Demystifying Creativity: a handbook for left brainers.

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This is a workshop given to the marketing team at Kimpton Hotels.

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Demystifying Creativity: a handbook for left brainers.

  1. 1. Demystifying creativity:!A user guide for left brainers.David MurphyFounder & Serial Thought Provokerwikibranding
  2. 2. Common refrain of left-brainers.•  I’m not creative.•  I don’t have time to be “artsy.”•  I’ve got to make the numbers.•  I’m not lighting candles and incense in my office.•  I don’t know how.
  3. 3. Today’s goals•  Demystify creativity.•  Provide a useful framework for creating ideas.•  Apply this framework to Kimpton.
  4. 4. Kimpton’s culture of creativity.“We think diverse people will lead to diverse creativity.” ~ MichaelDepatie“We celebrate the tries, even if they don’t work.” ~ Michael Depatie“If you’re not willing to laugh at yourself and be silly, then we’re probablynot the company for you.” ~ Niki Leondakis
  5. 5. My teachers through the years.
  6. 6. My teachers through the years.
  7. 7. What is creativity?
  8. 8. Do we know what creativity looks like?•  Which company do you feel is the most creative marketer? •  What has been the most creative product or service in the last 10years? •  Who is the most creative person you know?
  9. 9. Creativity is nottorture or punishment.
  10. 10. Creativity is not ahollow exhortation.
  11. 11. Luck?!A dark art?!Serendipity?
  12. 12. Think of creativity this way: !It’s not art – it’s counter-intuitive problem solving.
  13. 13. Click to launch video.
  14. 14. Creativity in a business environment must be adefined, repeatable and measureable process...
  15. 15. …albeit one that is counter-intuitive and freelydefies conventions.
  16. 16. What if beer was marketed like a punk band?
  17. 17. What if we ignore the water and focus on thebottle instead?Click to launch video.
  18. 18. What if we re-imagine jewelry asa mouthwateringindulgence?
  19. 19. What if we think ofa sneaker as afashion accessory?
  20. 20. What if we don’t get too clever and instead focuson what’s hiding in plain sight.
  21. 21. Step one: Remove the self-inflicted obstacles.!How many can you spot in this video?
  22. 22. Click to launch video.
  23. 23. Stop!•  The 16 page “brief”•  Poor customer focus•  No prioritization•  Marketing-speak•  Ignoring the simple solution•  Involving too many decision makers•  Losing sight of the original goal
  24. 24. Creativity killers.•  We accept assumptions – solve the wrong problem.•  We know what we know – perceptual narrowing / well-troddenmental paths.•  We don’t pursue multiple solutions – divergent thinking.
  25. 25. Use any of the symbols tomake this correct.I0 I0 I0 = 9.50!( × − + ÷ )!
  26. 26. Use any of the symbols tomake this correct.Answer: Why assume thisis a math problem – 9.50is ten minutes to ten.I0 T0 I0 = 9.50!( × − + ÷ )!
  27. 27. A woman parks her car outside a hotel and realizes that she’sbankrupt.Explain.
  28. 28. A woman parks her car outside a hotel and realizes that she’sbankrupt.Answer: A properly populatedbrainstorming team wouldexpose the problem to a widerrange of perspectives andexperiences.
  29. 29. By moving only oneglass, make both rowsthe same.
  30. 30. By moving only oneglass, make both rowsthe same.Answer: Why accept theassumed definition of“move” – pour a full glassinto the empty glass.
  31. 31. A man walks into a bar and asks for aglass of water. The barman pulls out agun and points it at the man’s head. Theman thanks the barman and walks outwithout receiving his drink.Explain.
  32. 32. A man walks into a bar and asks for aglass of water. The barman pulls out agun and points it at the man’s head. Theman thanks the barman and walks outwithout receiving his drink.Answer: Surrounding yourself withrelevant knowledge helps unlock newideas. People also drink water to cure thehiccups!
  33. 33. A framework for creativeproblem solving.•  Define•  Know•  Collaborate•  Invert
  34. 34. Define Know Collaborate Invert“Give me the freedom of atightly defined problem.”Norman  Berry  
  35. 35. Define•  Create a ruthlessly well-honed statement of the problem.•  Be specific about what you want to achieve.•  Challenge assumptions and the very definition of the problem to besolved.
  36. 36. Goal:Make it easier for bikersto grab their water bottle.
  37. 37. Goal:Make it easier for bikersto grab their water bottle.Tighter goal:Make it easier for bikersto drink water.
  38. 38. The Five Whys.•  Quickly determine the root cause of a problem by asking aseries of five whys.•  Reveal the true problem that needs to be solved.
  39. 39. The Five Whys.The assembly line keeps shutting downbecause we’ve got a problem with thefuses in our machines.
  40. 40. The Five Whys.Five Whys Root Cause1. Why did the machine stop? It blew a fuse.2. Why did the fuse blow? The fuse was the wrong size.3. Why was the wrong size fusein the box?The engineer put it there.4. Why did the engineer do that? The supply room issued the wrong size fuse.5. Why? The stock bin was mislabeled.Solve for this!
  41. 41. Brainstorm.“We have a problem getting the secondvisit from around 80% of our guests.”Employ the Five Whys.What’s the true problem to be solved?
  42. 42. Illustration of The Five Whys.Five Whys Root Cause1. Why aren’t we getting moresecond visits from InTouchguests?They only sign up to get free wifi.2. Why is that the case? It’s the only tangible benefit at check-in.3. Why aren’t we winning themover with an emotionalexperience?The It takes two or three visits before you experience aKimpton moment.4. Why can’t we demonstratelove on the first visit?We don’t capture enough insightful and useablepersonal information at the time of booking.5. Why? Our booking system isn’t designed to do this.Solve for this!
  43. 43. Radical word pairings.•  Challenge the problem statement. Underline key words in the statement.•  Choose a pair of main words – e.g., adjective & noun or noun & verb.•  Develop synonyms for each. Use these to inspire new word pairings.•  See if this unlocks a fresh way to redefine the problem.
  44. 44. Radical word pairings.We don’t get steady attendance at the InTouch training sessions.
  45. 45. Radical word pairings.We don’t get steady attendance at the InTouch training sessions.Continuous participationOngoing learningActive buy-inStrong commitmentInspiration festivalMotivation showMe timeKnowledge jam session
  46. 46. Radical word pairings.Continuous participationOngoing learningActive buy-inStrong commitmentInspiration festivalMotivation showMe timeKnowledge jam sessionShould it evenbe a “trainingprogram” or is ita steady streamof motivationaltips?We don’t get steady attendance at the InTouch training sessions.
  47. 47. Brainstorm.Use radical word pairings to further refinethe second stay challenge statement.How would this restate the challenge?
  48. 48. Define Know Collaborate Invert“A man paints with his brainand not with his hands.”Michelangelo  
  49. 49. Know•  Creativity flows from knowledge, not guessing.•  Exposing yourself to new information disrupts preconceived solutions.•  Institutional knowledge is helpful, but only as guidance, not rules. •  Toyota approach to innovation – Kaizen. Learn from mistakes…continuous improvement.
  50. 50. Facts can make a big difference.Original brief:Create new GrandMarnier cocktails.Grand RomanceGrand CoolGrand CrushGrand TropicalNew information:The most commonlyordered drinks:MargaritaRum & CokeVodka & CranberryBloody MaryJack & CokeVodka & TonicScotch & WaterNew Grand Marniercocktails:Grand Marnier & TonicGrand Marnier & Cranberry
  51. 51. Three boxes.Turn data dump of information into areas of focus.Must Haves Historic Balls & ChainsOur Ideal future.Bucket relevant knowledge into three categories.Ideal mix is 33%/33%/33%.Brainstorming can now focus on (1) ideas that eliminate historic barriers and (2) ideasthat move toward the ideal.
  52. 52. Brainstorm.Thinking about the challenge to get thatsecond visit…What information do we need? What are some examples ofinformation that would fall into thethree buckets.
  53. 53. Define Know Collaborate Invert“We > Me”
  54. 54. Collaborate•  Practice collaborative creativity. •  Creativity is the collision of disparate ideas, perspectives, experiencesand people.•  Are you an idea catalyst?
  55. 55. Six Hat Team•  Use Edward de Bono’s “six hat” model for lateral thinking.•  Disrupt “perceptual narrowing” and locking in too soon.•  Populate brainstorming team with people designed to fulfilldesignated brainstorming roles.•  Switch up roles in follow up meeting to keep ideas fresh.
  56. 56. Six Hat TeamTeam Member Role ContributionBlue Hat Facilitation What process will keep the team on track?White Hat Information What do we need to know to solve this problem?Red Hat Emotions How will the idea make people feel?Yellow Hat Positivity What is good about the idea?Black Hat Risk What are the possible pitfalls and how can we get around them?Green Hat Growth What’s the ideal? Can we make this idea even bigger?
  57. 57. Discussion.What would be an ideal six hat team tosolve the second stay challenge?Why type of expertise should be on thatbrainstorming team?
  58. 58. Define Know Collaborate Invert“Imagination is more importantthan knowledge.”Albert  Einstein  
  59. 59. Invert•  Practice lateral thinking…disrupt mental routines.•  Look at the problem from a radically different perspective. •  Think beyond your specific relationship with your customer. What arethe other passion points in your guest’s life – epicurean, technology,discovery, health, etc.?
  60. 60. Turn lemons in to lemonade.•  Start a brainstorming session by developing a list of bad ideas (e.g., whatwould be the worst way to design a welcome kit?).•  This creates comfort and early participation.•  Ask the group to then brainstorm ways to fix the bad ideas and turnthem into great ones.
  61. 61. Category role play.•  Think beyond your specific relationship with your customer. What are the otherpassion points in your guest’s life – epicurean, technology, discovery, health, etc.?•  Imagine you are in a completely different category. How might you approach theproblem if you were:–  Amazon–  Nordstom–  A kid’s lemonade stand–  An indie corner coffee shop
  62. 62. Moons, planets and suns.•  Write down your initial ideas as fast as possible. These are moons.•  Step back and observe the how some of these ideas my intersect.Combine them. These are moons. •  Keep looking for intersections and opportunities to make a bigcreative leap.•  Combine these planets until you arrive at a Sun.
  63. 63. Moons, planets and suns.Inner Circle AmenitiesGreetingMake guest feel good
  64. 64. Moons, planets and suns.Inner Circle AmenitiesGreetingMake guest feel goodFirst impressionFunAppreciation
  65. 65. Moons, planets and suns.Inner Circle AmenitiesGreetingMake guest feel goodFirst impressionFunAppreciationMemorable moments
  66. 66. Moons, planets and suns.Inner Circle AmenitiesGreetingMake guest feel goodFirst impressionFunAppreciationMemorable momentsSend singing telegrams!
  67. 67. Parallel brainstorms.Break down the problem into distinct parts – e.g., customer insightsvs. brand values. Brainstorm each individually. Then combinedisparate ideas into something larger.Dasani Drops Value:SpontaneityCustomer Insight:Seek inspirationFlash  mobs  Random  acts  Skywriters  Street  teams  Surprise  par>es  Scavenger  hunts  Mo>va>onal  speakers  Emo>onal  affirma>on  Op>mism  Posi>ve  people  Children  Art  Daily  affirma>ons  wriEen  in  the  sky  (in  the  Dasani  fruit  colors).  Street  corner  mo>va>onal  speakers.  Flashmob  a  kids  chorus.  
  68. 68. Brainstorm.Think about the challenge to get that second visit…Break down the challenge into distinct parts.Brainstorm ideas for each part.Combine into larger ideas.
  69. 69. A framework for creativeproblem solving.•  Define•  Know•  Collaborate•  Invert
  70. 70. Try some things that make youuncomfortable.!Find a style that works for you.
  71. 71. Thank you.

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