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Innovation Workshop


I'm looking for practical excercises  / group activities to help ignite innovation in workshop. All ideas/ suggestions welcome.

Thanks Michelle

5 Responses

  1. Thinking without boundaries

    How about…

    At least 20 uses for a clothes peg…

    if you want 2 groups the other one could have a paperclip.

    Base the session around "assumptions"…ie they are all assuming the peg must be 75mm long. What if the peg was 100M long? What if it was 0.0001mm long? Does it have to be wood or plastic? Could it be separated and the spring and legs could be used for ther things?

    Creativity is all about not assuming so this would be a good starter session at least. All hand dryers were round tubes until Dyson said "lets have a flat blade"…

    Good luck




  2. other ideas for getting them to innovate……

    Hi Michelle,

    Two approaches: "you have this~what can you do with it" and "this is the problem~how are you going to solve it"

    How about:

    a) The £100 challenge…

    If your group were given £100 and 10 days, what would you do to turn the £100 into as large a return as possible?

    You can tell them it is a no-holds-barred activity or you can then give them some things to consider such as

    ~their attitude to risk (would they spend it on scratch cards)

    ~their attitude to legality (would they use it to buy a (toy) gun and hold up a bank)

    ~their attitude to sustainability (would they use it to buy materials that might still have residual value at the endf of the period)

    ~their attitude to sharing (would they use it to buy a "prize" and then run a raffle/draw and donate a proportion of the income to a charity, having used the charity name to help sell the tickets)

    ~would they trade (buy and sell), create a product, create a service, split their money to spread the risk (or to settle an internal team disagreement) or put all their eggs in one basket.

    b) Alternatively you could set them a problem;

    eg Newborn incubators are generally incredibly expensive and complex to maintain……..a team designed and built a functioning, low cost and low maintenance incubator entirely from components found in a Toyota HiLux (apparently the most widely available vehicle in the world). Another team designed and built a low cost incubator using hot waterbottles and insulated fabric.  Could you find a suitable challenge for a team?

    Innovation can be creativity or improvisation!

    I hope this helps

    Also….Google the phrase "use the difficulty"…….Michael Caine has something to say about the topic of innovation! and it has nothing to do with only blowing the b*****Y doors off!



  3. Thank you!

    There are great – definitiely something for me to think on – Thanks Michelle 

  4. Making the impossible possible

    For me that is what great innovators do.

    That is your challenge; to get them to diverge before they converge.

    I have seen it done many ways, from "different uses for a newspaper" to "solve our city’s traffic problems." The art form is getting people to think about possibilities they have previously dismissed and seeing ways to make them even more achievable.

    One great technique that seems to being ideas alive is mind maps. They free people from logic & convention. But in reality, the way forward is in asking people to bring alive ideas that they would normally deem impossible. For instance a hotel in a tree or one shaped like a dog. Both exist & both are fabulous examples of innovation.

    Please feel free to let me know if you need further inspiration.

    Enjoy the challenge.




  5. innovation workshop

    Hi Michelle

    have a look at the book

    The Innovation Equation: Building Creativity and Risk Taking in Your Organization (Practicing Organization Development Series) By J Byrd.

    In it are some great workshop ideas, along with the Creatrix Profile tool, which helps develop not just skills but the behaviours of innovation.

    Rather than just looking to "innovative" exercises, you need to put these activities in content of a process or culture.

    I am in the middle of putting a presentation together for a client tomorrow where we are exploring the behaviours of innovation in a financial services compeny, happy to share after the workshop is complete.

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