Category: BlogPage 3 of 6

How do I know if my ideas are any good?

It’s a simple question. When I ask people what they want to get out of a training course with me on design or creativity, a common answer is…

The Structural Elements Song

Inspired by Tom Lehrer’s The Elements, I wrote the Structural Elements Song to be an itinerary to an educational world tour of structural form. Like The Elements, it…

From would you think to what do you think – avoiding hypothetical feedback

Today I’m sharing a principle of workshop design about how we gather feedback in workshops. But the principle also applies more widely to how we get feedback in…

What is conceptual design? – the defining features

For anyone attending one of my conceptual design training courses, the second question I ask is what is conceptual design*. In this post I’ll give the definition I…

How describing design as a process helps teach design

One of the first questions I ask people in my conceptual design training is can you define design as a process. In this post I explore why describing…

The Designer’s Paradox – the key to unlocking the brief

For me the Designer’s Paradox is a key concept in helping people understand what the process of design is. The term was coined by my colleague at Think…

Thinking book mark: handedness

One way I use this blog is a jotter for ideas that I’m mulling over and discussing. By having all these musings in one place, I’m creating a…

Ticket to ride winning strategies – weekend engineering works

This week’s Weekend Engineering Works post is about Ticket to Ride winning strategies. The game involves racing against other players to build a network of railway lines across…

Oliver’s Mantra for Facilitation

The facilitator comes with nothing and leaves nothing The participant comes with something and leaves with much more Oliver Broadbent

How do you know if your idea is any good?

I regularly ask this question on my ‘How to Have Better Ideas’ workshops (the sequel to ‘How to Have Ideas’). It’s a short question that triggers a wide…

The email that knocks out creative surplus

You are in a state of flow. The next action flows from the previous. You are in the moment. Then boom, in comes an email that sets off…

Merely create something today instead of worrying

When then there’s too much going on to do your creative work then merely create something. I picked up this term ‘merely’ concept from Seth Godin in this…

Apply the OOOOOO

In my second post on building creative surplus – the time and energy we need to invest in creative thinking – I describe the OOOOOO, an approach for…

Creative surplus and how to get some

Creative surplus is what you invest in order to create new ideas. Like operating surplus – or profit – it is what is left over when an organisation…

I want to be a ski-lift engineer when I grow up

That’s what my 8-year-old daughter said to me yesterday. Truth be told, I’d been talking earlier in the week about ski-lift engineering as a job that combines so…

Does your project need a creative boost?

Here’s four things you can do straight away to give your project a creative boost. Write down the brief. What are you trying to do? Who are you…

Start building daily creative habits today

You are a world class performer at living your typical day. No one else has practised the precise set of habits, in the same precise sequence that makes…

What is more important than how

It’s a phrase I picked up a long time ago from Tim Ferriss and it has stuck. What you do is much more important than how you do…

Think, feel, do – shorter emails

I picked up this tip at home yesterday – thanks Mary. It’s a formula for getting to the point when writing emails. What do you want the person…

Two facilitation lessons from Strictly

Facilitation means making something easier. It isn’t about controlling; it’s about following, listening and enabling. In a workshop setting, it’s about having the confidence to let go of…

Seneca says don’t be scruffy – trawling this blog for sales advice

Today I’m preparing for a session I’m giving at the University of Cambridge tomorrow on how to sell ideas. To help prepare, I’m going back through old posts…

Asking what if – change the frame for new ideas

Asking what if. It’s my go-to technique for stimulating rapid idea generation in groups. In this post, the latest in my series on creative thinking tools for projects,…

Use your Professional Palette

We move now in my series of posts on tools for creative thinking from gathering inputs to stimulating new connections. This is what I call ‘Turning the Kalideacope‘….

Preparing the colours for your Professional Palette

There are some inputs to our creative process that we build up over time so that we are ready to draw on them whenever we work on a…

Creative thinking tools for projects: the Eiffel Over guide

We need creative thinking tools in our project toolkit to get the most out the opportunities that a new project offers. Projects provide a setting in which people…

Global zoom confession

I have a confession to make. Sometimes, when online meetings are getting really dull, I gaze at the globe on my desk and search for islands. My eye…

Weekend engineering works – near Weston-Super-Mare

Today engineers completed work on a major new irrigation channel to bring drinking water to a major new coastal development on Sand Bay, near Weston-Super-Mare. The 60-metre-long new…

Farewell Beethoven

Off-topic, but I feel we rarely capture and talk about moments of grief. Between facilitation sessions today I listened to the final episode of Radio 3’s year-long Composer…

Filling the Kalideascope – inputs from colleagues

Together, the people around you know so much more than you do. In my last post for now on Filling the Kalideacope – gathering inputs for the creative…

Filling the Kalideascope – previous projects

Humans tend be to attracted to novelty – Oo, the shiny new thing – but sometimes what we need is in what we know already. This post is…