November 22, 2011
For both startups and Fortune 500 companies, innovation is one of the primary elements that determines success or failure. Each day, hundreds of sessions take place in which people try to brainstorm new product names or features. These sessions sometimes produce very little if the creative juices are not flowing.
Musician Dave Stewart and branding expert Mark Simmons recently teamed up and released an iPad app called “Creativity,” which focuses on getting people to tap into their inner creative genius through a mix of 13 interactive games. The games include ones on framing problems in the right way to get the best ideas, using visuals to simulate the creative process, choosing between different ideas, and putting yourself in the best frame of mind to be creative. Each one is fun to play, but they all teach a valuable lesson about creativity and innovation.
As I played around with these different games, I definitely saw myself looking at things from different angles than I usually do. For example, the games include:
- Shoe Swapper – My personal favorite. You enter a problem you’d like to solve and then put yourself in the shoes of different people such as Madonna, Bill Gates, or Dirty Harry. The task is aimed at helping you think about how to solve a problem from the perspective of a diverse range of people. Many of us commonly think of problems from only our own perspective. This game helps you to see the world through different lenses.
- Inspiral – This is one of the multi-player games where a team collaborates around an exercise. Here, players are given two random words such as “Food” and “Extreme” and each player needs to come up with as many ideas as they can to connect the two words. Another great one to get you thinking outside the box.
- All Together Now – This one helps a team build on each other’s ideas. Each of at least 4 players submits an idea for an agreed upon creative challenge. Player 1’s idea is given to Player 2 to add onto, whose idea is passed to Player 3, and so on. It’s a great way to get everyone involved in the creative exercise.
The multimedia experience app includes a full-color version of Stewart and Simmons’ 2010 book “The Business Playground: Where Creativity And Commerce Collide,” as well as a complete audio version narrated by voice ctor Lin Gallagher. There is also a foreward by Sir Richard Branson.
The app costs $9.99 in the App Store. The games, together with the e-book, are well worth the investment for those looking to brainstorm new ways to approach their business.
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