Brainstorming is a common way of getting a group of people to generate ideas. However, they can be overused and/or badly used. A good brainstorm should be thoughtfully planned with a well-framed question. Take a look at our tips on how to run a successful brainstorming session.
This is a tool used in guided conversation between a “first listener” (a catalyst) and the ideas person (the practical innovator).
When ideas are submitted, it’s the role of the catalyst or manager to sit with the innovator and help them think through the idea. This is a very good way to refine ideas when they come through an ideas management system or even before they go into it.
This conversation is a sure way to improve the quality of the ideas that are submitted. It provides the chance to test the viability of an idea, clarify the problem and the impact wanted, and even to improve or change the idea so it will work better.
When employees are asked to come up with ideas, use the sheet during the necessary conversation. Download your copy of the Catalyst Chat Sheet.
Change the Question is a tool that will help you come up with new opportunities simply by changing the questions you ask.
It is very easy to get stuck in patterns of thinking which have been defined by existing situations and assumptions. This activity prompts different questions and usually different answers. The answers themselves may not be the right ones, but they should open up some new thinking. Take a look at the activity sheet.
To really understand customer needs you need to see the other person’s world the way they see it, appreciate the other person as a human being, understand how the other person feels and look for things that frustrate and delight. Download our Customer Tools for help with understanding your customers’ unmet or unarticulated needs.
Does your organisation's culture foster and recognise innovations and innovators from all levels and parts of the organisation?
Is it easy for all employees to implement new ways of doing things and doing new things?
This guide is for those who have learned that people—employees—are an organisation’s most valuable resource for developing a positive climate for innovation. It will provide an overview of changing the innovation climate in your organisation by inspiring your employees to engage in innovation so you get successful innovation as well as enhanced performance.
This template provides guidelines for a qualitative assessment of your organisation’s performance in innovation. The assessment process uses as benchmarks an adaptation of Darrell Mann's internationally recognised Innovation Capability Maturity Model, aligned to the Hargraves Institute's Principles of Innovation, as they apply to The Catalyst Approach and the Innovator Recognition Program (IRP®).
Things that get measured, get done. Download our metrics process that will help you develop your own metrics scorecard.
This tool has been designed for you to gather evidence for recognition or credentials. It will also help you think through your next steps in your career progression. It captures important experiences so that you can use them in interviews to show evidence of innovation, collaboration, team work and so on; kick start the recognition process or apply for a credential.
When you have completed a project, or implemented an innovation, work through the questions and take notes on the map. Download your copy of our Mindset Map.
Other Views is a tool that will help you get different perspectives. Considering an idea from other perspectives can increase and improve the ideas generated, because people are being forced to think differently. Our activity sheet will show you how you can do this.
It's followed by an exercise "What Would Steve Jobs Do?", where you have to come up with solutions and ideas from the perspective of a well-known innovator or leader. This is a good way to help people think “big and different”. Download the activity and exercise sheets.
Pitch Perfect is a guideline that will help to get team members to think through the audience perspective when they are pitching an idea. When presenting ideas people often think about what they want to say rather than what the audience (often decision makers) wants to hear. This activity provides some key questions to consider before the presentation.
Find Your Message is a model that will help you establish a clear and concise summary of an idea. In presenting an idea, the presenter needs to be certain of the message behind the idea that s/he is delivering, in order to make a positive and convincing impact. Download both activity sheets.
Download this useful tool that will help you think through the best way to test your idea.
This tool can be used to make decisions about which concepts are going to be the most effective for your business. When you have a lot of ideas you need a way to systematically work through them to decide which ones have potential now, later, in different circumstances, or not at all. Take a look at our Traffic Light Filter worksheet, it will show you how to use it and provide tips on getting the best results.
It’s very important to trial quickly and comprehensively. Make sure there is room for refinement and change. Download this template and it will help you plan an evaluation of your innovation.