News on Creativity and Innovation related topics
Creative Business SolutionsApril 2008
In This Issue ...
Creative Management Challenge - the questions
Selecting the right technique
Creative Management Challenge - the answers
Quick Links
Creative NewsOur ebook series Yes You Can is having a facelift. If you were considering trying these then buy now before the Spring price rises. Click here to buy.
If you or your organisation is looking for a speaker we offer a range of Innovation related topics including Intelligent Growth - success on a budget and The shape of the innovative organisation. Contact us to find out more.

The 'rough and ready' survey of the major barriers to creativity within organisations is still located on my Home Page. If you currently work, or have worked for an organisation then I would appreciate it if you could take the time to click on two buttons.
Dear Reader,

Welcome to the April 2008 edition of Innovation Matters, the second edition of the year. Since the last newsletter there have been even more problems in the World economy and yet more interest rate cutting in the USA.

The businesses that will survive are likely to be led and managed by people who have the ability to think differently from their competitors, spot opportunities and exploit them.
In this newsletter we have a light hearted challenge for you. If you can answer these questions easily then you have the ability to survive long term. If not then do not fear the worst, we can help you.
We also have a short article on how to select the appropriate creative technique. Often Creative initiatives fail as people blindly follow the advice given by inexperienced trainers or facilitators.
Happy reading

Derek Cheshire

Questions for the Management ChallengeCreative Management Challenge - the questions
Below are four simple questions. Try to answer them all before looking at the answers.
  • Q1 How do you put a giraffe into a fridge?
  • Q2 How do you put and elephant into a fridge?
  • Q3 The King of the Jungle is holding a meeting for all of the animals. One of them is not there. Which one?
  • Q4 You are standing on the bank of an Alligator infested river and have to get to the other side. What do you do?
A survey by Accenture found that around 90% of Managers are likely to answer all of the questions incorrectly. Many school children under the age of six will actually get these questions right. What does this say about Management thinking? You will find the answers in the third article in this newsletter
Select the correct techniqueCreativity - selecting the right technique
You, your staff or even your boss have been on a course or bought a self help book that described some creative techniques. You have tried one or two and they sort of worked, but not as you had hoped. Or maybe they did not work at all. Why could this be?

Sometimes Creativity just doesn't work for one or more of the following reasons:
  • The problem scenario or situation has not been properly defined
  • The facilitator does not have the correct skills
  • The participants are unwilling

Or more than likely the wrong techniques have been selected. Alas you cannot use brainstorming for everything! So how should you go about categorising and selecting techniques?

The following ideas might be useful:

Group/Solo working - who is going to use this technique? Will you use it for one person or a group?

Converge/Diverge - are you looking to focus on, or identify just one possibility or are you wishing to actively generate many options or ideas?

Exploration/description - does the technique allow you to just explore or perhaps describe the situation more fully?

Reality checking/planning - you know what the possibilities are but you need to check that your ideas are feasible or to set out some course of action.

Idea generation/building - this is divergent but are you generating lots of ideas or taking a smaller number and building upon them?

If we want to classify Reverse Brainstorming then we could classify it as Solo or group working, convergent, exploring, idea generation. A Cartoon Storyboard could be classified as Solo or Group working, convergent, planning or building.

So how should you select a technique?

Answers for the Management ChallengeCreative Management Challenge - the answers
  • A1 Open the fridge, put the giraffe inside, close the fridge.
  • A2 Open the fridge, remove the giraffe, put the elephant inside, close the fridge.
  • A3 The elephant. The elephant is in the fridge.
  • A4 You swim across the river because all the alligators are attending the gathering.
I can already hear you say "Its not fair" and "they are for kids". This is what the questions are trying to find out:
  • Q1 checks to see if you try to make simple things complicated and make assumptions about problem boundaries. Nobody actually said that the fridge was not big enough to put a giraffe inside!
  • Q2 tests your ability to consider previous actions. Who says that they are four separate questions?
  • Q3 simply tests your memory.
  • Q4 checks to see how quickly you learn. After all you must have got question 4 correct if you were a successful Senior Manager.
Strictly speaking these are not the only set of possible answers. Can you think of any others? Try these on your colleagues and see what happens!

eBooks and other products| Innovation Measurement and Audit | More about Creative Business Solutions

Creativity Seminars and Workshops| PRD Partnership Limited | Our Partners | Creativity and Innovation blog

Constant Contact

Safe Unsubscribe
This email was sent to, by
Creative Business Solutions | Brookside Cottage | Mill Lane | Corston | Malmesbury | SN16 0HH | United Kingdom