Inspire Breakthrough Action

Fire up your leadership and visibility in your organization by engaging powerful conversations about who your customer is and what are possible product, package, and communication ideas.

The Implications & Applications cool tool can:

  • Generate team energy to collaboratively create breakthrough ACTION ideas.
  • Immerse others directly in your team’s learning and enliven ideation sessions.
  • Engage key stakeholders through interactive deployment of team learning and enroll them to help build what’s possible.
  • Build acceptance of new knowledge and ownership of your team’s outcomes throughout your organization.

Enhance the ability of this template to fire up conversation by paying attention to the details –

  • Preparation – what is the goal for your work with this cool tool? What might you fill out before a meeting OR should sub teams create it during the meeting?  A tip – only fill out the left side beforehand and leave the right side for ideation.
  • Materials – make them available – colorful sticky notes inspire joy and creativity, sharpies and markers are a must. You might even consider pictures, images and quotes that represent your customers and their experiences and desires. Don’t forget any complimentary templates that support Implications and Applications, like All About Me and Gap Analysis.
  • State of Heart &  Mind – Enjoy your conversational journey, engage lots of ideas, and be open; expectant to make an impact that enhances your business. A tip – power dot ideas if you need to make priorities and discover where team energy lies.

 

JUST ADD PICTURES

“You cannot depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus.” – Mark Twain

We love to work with pictures in all sorts of ways!  Because truth be told, they can sometimes be worth even more than 1,000 words. They enhance our creativity to improve communication, generate new ways of thinking, jump-start stalled projects, and take us to places we didn’t know we could go to amp up our imagination.

We built pictures into our facilitation practice and the teams we work with asked for them, so we created the Let the Picture Pick You Deck, inspiring images that can transport you to new places of understanding and knowledge.

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Here’s some Team Activities to get your started with pictures:

“Getting to Know You’ Warm Up – Invite each team member to choose a picture that represents something about themselves. Ask them to find someone else they don’t know very well. Then instruct everyone to share with their picture and how it represents them to their partner (share only what they want to). Invite everyone to switch partners and share again. Repeat one more time, then have everyone share one thing about themselves to the whole group.

Pulse Check – Invite each team member to choose a picture that captures how they are feeling and/or what they are thinking.  Ask everyone to share in pairs, clusters or with the full group.

Envisioning Success – Invite each team member to choose a picture that represents their personal BEST and BRIGHTEST expectations for the meeting or project. Give everyone a few moments to think of a title for their picture.  One by one, ask each person to share their picture, title and what Success Looks Like for them.  After everyone has shared, as a team, identify the common elements of success and capture on a chart pad or graphic template such as Circle Around or Success Looks Like.

Just add pictures and enjoy the boost in team CREATIVITY!

Working Visually – PPCO (creativity lingo:)

We love all things visual and creative!  An all- time favorite template, Top of the Mountain, is simple yet empowers conversations that create knowledge and inspired action.

The “Top of the Mountain” graphic allows you to use visual thinking to refine, develop or assess what’s working/not working about an idea. Working as a team you quickly and visually sort out what’s working, see what other potential it might have, articulate any problems or concerns and then immediately apply solutions (or opportunities). The visual metaphor allows groups the freedom to explore the good, knowing they’ll have a chance to play the critic and voice their concerns to build it into something better.

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This versatile template can hold the space and focus conversation to make things better, improve an idea, and provide constructive feedback. Here is one way to work with Top of the Mountain in the Development phase of innovation. Often referred to in the creativity field as PPCO, here’s how we make it visual:

  1. Focus on the Positive, what works or the benefits (represented by the reaching the “Top of the Mountain”). Encourage everyone to stay open to how the idea might be great. The team identifies all of the things that are good about the idea or address the challenge, to reach the goal*.
  2. Then, identify the Possibilities or other things that might be peeking out from behind the cloud like a ray of sunshine. What aren’t you sure about, but see as potential.
  3. Next (and this is crucial) – air all Concerns (on the mountain range). Play devil’s advocate about all of the reasons the idea might not work, make notes of what needs to be overcome in order to reach the summit.
  4. The final step is to utilize the pathway for all possible solutions and Opportunities. Work with the team to identify one or more possible solutions to each of the concerns on the mountain. What information do you need or what additional features need to be included?
  5. Now step back and look at the bigger picture, what do you notice and where does passion and creativity lead the group, where does it inspire you? It’s time to converge and move forward with the refined and improved idea (plus a bunch more new ideas too).

This favorite tool is simple and so effective. Who’s ready to give it a shot and see some amazing results?

*(we love to use sticky notes – with one idea on each. More about this on our website)

Say What?

Yesterday I had the pleasure of delivering a Bonus Training* in Depth Story Analysis to a small group of LCF200 and 300 grads. I haven’t trained anyone in depth story analysis for some time and was pleased to have an experiential remembering of the power of diving deep into collage stories and transcripts and groups of stories beyond the first pass analysis. Pretty fun and exciting. As I am fond of saying, there’s always more you can do; there’s always more you can learn.

And this depth story analysis, while tricky to facilitate a novice team through, can deliver some pretty great insight into the land of the unarticulated.

Yep, the ever elusive and sought after unarticulated.

The word “unarticulated” is thrown around in consumer research circles a lot. So I decided to look up a definition online. Not much there … I looked up “articulated“: intelligible, clear or effective expression. Okay then, “unarticulated” may mean unintelligible, unclear or ineffective expression. And, I think in the consumer research realm “unarticulated” may also refer to that which is not said, cannot be expressed or does not want to be expressed.

So the BIG question. Once you discover, uncover, recover the unarticulated … then what??

Perhaps the most obvious answer — go check in with your target audience. My experience is when you do check in with your target there are two possible responses: #1 Heads nodding yes, that’s obvious, of course; or #2 No way! What – are you joking?!? That’s not what I think or feel at all (or I don’t want to/I’m not ready to know that about myself).

If you get response #2 does that mean you missed something or interpreted your analysis all wrong? Or might you be simply off the mark in your articulation of the unarticulated? Remember, by definition, unarticulated is something that has not been clearly and effectively expressed – something that’s not ready to be said – or something that’s not known enough to be shared. So if your target audience hasn’t articulated it how do you put words in their mouths particularly if you’re not part of the target? You get the wrong words … then what?

So I’m curious. What do you do with the unarticulated you discover??

* Bonus Trainings — the idea of offering special training events to our emerging community of LearningConnect 200 and 300 level facilitators — are something we’re playing with at IdeaConnect. For more information, drop us a note or give us a call.

Learning Something New

What can I learn through my mind’s imagination that is real and accurate, or rather how much can I really learn just through my mind, through thinking?

I keep getting this vision of Dancing with the Stars – you know, the show where stars are paired up with dancers and compete. I don’t really watch the show, but I understand the concept. And I was thinking if I wanted to learn ballroom dancing, well, what might I do?

I could read about ballroom dancing; I could get one of those books that have the dance steps illustrated with 1, 2, 3, 4 arrows; I could watch ballroom dancing on TV; I could observe others ballroom dancing live and in person; and I could do ballroom dancing myself. At what point am I learning ballroom dancing? I think this came forward for me as an example, because while I can dance, dance, dance around a room, I have no skill in paired, structured ballroom dancing at all – just ask my husband.

So at what point would I be learning ballroom dancing?

When I go to the inner for an answer, I get this image and feeling of being in a room full of air movement, the sound of fabric sweeping by me, the sounds and the movement of dancers dancing in a room. And then I have the feeling of being part of the flow, being in the movement of the dance myself. My whole body gliding in circles around a room, the centrifugal force arcing round and round and round. That’s all in my imagination – I can imagine a multi-sensory experience. But, I still have no skill in paired, structured ballroom dancing.

To really truly learn to dance I’d have to do it, be in the dance, to experience the dance physically and emotionally for myself. Without the experience I can really only guess what I would learn – head, heart, body learn.

And I’d have to choose to be fully present in each moment.

I realize this is an example of learning a physical skill. So what if what I want to learn isn’t in the physical skill realm – like, let’s say, I want to understand why a specific demographic or psychographic group interacts with a totally new-to-them product or service. How do I learn experientially then?

How would you?