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 can come together. They provide a focus point for joint attention. They can lead to outcomes that are probably far greater than what we could achieve on our own. In organisations we rightly focus effort on achieving project goals within project constraints – this is project management. But what I think gets neglected is investing in the creative thinking will help define those goals and help reach them in new ways.

The need for creative thinking in setting goals and figuring out how to achieve them is greater than ever before. The climate and ecological emergencies show us that the usual ways of thinking have failed us. We need new thinking. We need creative thinking.

I have spent much of the last five years researching, developing and teaching practical creative thinking tools. People use these tools to help develop their personal and team-level creativity in projects. Based on feedback from workshops with hundreds of engineers and other professionals, I have developed a shortlist of tools and techniques that have the most impact: either in terms of how they help people understand creativity; or how they empower people to be creative with more confidence.

My top creative thinking tools

Over the coming weeks I plan to share this shortlist of tools through videos and posts. I am sharing these tools freely because I want them to be used. Whether you are working on a project that is ‘climate-focused’ or not, every sector is going to be impacted by the response to climate breakdown, and so these tools are for every project.

I have made all these tools available under Creative Commons licence unless I have said otherwise – please share alike. Where I have worked with collaborators to develop tools they are cited – please reference them too. All I ask in addition is that if you do use these tools, please add a comment under the specific tool to tell us about it – it brings a smile and is helpful feedback.

If you are interested in getting training on any of these tools then check out the training I offer with my wonderful colleagues at Constructivist Ltd.

Creative thinking toolbox

I will list the tools broadly in the order of getting started, divergent thinking, convergent thinking and selling your ideas.


Filling the Kalideascope – inputs for creative thinking

Turning the Kalideascope – stimulating new connections

Stay tuned – more posts coming every day (OB – 30th Sept 2021)