Stuck for an idea?  Got some cramps in ya thinking muscle?  Want to inject some innovation into your business.  Try some of these thought plungers that Cathy had hidden away in the "Father and Son" archive plus a few of my own thrown in for good measure.

and big apols for the use of bullets (they can kill people).  Cathy's format was better but didn't fit the blog format.

Ideas for Learning, Challenging, Questioning, Changing, Growing, Developing, Revolution and Creative Problem Solving:



  • List the ten dumbest things about your organisation and how to fix them 
  • Make doodling compulsory during meetings
  • Bring in National Geographic magazines or get guest speakers from different cultures and go through what would make your company or product or office successful in a different place/culture – work out if you could learn anything from them
  • Think up new uses for old ideas, tools or even advertising
  • Offer prizes for the most stupid idea each month
  • Reward people for creative high risk projects that fail
  • Find a "buddy" to share ideas with and to help you build on ideas
  • Everyone speaks with their tongues hanging out at the next meeting
  • Join up to email lists related to your business – eg recipe sites for food manufacturers
  • Give incentives for laughing, smiling or joking
  • Make lists of movies about your industry and watch them for ideas
  • Have meetings at the zoo or somewhere else completely illogical
  • Look for messages in old Beatles music
  • Encourage employees to interview customers on their handy-cams about what they like and dislike about your service/product and play the videos at weekly meetings
  • Encourage employees to interview co-workers about what they think of their jobs and how they could be better
  • Get your ethnically different workmates to bring a plate of food and tell you about an ethnically based story or ritual
  • Watch films and television from different cultures
  • Encourage your children to watch programs from other countries and grill them on the differences
  • Go through records of complaints and work out how you can organise things so that you never see the same one again
  • Get employees who are moving on to leave a list of improvements or tips for the company and the employees
  • Go through old ideas and re-think why they weren’t implemented
  • Think of 20 ways that negative messages/signs/rules can be translated into positive messages. –eg no parking, don’t walk on the grass etc
  • Cover lunch tables and benches with white paper and keep crayons handy for visual idea generation
  • Give employees 10 minutes every day for creativity
  • Or better still give employees one full day per month where they can do their own project alone or in groups (another one of Graeme's Ideas)
  • Include creativity and problem solving as an agenda item in everyone’s performance discussions
  • Have a retro wardrobe day
  • Have a science fiction wardrobe day
  • Pick a character out of a play, book or movie and imagine what they would do if they worked in your job
  • Test what seems like a stupid idea for commercial viability
  • Keep far fetched ideas on a notice board and re-visit them often
  • Encourage employees to do puzzles and lateral thinking quizzes at the beginning of each weekly meeting
  • Keep gripe boxes anonymous
  • Get children to test your products (this is one of Graeme's)
  • Hold staff meetings in unusual places
  • Keep a library of the world’s greatest literature
  • Put blackboards or whiteboards on the back of toilet doors - people should bring their own chalk / markers.
  • Have an ideas ball and pass it/throw it around the office
  • Play Pictionary once a month
  • Think about a problem then forget it and concentrate on nothing (that should be easy)
  • Bump your head against a wall, (gently or really hard if your name is Graeme) and imagine that you can now accept a different perspective
  • Ask complete strangers to help you solve problems
  • Ask children to solve your problems
  • Use paper and pencils to compose ideas/ solutions instead of a computer
  • Get employees to bring their kids to work during school holidays and ask them how things could be done better
  • Do someone else’s job for a day
  • Think up advertising slogans for the company and then live up to them

Be a scavenger. Innovation is often found in the unlikeliest place.