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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.







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



Start Highlighting







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



You'll need buy-in if your plan is going to succeed. Use our tool to win over resisters and energize assisters.



Identify people that might assist you or energize resistance?

Find ways to gain acceptance or build enthusiasm?
Find ways to help guarantee success?

Identify deal breakers and what trades might you make to overcome them?



Learn how to use Assisters and Resisters

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