• De Bono’s Six Hats
    Edward De Bono’s Six Hat thinking can help you encourage and manage the creative thinking of your team. Green Hats are used to encourage people to think the impossible along with different creative thinking techniques.  Select “ideas with potential” with Red Hats, followed by Yellow and Black Hats to explore the good and bad of a given idea.
  • Focus on Deep Insights
    Split your teams into pairs and ask each pair to generate new ideas by focusing on 5 or 6 different consumer insights that are each linked to your innovation objectives.  Ensure that the insights are “deep and rich” and are different.  Then give pairs time to generate ideas linked to the complete insight or by focusing on specific words and phrases.
  • Role Play Other People
    When your team are “done” with insights, encourage more lateral thinking but with ideas linked to your innovation objectives.  A simple technique is to get your team to generate new ideas by imagining they are someone else – a politician, an actor, a business guru, or someone in another profession. Work in pairs and give each pair 4 or 5 different names to work with.
  • Random Words
    As with role play, “Random Words” provides another simple technique to encourage out of the box thinking, with new thinking linked to different words or phrases.  Take time to select a list of “random” words that are inspiring and related to your innovation objectives.  Mix up your team into new pairs and give each pair a list of different words to focus on.
  • Random Music and Images  
    Using music and random pictures provides another great way of encouraging teams to think creatively.  And in most cases, it normally stimulates ideas that are more emotionally driven.  Take time to select music and different images that you feel would motivate fresh thinking, and again get your team to use this material in small teams.
  • Best Practice and Idea Combinations
    Try to look at “best practice” ideas from other categories that could be relevant to your innovation objectives.  Prepare a list of good examples and ask your team to refine and adapt that idea for your brand or business.  And take time to look to develop stronger ideas by combining ideas generated using other techniques.

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We use many other “out of the box thinking” techniques when helping teams to generate new ideas, and these are included in two training programs that we run.  Take time planning and preparing your techniques for your next ideas workshop, but try to ensure that they will help develop ideas linked to your agreed innovation objectives. For more information, look at our Top Tips for brainstorming workshops or drop us an email.  


Ideas First® are a specialist creativity and product innovation agency. We are passionate about helping our clients develop innovative new ideas and concepts that are truly creative, stand out from the crowd, and that drive business growth.



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