Individual brainstorming: Finding a strapline for a new website

July 26, 2016

 

 

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As a one-time practitioner of brainstorming approaches, I found myself recently putting the rather old-fashioned technique to use.  I needed a strap-line (marketing slogan) for a new web-page.  I report on the results as a case example for entrepreneurs, project leaders and creative designers.

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I dreamed I couldn’t see the future and like Caliban I cried

October 21, 2015

CalibanIt’s Back To The Future day. I remembered how in The Tempest Caliban dreams sweet dreams and cries piteously on waking up

I did have a dream last night. It was soon after a discussion on BTTF on Newsnight with the wonderful Peter Snow. In my dream I was defending an assertion that there was no way of seeing the future. I was in a lecture room among mostly friendly academics. That bit of the dream is possible if relatively rare.

How can you say that? I was asked. It goes against all your writings on creativity. Still in my dream, I produced a yellowing diagram. It was a flow chart showing how creative ideas can be produced systematically. It seemed close to something I might have written about in the 1980s. I struggled to explain it, to defend the claim I had made by reference to it.

I woke up more than a little disturbed. It was then I remembered Caliban’s speech. Shakespeare has given the monster a beautiful exposition of human aspirations.

Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will hum about mine ears, and sometime voices
That, if I then had waked after long sleep,
Will make me sleep again: and then, in dreaming,
The clouds methought would open and show riches
Ready to drop upon me that, when I waked,
I cried to dream again.

Ho Hum.

Happy BTTF day.


What I want to become: An exercise in creative leadership

May 11, 2014

Here’s an exercise in creative leadership. It takes five minutes to complete. Try it out for yourself or for your friends or with people you work with

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You can do this exercise using an A4 sheet of paper, or a flip chart or using a computer or tablet. I will describe it for working with a sheet of paper but it is easy to translate for working from a flip chart or computer.

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1 First you take a piece of paper and make two columns by drawing a line vertically down the middle of the page

2 Then at the top of the left hand column you write
I want to become ……

3 Then you complete the sentence with your wished-for future dream in no more than three additional words. It may be a professional wish or a personal one.

4 At the top of the right hand column write a statement about some quite different wish. You can select from this list of wishes suggested to me in the past. Select something as far away as possible from your statement in the left-hand column:

Airline pilot
Nobel Prize winning scientist
Famous explorer
Famous peace maker
Role model for children
Olympic athlete
Respected family person
Great teacher

5 Write down quickly ten ideas that would help you or someone else achieve the wish in the right-hand column. Let your imagination rip

6 Take a short break

7 Now turn your attention to the left-hand column

8 Look at the first item on the right and see what needs to be changed for it to suggest something in the left hand column

9 Write down the first thought that seems to connect with your own wish, opposite the first item on the right.

10 Repeat the process with the next item from the right hand column

11 Keep repeating the process. It will always be possible to find a connection for each idea

12 Take another short break before identifying idea you like most for a first step towards you reaching your dream

Why the exercise works and what might prevent it working

I know the exercise work because colleagues and I have tried it out on creativity courses around the world countless times. I expect it to have worked for you as a subscriber to Leaders We Deserve. The basic principles are derived from application of techniques for re-framing thoughts and visualizing future actions.

Sometimes it doesn’t work. There are various possible explanations for this. Most are to do with the specific circumstances under which the exercise was carried out. If it didn’t work for you, A conversation though the comments section of LWD may be found helpful. You can also find out more from courses and many books about creative problem-solving.


The case of the Bradford Batman

March 4, 2013

BatmanStop Press: A man dressed as Batman walks into a police station in Bradford in Yorkshire, and hands over a wanted man into custody. What’s all that about?

This may be a story which breaks before I have time to publish it. It may still be of use for lecturers looking for a ‘warm-up’ class room exercise in creative problem-solving or even leadership.

Background [March 4th 2013]

The police apprehend the youth. Man in Batman outfit escapes. No prior information about the alleged criminal had been released to the public.

What might have happened?

Suggestions welcomed. A publicity stunt? An off-duty police officer who does not want to become known to associates of the person brought in?

Later

Later, [March 7th 2013] the identities of the suspect and Batman were revealed:

A man who was handed over to police by a friend dressed as Batman has admitted trying to cash a stolen cheque he said he found in the street. Daniel Frayne appeared at Bradford magistrates court nearly a fortnight after he was taken into a police station in the city by Stan Worby, who had dressed as the caped crusader while watching his team Bradford City play Swansea in the Capital One Cup final at Wembley.