Innovation for results tool cards
It can be challenging to remember exactly how to best apply newly acquired or infrequently used creativity tools. That's why we've designed a convenient set of "how-to" cards. Use them to strengthen your efficiency and effectiveness with a variety of creativity and critical thinking methods.
These tool cards provide you with a robust selection of divergent and convergent techniques that will support you through the entire Creative Problem Solving process.
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USE THESE TOOLS WHEN YOU WANT TO DIVERGE
Want a quick way to generate ideas from a variety of perspectives?
SCAMPER is a question checklist that will help jumpstart your idea generation efforts.
when to SCAMPER:
Generate more options
When you're stuck in your thinking
Get fresh approaches to the challenge
Start using SCAMPER
Looking to really stretch beyond the ordinary? Forced connections is a powerful creativity tool that helps to break free of the limits of logical thinking!
when to Force Connections:
Help get unstuck when generating ideas
Shift thinking in new directions
Generate really wild and unusual options
Start using Forced Connections
If you're stuck and don't know how to get started, use this tool to breakthrough barriers. You'll get broader strategies and specific tasks.
use Why? What's stopping you? to:
Get broader strategies
Identify specific tasks needed to complete your goals
Start using Why? What's Stopping You?
So you really, really, really want to solve a complex challenge? Many of the biggest creative thinking breakthroughs occur when people make the time to ask the right question. So how might you do that?
when to deploy Question Starters:
Help define the challenge
Assist the group focus on applying creative thinking (rather than focused on a complaint)
Get started with Question Starters
If you think that you know how to brainstorm, read this to ensure that you're doing it in a consistently effective manner.
when to brainstorm:
Generate many diverse options with a group
Capture options quickly
Get started with Brainstorming
Stuck in a thinking rut? Use different perspectives to look at a situation from new viewpoints, and generate dozens of unique, new options.
use perspectives to:
Find fresh perspectives to challenges
Break outside of your own mind-set
Consider all stakeholders in a situation
Start using Perspectives
Sometimes the noise of brainstorming can be overly distracting. Here's a quiet way to get many options. It's also a great way to diverge asynchronously.
when to brainwrite:
Generate ideas that are easier to implement
Generate options with introverted, quiet people
Manage an intimidating person in the group
Collaborate with people in different locations
Get started with Brainwriting
One style of approach to Creative Problem Solving is known as Design Thinking, and there are elements of this approach that are beneficial filters all through the divergent and convergent aspects of the creative process. Keep these favorites in mind as you work from your goal to your implemented solution.
use Design Thinking to:
Build people centered prototypes
Build repeatedly until excitedly satisfied
Start using Design Thinking
Many of today's challenges are incredibly complex. Here's a tool to help untangle and map the terrain of a complex challenge.
when to MINDMAP:
Gather all data in one place
Create a shared language and understanding
Organize thinking visually
Understand relationships and connections
Before you try to organize in a linear way
Learn how to Mindmap
You'll need buy-in if your plan is going to succeed. Use this tool to win over adversaries and energize allies.
use assisters & resisters to:
Identify potential positive and negative reactions to proposed goals
Seek help where you can get it
Plan for resistance before you encounter it
Use Assisters and Resisters
Use these tools to Converge
Bashing new ideas is NOT the best way to promote the creation of innovative solutions. Use Praise First!
when to POINt:
Evaluate an idea fairly and deliberately
Create a rationale for a solution
Improve, strengthen and/or build better ideas
Treat ideas wisely when they are presented
Balance our gator brain instinct to kill newness
Start using POINt
'Star' is the ideal tool for converging many options quickly, whether you're working alone or with a group of 100! Use it to narrow down a lot of ideas quickly and reduce the phenomenon known as 'group think.'
when to star:
Manage divergent options
Narrow down a huge group to a fraction of the total
Focus on the items you have the most interest in exploring
Get started with Star
Use this technique when you have lots of options that need to be clustered and synthesized.
when to highlight:
Narrow down a lot of options
Cluster and synthesize options
There's a better way to choose the best idea. Use the evaluation matrix to evaluate options, or to pick the best among multiple options.
when to matrix:
To measure options against specific criteria
To pick the best and identify improvements
Start using Evaluation Matrix
Here's a quick and easy way to rank options.
When to employ a card sort:
To rank order a number of ideas
Best with more than three ideas, but not many more than fifteen
Start using Card Sort