Save the Children, CNN, Cartoon Network and Time Warner. We’ve helped
them all to find new ways to make money or save money. To transform lives
and make ideas happen. We have scores of case histories to show it.
We’ve helped them...
Create ground breaking new products and serviceszz
Strengthen relationships with their clientszz
Save millions in costs... and make millions in sales!zz
Find new ways to win big contractszz
Find and train their future leaders to think of better ideas to improve performancezz
think helps individuals and teams in the best organisations
in the world create and implement innovative ideas.
Cover credit: Architect Santiago Calatrava
This is the
Welcome to think
think — global innovation management02 03think — global innovation management
07 — The biggest paradox of our time
08 — What does think do?
10 — Consultancy
12 — Workshops
16 — Events
18 — Training
24 — think, how we do it
26 — Brainstorming doesn’t work
28 — Structured framework of
an ongoing process
30 — Do you ever stop what you
do and think?
32 — Who do we work with?
36 — Case studies
46 — think benefits
54 — 3 things to start doing now
Helping people and organisations
become more nimble by boosting
their ability to innovate.
all over the
world, so when
hire a consultant
from think, they
will get results.
think has had some exceptional successes since
it began in the United Kingdom (UK) in 2006.
The following pages of this brochure capture
some of the excitement we have started. The
UK has an outstanding reputation for creativity,
from the Beatles in the 60’s to Damien Hurst
today; and continues to be a centre for innovation
excellence. It therefore comes as no surprise that
think was established first in the UK. Now think
is unleashing extraordinary, transformational and
sustainable innovation in businesses all around
the world through a network of unique Innovation
+44 7802 201405
+34 633 962 145
Why did they put a
man on the moon
before they invented
wheels on luggage?
what is the biggest business
of our time?
The business world finally believes that creativity
is the key to their future success. It’s no longer
business as usual, it’s business unusual. Creativity
means innovation in products and services, different
business propositions driven by better understanding
of the market, breaking down “normal” processes,
enhanced customer experiences, more direct response
integrated marketing and more effective communications.
It means transformation of the business model and
radical, brave moves forward, making waves through
the more coherent target audiences. It means following
in the footsteps of companies like Apple and Google –
both of which have risen to market leadership by placing
creativity at the heart of everything they do.
A survey by IBM of 1500 CEOs, in 60 countries,
across 33 industry sectors, shows it’s easy to see why so
many business leaders are sharing their belief in creativity
as the key driver of business success. Whilst a majority
are quick to express their belief in creativity, far fewer are
prepared to actually do anything about it. The survey
shows 77% of respondents don’t take creativity into
account when writing business strategy, and 89% never
discuss it at Board meetings. In IBM’s study, more than
half the CEOs said they were ill equipped to manage it.
It seems like the biggest business paradox of
our time: The thing acknowledged as the most
important driver of business success is the thing
that business seem to systematically ignore.
The most telling statistic from the survey is the
56% of respondents who say that they’d like to be
more creative but don’t know how. Not only is creativity
something that few business leaders have been trained to
participate in but it’s something that a great many of them
have been taught to actively avoid.
This is the opportunity for fast-moving
organisations to respond. So, if you want to seize the
opportunity to drive a successful future, turn up the
volume, find some energy and engage with people who
can help you be extraordinary, then please get in touch.
Organisations are going to have
to out–think their competitors
It’s no longer
business as usual...
it’s business unusual.
What’s needed, if organisations are to take advantage of the route to
future success, is a comprehensive re-education in thought processes
and decision-making; a new mind-set for the creative age.
think — global innovation management06 07the biggest business paradox of our time
thinkdo? The best creative thinking happens
on the front lines. You just need to
encourage it. Make it clear where you
are going and what achievements are
important to you. What is special about
the task and what will happen if they are
We are passionate about helping
organisations thrive and prepare for the
future - whatever it may look like. Unlocking
creative thinking with process and pace.
Innovation Management – is not only WHAT
we do – it’s ALL we do!
We work alongside our clients to enable them to manage
both sides of the innovation management equation –
the people and the process. The balance is critical and
getting it right is what enables innovation to flourish.
It is possible to ensure you have leaders who
inspire innovation behaviours and it is possible to create
stimulating cultures and upskill individuals, but without
the right systems and procedures in place, innovation
often flounders. At think we approach innovation with
people first but also manage the infrastructure required
to support that work.
We are a global team of innovation professionals.
Each of our consultants has years of senior level
management experience and is also a fully trained
innovation management professional.
We are experts in the innovation field - an area in
which we have been working and developing for many
years. Like many good ideas, our journey began with
frustration. think was born out of an advertising agency
– outside the box – we kept asking ourselves these
questions “why are so many of our clients lacking the
courage and the skills to be creative with us? Why do they
think they are not creative thinkers – they are – we all are!”
We began decoding what it was that we did –
How did we think? How did we create ideas? How did we
create a culture that supported creativity and innovation?
We started to notice that we did things differently from
our clients and we analysed why. We published a book
– called ‘think’ and it became a best seller in the field
We were invited to lecture all over the world on the
subject of innovation management and were brought in
as valued consultants to support organisations to develop
Now, ten years on we have consultants all over
the world and our network of innovation management
professionals is growing all the time. There’s also another
book, Making Waves, which takes you from creating a
marketing idea to seeing it fully realised.
At the centre of our work is the thinkWell a
unique knowledge management system that enables our
network of professionals to share best practice, research,
insights and inspiration from all over the world. We are of
course finding that what works in India works in Italy and
what works in Canada works in Cameroon.
Having think all over the world gives us an
exciting perspective and our continual learning (endlessly
curious) model enables us to always offer our clients
world class advice and support for their innovation
We are proud to work with some of the biggest
and best organisations in the world – some of them
thinking about 2020, some 2050 and one asking us to
think 1000 years ahead with them! No matter how far
ahead or deep, or wide their thinking is, it is not just their
understanding that will make the difference, but their
behaviours, Creative thinking with process and pace will
protect them in the future.
09what does think do?think — global innovation management08
We work with clients to understand the future they need to
create. Then we work with them to design and support the
right innovation programme, motivating and mobilising the
organisation for the changes needed.
Each programme is unique but here are some
examples of our consulting initiatives:
Open Innovation (OI) is prevalent in world class
organisations. OI invites new innovative ideas from inside
and outside an organisation based around a structure
of strategic challenges. We have developed techniques
to help develop internal systems for our clients. We also
recommend the best idea management system to suit
We have a programme to ensure clients are ready to
fully embrace innovation. Embedding innovation into
the DNA of an organisation is never easy but is always
worthwhile. Using our processes you will successfully
create a structure around innovation, develop teams and
an infrastructure to ensure its long-term effectiveness
– Sustainable innovation is the goal.
One 2 Ones
How often do you get time to download your thinking?
We act as an intelligent sounding board to enable you
and your top team to unload and unravel their thinking.
Each one to one is private and a plan is created around a
summary of the challenges, topics and ideas covered.
We create a model of the flow of innovation in the
organisation and then consider the areas where it flows,
leaks or blocks. We look at innovation touchpoints, to see
where innovation is, and where it should be.
Innovation Health and Safety
Health and safety in organisations is not just physical,
it’s also mental. It is critical for innovation and creative
thinking that stress is reduced and that risk is tolerated.
Morale and motivation need to be in an excellent state for
creative thinking to happen.
When you recruit new people at any level in the
organistion they are in a unique position for up to six
months. They can bring fresh ideas that have worked
in their previous employment and they do this with
the inside knowledge of your organisation. They can
compare the two. This provides really fresh thinking but
with an informed view.
Outside In and Inside Out
As part of our initial consulting we will identify people in
your organisation who would benefit from secondment
to other organisations. You can also learn how others
approach innovation from outside your organisation.
Who would you like to come in to share their knowledge
We run programmes with senior leaders to co-create
the optimal innovation management solution for each
organisation. Once the design is agreed, we work with
your internal teams to ensure the plan is implemented
with the pace and professionalism we know gets results.
think is a brilliant source of energy and ideas
to help you broaden your horizons
think is like the grit that creates the
pearl. Our consultancy initiatives inspire
and educate, but most of all stimulate
the spark that will make the changes in
your organisation that you desire.
We are keen on results and we want to get them as soon
as possible. We love to make sure things are done well.
We get into the detail and we move fast.
Our consulting is all about ensuring that you and your organisation are
ready for the future. We ask a lot of questions and then we recommend a clear
and logical solution that meets your requirements. Every client is unique but
the principles of managing successful innovation programmes and unlocking
creative talent are not. We take the tried and tested best practice from our
consultants working in the biggest and best organisations around the world
and ensure it fits your organisation perfectly. As innovation begins with people
that’s where we always start. We get to know the aspirations, values and
vision of your team and we ensure that any work we do aligns with those. We
recommend practical, tried and tested support that includes a range of people
and process elements.
think — global innovation management10 11what does think do?
Improve relationships with customersand suppliers
by engaging in collaborativeworkshops
Clients use our Pick ‘n’ Mix menu of workshops
to create their own programme. Here are some examples:
‘One Day to think’
Normally run with teams of up to 30 people and designed
to work on a wide range of opportunities. We embed
thinking tools experientially. This enables teams to create
innovative ideas (for a new product, a new service, a new
way of working – on any business issue or opportunity).
Fast. Effective. Efficient. Fun.
In the current Western economic climate a really popular
workshop is to “find the money”. Organisations work
with think to gather stakeholders from across their
organisation with the aim of either making more money
or saving more money. We explore innovative ways to
achieve the goal of finding one million pounds, euros,
Power of Three (Po3)
The Po3 workshop fully embraces the need for fresh
input of new ideas. Po3 invites three organisations – one
of them a charity (they come for free) to meet for a one-
day workshop. Each organisation brings a team of up
to 10 people and one issue. During the workshop you
will work on three different issues, which keeps it fresh
and interesting for everyone – and provides you with an
external perspective. It is so much more interesting to
work on someone else’s challenge!
Forget the lunch break, this is a mind break – speed
dating for creating ideas and freshening up a team’s
thinking. This enables teams to think in interesting and
new ways – all in one lunchtime.
New Product Development (NPD)
NPD workshops are designed to engage and inspire
fresh new thinking and then filter these ideas, selecting
the best solutions to move forward with. Speed to market
is always key as we work through our specially designed
process to get the great products out there fast.
Improve relationships with customers and suppliers by
engaging in collaborative workshops, working creatively
together to create win – wins. Pick your most important
customer or supplier and use think to drive through
better ways of working or better solutions to the key
issues. So much more effective than another day at
Drawing on The Right Side
An inspiring workshop where your thoughts and ideas
are literally ‘drawn’ out using a facilitator and an illustrator.
Artists work with our clients during the workshop and the
images become a lasting reference / touch point for all
participants to refer back to – no more stuffy piles
We use workshops to engage, co-operate
and collaborate whilst embedding
the skills needed to sustain innovation.
We custom-build workshops to your
individual requirements, but think has also
created an array of generic workshops that
you can use, safe in the knowledge that
they have been delivered successfully all
over the world.
think — global innovation management12 13what does think do?
Accelerated Solution Team
Our Accelerated Solution workshop works quickly with
your team to tackle high pressure, time short projects. A
fast paced workshop where we create insights and ideas
with a focused team in two hours. A brain workout, real
solutions real decisions – fast.
Come to Your Senses
This workshop is a totally fresh idea where participants
bring elements from all the senses to help them think in
new ways about a range of topics from branding to NPD.
What flavour is your brand?
Workshop on key issues for the company that culminates
in a Dragons Den. We set up the final presentations of
the newly generated ideas with real Dragons from inside
and outside your organisation. You will be amazed at the
impact this will have on your team.
This workshop is a specially designed “creative
challenge” workshop for new people coming into a
company who have creative thinking and / or innovation
as a key competence. This can be developed as part of
your induction process.
Customer Design Experience
We marry your business drivers with customer needs to
create unique, engaging, effective, customer experiences
that define business strategies. Create world class
customer journeys through mapping the ‘moments
that matter’ and then thinking creatively about those, to
engineer solutions that amaze and delight customers.
Sometimes coming up with the ideas is not the challenge
it’s what to do with them all. This workshop takes a
bucket of ideas that have previously been created
and works with the team using idea selection tools
A Bit RACI
Ensure the team is ready at the start of a project by
working together to decide who is Responsible, who
is Accountable and who is going to be Consulted and
Informed – it works and saves a lot of time and tears
Success in innovation – as in all things – begins with
No one really knows what is going to happen so how
can we get ready for anything? We design and facilitate
a number of scenario planning workshops that broaden
thinking and build flexibility.
Plan it – Time Travel
Working together the team creates a physical time line –
literally on the floor and they can then WALK forwards in
time and look over the issues. How can we work smarter
and leaner together? How can we do it quicker? What
issues can we anticipate?
If you become great at what
you do, it sets you apart
Workshops are a way of helping your
team to thrive, embrace the changes
you need, challenge the tension
between the old and the new and foster
a state of constant innovation.
Sometimes coming up with
the ideas is not the challenge
it’s what to do with them all
think — global innovation management14 15what does think do?
Our events make an impact – they cause disruption – they
generate debate and discussion, energy and evolution.
Sponsored by an organisation, we invite top level (CEOs,
senior management, senior executives) individuals to
stay at Windsor Castle over two days to discuss an
issue. The event is facilitated and all the conversations
are recorded. Publishing a cutting edge paper from St
George’s House in Windsor adds weight to any initiative.
Because of the high-end nature of these events, they tend
to be ‘conversations’ or ‘light touch’ facilitation rather than
having a tight schedule.
Use Mobile media to engage your team and invite them
to a Company Flash mob group think.
You need to get out more and so do your team. You need
to get out and see what is going on in other companies,
in the high street, wherever your customers are, or from
like-minded organisations. Armed with recorders, note
pads, digital cameras we get out and observe what
is going on in the jungle. The insights are then used
to create ideas and inspire new thinking. If there is a
particular issue you are dealing with, we look to see
which organisation has solved the same issue – then
we organise a trip for your people to meet with them to
A Walk in the Zoo
You think best when you are moving and a walk is
perfect. We walk and talk in stimulating and interesting
places – walks take place anywhere and any time
globally. Typically a walk is a minimum of two hours with
groups of 2 to 8. Each walk is followed by some reflection
time to take notes on the thinking. Every business issue,
every business strategy is found in the animals in the
Zoo. We can learn a lot from their survival techniques.
Your subconscious mind is much better at creative
thinking than your conscious mind. We encourage
daydreaming and even coach people on how to do it. It is
fun, relaxing and a very effective way to create new ideas.
Stretch your Horizons
Thinking at sea is an amazing experience. We take teams
of 4 to 6 for a sailing adventure – time to think and the
opportunity to work together as a team whilst learning a
new skill. Want a big idea? Get into a big space.
Don’t do talking heads all day, create Zones for
participants to walk around and engage with. If they play
they learn. Get the audience involved in active leaning
and they will enjoy it. People forget what you say but they
will never forget how you made them feel.
We will give world-class presentations on Innovation.
We have visually stimulating presentations and have
cutting edge global information.
Want a big idea,
get into a big space
Exciting venues, world
class thinking all designed
to wake your brain up.
It’s a big world out there. Lets embrace
it together – but lets do it in a smart way.
You possess only a finite amount of
energy, as does your business, so lets
make the most of it.
think — global innovation management16 17what does think do?
We have unique training courses in the following areas:
Absorption – how to start a task in the right way.
Explosion – idea generation.
Consolidation – how to select the best ideas.
Action – how to make things happen.
Capitalisation – how to measure performance,
and learn from it.
Training courses range from one day to five days
and are calibrated to the experience of the attendees.
Here is an example of a five day training course.
All the successful, global organisations are
investing in training their staff to think creatively so
don’t get left behind – are YOU ready for the Creative
During this fascinating, active, challenging, practical and
participative five-day course, you will learn to think about
how you think. You will take a journey though the human
mind to consider how your mind works and how you can
tap into superior levels of thinking to vastly improve your
success in work and life.
You will learn the secrets of professional creative
thinkers and leave with the tools and techniques that you
can readily adapt in your workplace.
Course Timing: Registration will be at 8:00 on Day One.
The course will commence at 8:30 and conclude 14:30.
There will be two networking and refreshment breaks at
10:30 and 12:30.
Absorption – Understanding Innovation And Creativity
What is creativity and innovation?zz
Exercise: Consideration of the best examples from
around the world? – you will have been asked to bring
in what you consider to be good examples and you can
discuss them in addition to discussing companies like
Ikea, Lego, Dyson, Nokia and Virgin Atlantic.
How do brains work in general and why do you getzz
stuck in a rut?
How does your brain work and how is that differentzz
Why is it critical that you use your head?zz
How can you get the most out of learning how otherzz
How can you model others’ thinking patterns in orderzz
to increase your own creativity?
Creative Exercise: Initial understanding of the types of
issues where you have to be creative.
Consideration of the principle behaviours that lead tozz
more creative thinking.
Embedding new techniques and new behaviours that you
can take back to work and implement the very next day.
Training is different to workshops and events
because we train skills, not necessarily working
on your organisation’s issues or opportunities.
We can train some of your key people
to pass on the techniques we have created
think — global innovation management18 19what does think do?
Explosion – Creative Thinking Tools and
Experimentation (Part A)
Specific creative thinking and innovation techniqueszz
The theory of and the practical experimentation withzz
– Mind mapping
– Morphological Matrix
– Random word generation
– Future thinking into 2020
– Time line planning
– Visioning using NLP techniques
– Train the Trainer
Exercise: A journey into NLP – Creative visualisation and
language: if you can imagine it you can create it!
Linguistics – the language of success vs. thezz
language of failure
Convergence vs. divergencezz
Explosion – Creative Thinking Tools and
Experimentation (Part B)
Brand stretch – think into new areas and consider newzz
Exercise: Crazy pairs – working with others expands
Consideration of the systems and procedures in work –zz
do they support or destroy innovation and creativity?
Exploration of both intrinsic and extrinsic factors thatzz
lead to a creative work space
Experimentation with painting and sculpturezz
Exercise: Creation of a personal toolkit of idea creation
Consolidation – Idea Selection: How To Ensure You Get
The Best Ideas
Consideration of the diffusion of innovationzz
Consideration of risk managementzz
Testing Specific consolidation tools – such as Criticalzz
Success Factors (CSF) and idea mapping
Writing creative briefs and how to assess creative workzz
Exercise: Consideration of your specific business issues
– teams will apply the thinking to each others issues and
use the skills.
Action Planning – Getting On With It!
The secrets to continually improving your creativezz
Presentation skills and rapport skills – once you havezz
mastered thinking you need to know how to sell your
Create a personalised creative and innovation actionzz
plan using the model for time line planning
Innovation Clinic: Consideration of your specific
challenges – one to one consultancy
Questions and Answer
Awards For Participation and Completion
of the Course
If you are not learning new skills, new ways to innovate
- how are you going to succeed?
You will learn the
secrets of professional
think — global innovation management20 21what does think do?
Never make assumptions. Elephants
are not good at hearing with their ears
they listen through their feet, picking
we do it
The foundation to our work is the think Innovation
process which has five distinct phases. Developed since
1993, we know the process works to consistently deliver
Divergent to convergent thinking
We view our process through the lens of divergent
and convergent thinking. This is the fundamental value
of think. We help clients link the controlled chaos of
divergent thinking with the focused commercialism of
The absorption and explosion phases encourage
divergent thinking among multiple stakeholders inside
and outside your organisation. From the consolidation
phase onwards divergent thinking transitions to
convergent thinking as the portfolio of ideas is selected
and narrowed down.
If ideas then survive this phase we help with their
planning and launch in the action phase and manage
and measure their return on investment in the
The risk increases as you progress through the
five stages. Because its only when you start to select
ideas to run with and discard some ideas that the
jeopardy begins. Chosen ideas take time and financial
investment to get to market. Discarded ideas – well, if
you are not careful you could be losing some of your
best ideas! n
We bring pace and focus to your innovation
initiatives – using our unique processes
think — global innovation management24 25think, how we do it
We all know the scenario: lots of people gather in a room to
brainstorm a strategy, product idea, tag line, or mission statement.
Veterans approach cynically, new recruits think it will
be fun, and after an hour — or two or three — has
passed, they all emerge drained, depressed, and
Why is this a recurrent story?
Some academics in Texas set out to understand what
goes wrong in brainstorming. Nicholas Kohn and
Steven Smith’s analysis is impressive, not least because
it reflects an appreciation that the executives who do
brainstorming are also human beings.
This means that they become anxious about their
own contributions; in academic parlance, they suffer
from ‘evaluation apprehension’, meaning that they worry
people will think their wild ideas are foolish.
Sometimes there are too many ideas and we
can’t keep them all in our heads. Then there’s the
phenomenon psychologists call ‘social loafing’, which we
probably all recognise: the people who sit at the back of
the room contributing nothing at all.
Only slightly less lazy is ‘social matching’, which
means that we are very likely to contribute lots of ideas
so similar to each other as to be indistinguishable; it
feels like we’re making a contribution, but the range and
variety of suggestions remains small. Conformity plays a
big part here; our desire to belong restricts the breadth of
ideas we might think of but don’t dare to offer, it reduces
creativity and increases conformity.
Moreover, creativity declines with time. In
experiments, students from AM University were asked
to come up with ideas for improving their school. After
twenty minutes, their ideas were coded (for variety,
novelty, quantity and range of categories), and what was
striking was how fast the group ran out of steam: the first
five minutes were the most productive.
Most intriguing of all was that brainstorming
alone proved to be more effective than brainstorming
collectively. In those first five minutes, participants who
sat at a computer and generated ideas came up with
44 percent more ideas than those in a group. This
challenges received wisdom that says groups of people
will come up with a wider range of ideas than similar
minded people or those working alone. But what it takes
into account is that when we come together, like it or not,
we all start to become a little homogenized. What this
finding implies is that the way to get the creative value
of diversity – and every company we know finds this a
challenge – is to encourage people to develop ideas
alone, and only then bring them together.
Some of our thinking techniques
This is a technique used to develop the
understanding of a brand or brands. This
technique clarifies the personality of a brand, who
its target audience is, its uniqueness and how best
to communicate its attributes. Anything can be a
brand; a product, a service, a person – can all be
The reason we use a pyramid is to
emphasise the need to build a brand on solid
foundations. To this end we start at the bottom of a
pyramid with who the consumer of the product is
/ whom are we selling to; there are nine stages of
the process which concludes with the overriding
message we wish to portray about the brand.
This technique is a portal and can be used
in conjunction with other techniques.
This is a technique used to encourage a holistic
view. It challenges our minds to look at as many
aspects as possible. It is a vital precursor to
creative thinking and innovation that you know
as much as possible about the subject you are
considering. The more knowledge you have the
more you can challenge what exists in order to
discover new ways.
This is a profiling technique originally created by
Dr Susan Dillinger: an American psychologist. This
technique will enable your group to understand
who’s who, and what they are like. It also enables
you to set the tone of the day, talking about how to
empathise and support each other’s personality –
it also helps with conflict resolution.
What do you wish you had known 20 years ago
that you know now? This technique gives you the
benefit of hindsight in the future!
This Macro Scenario approach moves
participant’s thinking, 20 years into the future by
looking 20 years in the past.
This technique gives perspective and
comparison to “change”. There have been major
changes over the past 20 years, in any industry/
sector and it helps the group to look back and
consider the number of changes and the speed
of change – and how their way of working has
been revolutionised. This then gives them the
grounding to look forward over the next 20 years
and to consider the great changes that could
happen. Literally saying, “if that’s what’s happened
over the past 20 years – and the speed of change
is increasing – what can we expect over the next
This method is simple – and in thirty minutes can
produce lots of ideas! This technique really works
well if there are people in your team who are being
overpowered by other team members – it allows
the quieter more thoughtful people to get their
ideas across. This technique can work well when
you need to lower the noise level within the group.
It does however work best when the group has
already had some time to think of some ideas prior
to using this technique.
Tapping into the world of neuroscience we have
developed a technique for teams to “come to their
senses”. Olfactory and other sensory cues are
hardwired into our brains’ limbic system, the seat
of emotion – so once triggered they stimulate vivid
This technique encourages the use of all the
senses of Sight, Smell, Touch, Sound and Taste
(and possibly a sixth sense), this enables you to
move your thinking into fresh areas, for example
gain new insights into your brand. This expands
current ideas about your brand by asking
questions like: What does your brand, product,
service “Smell” like?
This will give you new insights, unique
words and fresh ideas.
Frugal innovation is a hot topic today as post-
downturn economies look for ways to do more
for less. This will require practicing the gutsy art
of Jugaad. The Hindi term roughly translates as
“overcoming harsh constraints by improvising
an effective solution using limited resources”. We
call it the art of creative improvisation – within a
framework of deep knowledge and experience.
There are many applications for this
product, for this example we will use Mad or Sad
as the method of creating the initial ideas.
This method is simple: We all know what a JigSaw
puzzle looks like, but this Jigsaw has no image
yet. Break down a product or service into its
component parts, consider these parts separately
and then recombine them to find new solutions.
Deconstruction / reconstruction. On an idea per
second basis, no other technique can beat this
What would you do if you took an important aspect
of your service away forcing you to rethink your
proposition? Often it is the elements of a product
or service that are seen to be essential that get in
the way of fresh thinking.
This exercise aims to generate fresh, new ideas
by linking random words with your innovation
or objective. By taking a step away from rational
thinking and the limits you place on your thoughts,
you’re able to open your mind to a whole new level
of creativity. This forces you to think differently!
RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted,
Informed) charting is a systematic and collective
Identify all activities, tasks, and decisionszz
Clarify roles and individual levels of participationzz
Get those involved in the project togetherzz
By getting them involved they are more likelyzz
to “buy-in” to the RACI that is produced and
complete the activities.
It’s a versatile tool:
Distribution of workzz
Documentation of procedureszz
think — global innovation management26 27Brainstorming doesn’t work
of an ongoing process
You will have much better results with
an ongoing programme of activity
The workflow diagram aims to reflect the cyclical
activity of a typical innovation programme
Gain deep understanding of the challenge
Create, invent, ideate solutions to the challenges
Filter, select, develop ideas into implementable
Implement, embed and deliver the solution.
Action can occur over a longer term delivery but
it is important to develop the implementation
plans in phases
Measure, assess, maintain solution
What does an innovation culture feel like and
how do we create it?
Consider skills, motivation, philosophy, ways
of working, Innovation champions, who would
How could we best embed and maintain
momentum for innovation?
Consider structures, communication,
Where can technology support this process?
What systems can we implement, who would
use them, how would this work?
Where should we innovate first?
What significant projects (events) would most
benefit from being in the innovation spotlight?
People have ideas not companies.zz
Networks innovate not individuals.zz
Open suggestion boxes lead to suggestionszz
about the coffee machine.
Focused requests for ideas lead to solutions tozz
the specific challenge.
Making innovation work well requires effort andzz
Innovation is about the integration of people andzz
systems – people first!
Ideas are the foundation of innovation.zz
Ideas can come from inside and outside thezz
Neutral facilitation of the process leads to trustzz
– engaging people, building relationships
There are four initial steps to explore
before the ongoing process gets going
Typical activity 1
Typical activity 2
Typical activity 3
Typical activity 4
Typical activity 5
For example: What additional services could
Keep participants motivated with
Keep your activity action orientated.
People want to see their work be successful
An event (either virtual or real) provides focus and
forces thinking to be specific to the challenge
For example: How can we grow profits by an additional 15%
this year by saving costs?
Active support /
the process by the
of innovation and
set to innovating
Events are specific business
challenges given to your participants
Feedback what has been
learned from previous activities
think — global innovation management28 29Focused innovation
think helps organisations increase growth and
shareholder value by generating great new ideas from
inside and outside their business.
Our success as an innovation management
company is based on the unique process and analysis
tools we have developed over many years to elicit new
ideas and business strategies and to align teams
Working with organisations globally.
To survive and thrive, organisations need to be
constantly innovating. Ideas drive this innovation process,
and creativity is the fuel for creating the ideas.
To future proof your organisation against this
world of dizzying change, creativity needs to be baked
into your organisations DNA, your culture and the way
you go about almost everything you do. You need to
invest in time to think.
Innovation can be the growth stimulus
It is now global and access to knowledge is
essential; Innovation programmes can also be very
stimulating and incremental and it can be exciting,
revolutionary and amazingly quick in generating growth
and jobs. Innovation is a community endeavour, it
dies in silo’s and we need to increasingly find ways to
wire and connect ourselves even more to leverage the
collaborative nature innovation requires.
Innovation requires resurgence and deep
do you ever stop what you
are doing for a moment and...
It is critical for
innovation to be
risk is tolerated.
think — global innovation management30 31do you ever stop and think
We create extraordinary
ideas with our clients
who do we
We often work with companies and organisations who have got ‘stuck’ in their thinking
and need an external catalyst to create a change. Working with us, our clients have
experienced valuable break-throughs which have resulted in more focused commercial
strategies, new products and services, better aligned top teams, and more reliable and
commercially – applied creativity and innovation.
think works with some of the
best organisations in the world
We make advertising child’s play
think — global innovation management32 33who do we work with?
npower is a German owned utility provider with
12,000 staff and 6.5m customers.
We have worked with npower on a one to one
basis with key senior leaders, in groups of 5 – 30 for
workshops and training – and created events for over
3000 people at their national conference.
Their brief was to deliver a training programme that is
exciting, engaging and intelligent to bond the team and
support their aspirations to create great ideas for their
We brought new methods of thinking to the
npower team and enabled them to experiment with
behaviors and thinking techniques that unlocked new
ideas. When you are a focused, busy and a professional
person it is often difficult to raise above the issues and
invest time to think. It’s a challenge to remain objective
and constantly seek fresh perspectives.
We took them out of their environment by
conducting the training in external venues like schools
and community centers. The teams created new ideas for
their customers and also for themselves – new ways of
working together to problem solve. Several of the ideas
that were developed have gone on to be amongst
npower’s most successful propositions. Energised and
inspired by their own fresh and creative thinking the team
was then challenged to share this new way of working
with others – we created viral creative thinking!
Their brief was to create an operational staff conference
that is different, fresh and stimulating. To create a
conference that engages 3000 of their staff, in feedback
their staff had asked us not to have a series of “talking
heads” in a conference hall. They asked how do we get
across our key messages about living our brand values in
a fun, engaging and memorable way?
Remember the Confucius saying:
“Tell me something, and I will forget, show me something
and I may remember, let me do it, and I will understand”
Working with the planning team on the
conference think facilitated a number of creative
thinking sessions where the team were encourage to
use thinking techniques to break the old rules of what a
conference is. We worked on metaphor and enabled the
team to explore – what other situations are there were
people have to get together and engage in lots of new
experiences? Like a trip to the Zoo, doing circuits in the
gym or what about a theme park?
Imagine taking all your brand values or key
messages you want to convey in a conference and
creating a zone of interactive activities to support each
one. What would those Zones be called and what
activities would be there?
This thinking created some really exiting and fresh
thoughts and we went on to create a conference that
wasn’t a conference! When is a conference not a boring
conference? When it’s a theme park!
The emotional response from the analogy is fantastic:
What thoughts and feelings arise when you think of a
theme park? Fun – Excitement – Anticipation – Surprise
“I am happy and proud to be part of npower”
“Great, really motivational and fun and
I learned so much”
“Excellent! So much better than
all the previous conferences”
“Great work senior management”
“After 20 years in other companies
npower feels like a breath of fresh air”
“Thanks for making me feel proud”
It worked – and the feedback
from the delegates:
First aid training
Everyone arriving at the Theme Park got a passport explaining the zones and
asking for a stamp from each zone to encourage guests to visit every zone.
When is a company conference not a conference? When it’s a theme park!
Challenge yourself and try something new! Theme park maps were available to show what exciting activities were available in each
zone. Each of the npower values was presented in individually themed experiential zones.
Consider new ways of thinking and working – how do musicians think? How can a
hypnotist help me make better decisions?
think — global innovation management36 37npower Case Study
Turner has 130 branded channels in 27 languages in more than 200
countries. Their brands include CNN, Cartoon Network and TCM and
we have worked with their teams in Atlanta, Mumbai and in the UK.
When one of the most exciting and creative
organisations in the world calls and asks if you can
support them in their ambition to ensure that they
spread innovation and creative thinking best practice
everywhere in their organisation – then you know you
are doing something right! They had been reading
our book ‘think’, heard of our work and knew we could
First on the list of their values is “Creativity”.
Creativity – Their statement on creativity:
“We thrive on innovation and originality, encouraging
risk-taking and divergent voices.”
This is inspired and visionary but not always easy to deliver
across the whole organisation.
Following a period of initial consultancy, think
designed and delivered a programme of activities
including: lunchtime learning sessions enabling people
to take time to think and learn new tools, facilitation of
senior leaders conversations, several power of three
(Po3) workshops with Water Aid and Save the Children,
consultancy and training on innovation management for
their 360 degree innovation team. It is critical to Turner
that companies within their group – IPC and all the Time
Warner Companies ensure that they keep all their people
at the leading edge of innovation and creative thinking
skills and working with think enables them to do just that.
Working with think also encouraged a consistency of
skills across the different teams.
Arup is a global independent firm of designers,
planners, engineers, consultants and technical
specialists and think are proud to have worked with
them over the past 6 years.
Arup have offices all over the world and are they are
working on many of the worlds most sustainable
projects and iconic buildings. From the Sydney Opera
House and the Centre Pompidou in Paris to the Beijing
and London Olympics Arup enables the brightest
and the best to create the most thrilling and amazing
Their ethos is “We Shape a Better World” and
we are delighted to have helped them deliver that . We
have supported Arup in a number of ways from strategic
training and in-depth mentoring to stimulating workshops
and memorable events.
We have facilitated effective, strategic conversations
at Windsor Castle with their senior leaders enabling
them to have the time and the tools to think more deeply
about critical issues. Two examples which demonstrate
the fresh approach we bring are the sculpture workshop
for directors where they invested time discussing issues
whist getting to know each other better through the
creation of a sculpture. It was a stimulating and highly
effective process that enabled them to cut though to
When we were tasked to work with a team to
enable them to consider the Arup brand we brought
them to their senses! In a workshop a cross divisional
team from Arup were asked to select materials that would
have a Taste, Feel, Smell, Look, and Sound – the team
had flavours and fabrics – they had perfumes and foods
– they had music and sound effects. Presented with the
challenge to present their brand through the senses the
team became deeply engaged in debates around what
the brand meant to them on a deeper level and using
more refreshing language. The materials including
such things as sparklers and chocolate and lemons and
music enabled the team to move away from the normal
corporate language – one of the insights was that Arup
was “fizzing with intelligence” one of the most powerful
internal branding statements we have ever encountered
and one that would not have been created without the
stimulus of a pack of sparklers.
We have designed and run workshops on a wide
range of topics from teamwork and creative thinking, to
successful bidding, considering their brand proposition
and conversations about the management of highly
intelligent and creative people.
Working with Arup we are inspired to continually
create new and exciting ways to train, engage, support
and nudge their highly intelligent teams giving them new
ways to think and the time and opportunity to do just that.
When you work with the most creative and
intelligent people in the world it is always exciting and
they inspire us to continually grow our skills and services
to support them.
think — global innovation management — Arup Case Study38 39think — global innovation management — Turner Case Study
Groupama the 2nd largest mutual insurer
in the world, based in Paris, France.
Over 200 people in the organisation trained inzz
the capability of creative thinking and innovation
Hundreds of ideas submitted for the first challengeszz
Over £500,000 of net value identified from the initialzz
An internal idea management system, built savingzz
thousands of £ annually and enabling greater flexibility
External partners – Brokers and Underwriters engagedzz
in the process
How can we create the capabilities and capacity to have
innovation everywhere in our organisation, to give us a
competitive advantage and help us grow our business?
Since 2008 think has been the strategic innovation
management consultant supporting Groupama to
develop an effective approach to company-wide,
sustainable innovation. After design, trial and
development the system is now mature enough to be
used as a tool, focused on adding millions of £ to their
bottom line through a series of innovation challenges
posed to the organisation.
Established over 100 years ago in the French farming
community, Groupama is now a major European
insurance and banking group with over 39,000
employees worldwide, serving over 16 million customers
in 14 countries.
In line with their vision and values Groupama
were looking at innovation across the organisation and
recognised the need for a strategic approach. Lynn Harris
identified that innovation in Groupama was ‘clumpy’ and
lacking in strategic focus, she was asked by Laurant
Matras – Groupama Managing Director and the executive
team to head up a project to consider their approach to
innovation. Lynn began with researching best practice in
strategic innovation management globally.
think — global innovation management40 41Groupama Case Study
What were the challenges and opportunities?
Who was doing what and where? What was
As part of this research Groupama contacted think,
who worked with Groupama to create a proposal for
the Board. The approach was pragmatic looking at the
10 steps of successful innovation management and
how those could be applied. The presentation was well
received, and approval was given to proceed with the
plan. It was critical that the plan aligned with the vision
and values of Groupama and that it was delivered to
leverage the skills and resources of their internal teams
In line with think’s people first approach the key areas
Engaging people who may have ‘innovation fatigue’zz
Breaking down misconceptions of innovation andzz
Ensuring we focused the energy of the teams on areaszz
critical to the growth of the business
Keeping momentum and energy going in thezz
Expectation management (not all ideas will bezz
Training provided as widely as possible to ensurezz
capability for creative thinking was developed
Support and training on idea selectionzz
Develop and maintain an idea management systemzz
Develop training and support for use of the systemzz
Ensure clarity of objectiveszz
Create a plan which outlined the menu of tactics thatzz
would make up the plan for the following 18 months
Develop and manage internal communicationszz
Ensure the team knew who was expected to deliverzz
Share innovation documents on the internal Wikizz
Create an area on the intranet to support innovationzz
and creative thinking
The think approach
People then Process
Given the go ahead by the Board, the first task was to
recruit a team to put together the 18 month plan, with an
allocated budget to bring the plan to life. The team was
headed up by Liz Kuhler who had the experience of the
company and training in psychology so she was able to
look holistically at innovation throughout the organisation,
from innovation management systems to training and
Armed with the knowledge that poor practice
for innovation management would be to simply ask
the whole organisation for their ideas, without giving
any structure or guidance, the strategic challenges the
organisation were facing were identified.
It was important to get active engagement
as soon as possible so an interim solution would be
for small teams to work on innovation on a project
basis. This worked effectively with over 20 business
improvement solutions put in place. However this tactical
short term approach did not address the need to develop
a sustainable innovation culture for the future.
It was agreed that the most effective approach
would be a people/process solution. People would be
trained, taught how to be creative and how to use the
system to post their ideas and share. The Process
solution would be the installation of an innovation system,
and processes and procedures would be built around
this system. People would be trained not only to use
the system, but also how to think in new and energising
ways. The structure and guidance came in the form of a
number of innovation challenges, identified by the Board,
which encompassed the people/process solution. These
challenges would be measurable and would be tackled
through a number of events throughout the year.
The People Solution
Idea champions were engaged, chosen because of their
perceived skill in championing innovation, regardless
of management level or job function. The champions
were trained as experts in idea creation and support
– they were tasked to embed creativity and innovation
capabilities across the organisation. They were pre-
briefed on the strategic challenges and were responsible
for encouraging others to organise events. Innovation
champions were given a toolkit to set up workshops,
enabling them to replicate think events.
The think innovation model was used to underpin
all of the innovation management planning:
Absorption Explosion Consolidation
Action Capitalisation – See the diagram on
The challenges were brought forward by the
board and presented in the absorption phase.
Idea Champions were to work on the Explosion
phase of the think process: idea generation. Idea
Experts were tasked to support the Consolidation phase:
bring the ideas to life. Each role has its own unique skill
set and as such had specific training and development
The internal communications campaign that was
developed internally at Groupama dovetailed into their
intranet called – genie – adding a ‘US’ suffix made it
GENIEUS and this was also what the innovation system
was named. The Groupama Ant – Anton was transformed
into ANTSTEIN to convey engagement messages.
The Process Solution
Once the capabilities building had begun in the teams
then the process would be fully supported. The process
was to be challenged based. A new challenge every
couple of months would be sent out to the teams and
using the innovation model below colleagues would
develop ideas to put onto the idea management system.
To create ideas around the challenges a series
of innovation events were managed by the Innovation
Champions and the results fed into the idea management
system (ims ) – Genius. Initially Groupama considered
buying an innovation management system (ims), but
decided to build their own, and with consultancy from
think have built Genius. The Genius system is now live
across Groupama and will be subject to a programme
of continual improvement as the strategy progresses.
As challenges are posted on the system the results are
being tracked and closely monitored to ensure support is
offered where needed to ensure success.
Following the 10 Steps Plan and
Over the past three years think has successfully worked
with the Board of Directors, senior Leadership team,
and Groupama colleagues working in IT and HR and in
offices across the UK. The whole process has followed
the 10 step strategic plan originally pitched to the board;
it has been supported across the management levels and
departments and all over the UK.
Internal communication such as the use of
posters, The Buzz – the Groupama newsletter and the
intranet GENIE are used to ensure that innovation is
built into the DNA of Groupama. The use of the existing
character of Anton, who has become Antstein in relation
to the innovation programme has been well received.
“Inspire a culture of innovation to create
a sustained commercial edge within
the insurance market to achieve our
Case Study — Groupama
Over 200 people trained in
think — global innovation management42 43Groupama Case Study
Phase one of this innovation programme has seen a lot of
success but mainly in the embedding of the infrastructure
required to support a culture of innovation. Now we are
beginning to see the success of this approach in terms of
Phase two of the approach is concerned with
celebrating the success to date, continual improvement
on the infrastructure, ongoing board support and
keeping the programme fresh, vibrant and relevant.
This embedding phase encourages acceptance and
engagement to have more traction.
Innovation is constant and never ending and as such
continual improvement is critical so we will always be
Have the people been trained sufficiently?zz
Are the leaders of the business on board?zz
Is there a champion for the whole innovationzz
Do the key ideas have champions to support them andzz
Are the internal communications supporting thezz
innovation programme fresh and engaging?
Is innovation built into the DNA of the business fromzz
Is creative thinking noticed – is idea generation a KPI?zz
How is an individual’s contribution to innovation beingzz
recognised and celebrated?
How well are we doing in terms of engaging externalzz
Are we constantly reviewing best practice in innovationzz
Have we identified all the blockers and pinch pointszz
that are hindering the flow of innovation at Groupama?
And what are we doing about them?
Are we ensuring that the successes of the programmezz
are being understood and celebrated fully?
Have we got the right idea champions and are theyzz
being supported fully?
A process of continual improvement for the people and
the process is now planned and of course continual
celebration of success.
Case Study — Groupama
We focused the teams on
areas critical to the growth of the business
think — global innovation management44 45Groupama Case Study
Each project is different but here are some of the
benefits an engagement with think can create.
Project specific benefits
Drive organic growth through new and expandedzz
Create more quality ideaszz
Ensure idea selection criteria is consistent and successzz
Develop the best ideas and kill bad ideas quickly,zz
thereby reducing risk
Be creative, but focus on commercial objectives andzz
return on investment
Inject momentum and focus into project teamszz
Wider organisational benefits
Signal to stakeholders you take innovation seriouslyzz
Create more fun, passion and employee engagementzz
Reduce staff turnover, cut absenteeismzz
Imbed creativity and innovation tools for thezz
Guarantee ongoing organisation-wide creativityzz
think combines analytical rigor with commercial creativity
to take ideas from concept to completion
think works with clients to help identify barriers to
innovation and creativity and then helps to systematically
think works collaboratively with teams comprised of
people inside and outside of your business to come up
with the best breakthrough thinking
think helps individuals, teams, departments, companies
and organisations multiply their possibilities and create
portfolios of new ideas
think helps these teams test and filter new ideas against
specific and measurable commercial criteria such as
strategic fit and return on investment.
think provides a framework to manage any
changes these new ideas create in terms of people,
communications and culture
think helps successfully communicate new ideas
internally and align teams behind them.
think embeds skills, behaviours and capabilities so your
organisations can carry on innovating through applied
creativity after we have left.
If you continue to do what you are doing
now you can predict the outcome. If you
are ok with this then that’s great – carry
on. If however like us, you want better
things for your business, help us to help
you create your business exemplar.
think combines analytical rigor with commercial
creativity to take ideas from concept to completion
think — global innovation management46 47think benefits
are like rabbits.You get a couple and learn how to handle them,
and pretty soon you have a dozen of them.
We are very proud that we invest
2.5% of our turnover in charities
that are local to us. As think grows we
will become a significant force for good
—innovation for good
We already give to these charities:
Plan-UK, Cancer Research UK, Water Aid, CREPA, Save the Children
Red Nose Day and Columba 1400
Unleash the potential power
that think can bring to your
1. Lead from the top
The mistake many business leaders make is to silo
creativity as purely a department’s function in which they
do not require to get personally involved. Organisations
that think creatively across their business need their
leaders to support and demonstrate it personally
at all times. Make it part of your conversations with
your leadership team, customers, shareholders and
media. You’ll find that alignment comes quickly and the
objections of dissenters soon subside.
2. Make it part of the culture
If you want more people in your organisation to be
creative then you have to encourage and support them
to do so. Consider financial incentives or internal awards
for creative ideas that get adopted. Write it into people’s
job descriptions and assess it in appraisals. 3M instructed
their employees to spend 15% of their time pursuing
innovation projects of their own making – leading to,
amongst other things, the Post-It™ note – and Google
followed suit, raising the time stake to 20%. The office
environment, the social calendar, the way you conduct
meetings, can all have a huge impact on the extent to
which your organisation is creative, or not.
3. Seek external support
With the right kind of leadership and encouragement any
organisation can become more creative. But there will
always be limits to how much you can achieve on your
own. Just as traditional management consultancy can
add value to a business through transference of best
practice and deep specialisation, so can think. It’s about
gaining deep understanding of your business problems,
re-framing them in inspiring ways. It’s about re-imagining
what’s possible without the baggage of unnecessary
protocols or politics. It’s about using non-linear thought-
processes to make powerful connections between
market needs and your business’ potential in ways that
conventional thinking would fail to find.
think — global innovation management54 553 things to start doing now
…and now we have some
questions for you:
If the answer is yes please
get in touch
01 — Do you believe innovative solutions can help
your organisation to be more competitive?
02 — Would you welcome innovative solutions to
increase your turnover and margins?
03 — Do you believe that successful innovation
can add value to your organisation, your staff and
shareholders, as well as your customers?
04 — Would you like new ways to attract better
05 — Do you need some fresh thinking on how
you bid / pitch for new business… to win more
06 — Would you consider entering new markets
for your products or services if you knew you could
07 — Would you like ideas on how to generate
more sales through your existing customers?
08 — Would you like to know how innovation
management could help you do more with less –
i.e. advertising budget slashed, reduce overheads
in new ways or increase productivity without
increasing the cost?
09 — Would you consider training to develop your
teams skills to be more entrepreneurial and pro
10 — Could you benefit from innovative ways to
improve your effectiveness?
11 — Would you like to improve employee
motivation in new and interesting ways?
12 — Would you benefit from new ways to develop
or create relationships with customers, personnel,
suppliers or investors in your business?
13 — Would your business improve if you
developed new and better products or services?
14 — Do your people challenge the status quo to
see better alternatives?
15 — Have you a process that ensures sustainable
management of innovation in your organisation?
16 — Do your senior leaders understand how to
encourage creative thinking in others and how to
support those who have good ideas?
17 — Do you ever wish that your events were more
exciting and engaging?
If the answer is yes to any of the above questions… would you consider getting specialist help from think
- to support innovation management within your organisation?