Jodie Newman

Introducing Business Creativity: A Practical Guide

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    t is useful to print them out on cards, so that they are easy to hand out and then store for future use
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    How effective would a 53-year-old male be at coming up with appropriate solutions for a challenge aimed at a sixteen-year-old girl? I would posit that he may well lack a natural understanding of the target customer. Ideally, a business would undertake in-depth customer profiling to really get under the skin of the lives, desires, purchasing habits and so forth of their customer
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    Standing in your Customers’ Shoes
    It is always imperative to ask: ‘Who are you solving this challenge for?’ It is all too easy to tackle a business challenge without really taking time to consider the target audience
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    hoose an assumption to flip – what new ideas come up that could transform, or at the very least improve, your business
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    Now look at your list of assumptions. It is a worthwhile exercise to analyse each one to see if it is still relevant
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    What are the assumptions latent in your business as a whole? Consider each department, function or process in turn and jot down a list of assumptions. The more radical your thinking, the more assumptions you will spot
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    is ‘Flip the Thinking’ tool
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    2. Identify an element of the challenge headline that could be an assumption.
    E.g. That you need to tell everyone
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    . State your challenge using the ‘How to …’ challenge format.
    E.g. How to tell everyone about our new product
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    paces in the building, you could chose ‘creative’ or ‘idea’. Go round the group asking them to contribute a thought, word or idea to populate the mind map.
    Have you ever: Get each person to jot down something that they have done (e.g. bungee jumping) that they think no one else in the group has. Then each person reads their card out, with a show of hands for others that have also done it. The winner is the person that elicits no raised hands.
    Dice questions: Write up six numbered questions on the flip chart, such as: What is your favourite book? What are you most proud of? What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? What is your musical guilty pleasure? What would your dream job be? If you could have one drink with any celebrity, who would it be? Each person throws a dice and answers the corresponding question.
    Extra time: If you were given two extra hours today, how would you spend them?
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    Some examples of icebreakers are:
    Reveal: Tell us something about yourself that no one in the room knows about you.
    Journey: What is the best journey you have ever taken and why?
    Stuck in a lift: Who would you like to be stuck in a lift with?
    Achievement: What is your greatest achievement?
    Lessons: What was your favourite lesson at school and why?
    Cartoon character: Who is your favourite cartoon character and why?
    Doodle you: Get each person to draw a quick self-portrait without anyone seeing. Collect them up and get the group to guess who’s who.
    Desert island: You are stranded on a desert island. Apart from the essentials to ensure your survival, you can take three things. What would they be?
    One word mind map: Put a word in the middle of a blank mind map on a flip chart that is related to your challenge – e.g. if the challenge is about how to create creative ideas
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    ecause of the layout of a mind map, it engages the visual side of the brain, which makes reviewing information and ideas that much easier
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    6. Continue to add thoughts and spokes, until your map starts to resemble the branches and twigs of a tree, or until you run out of space on your paper; in which case get some more pape
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    This is the beauty of mind mapping – there is no such thing as out of order, as you are working around a central theme, not making a list.
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    Using the one I made when I first sat down to plan this book as an example, this is how I create a mind map:
    1. Get a piece of paper, the bigger the better. Or if possible, get a flip chart or a whiteboard. The paper should ideally be used in landscape orientation.
    2. In the centre of the paper or board, write the thought or challenge you wish to explore. Draw something as well if you can – using images stimulates the mind. Don’t worry if you are not an accomplished artist – just so long as you know what it is, that’s all that matters
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    Simple questions such as ‘Why do we do it like this?’ and ‘How can we do this better?’ can be the lifeblood of a creative busine
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    It is invaluable within a creative business to develop a curious culture – one that encourages people to ask questions
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    our measurement metrics could include:
    How many ideas have been generated
    How many new ideas have been implemented or brought to market (make a distinction between absolutely new ideas and those that are incremental improvements)
    Which processes have been improved, replaced or streamlined
    How many product and/or service developments have been made
    How is your brand perceived: is the business seen as creative, as full of innovators?
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    By training your staff, you will give them the skills to think more creatively when they are solving problems, to think more laterally when they are faced with business challenges
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    Speed is of the essence in the process of ideas. Allow failure to stick, allow an idea that is not working to remain so, and creativity will soon falter.
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