"Everyone is creative to certain extent. There are different levels of creativity. ... An innovation process is like a roadmap." Kes Sampanthar, the creator of ThinkCube, said to me in our chat following he and his wife's presentation on innovation tools and techniques. This is one of my favorite presentations at CanUX07 because I love the fact that there are concrete steps people can follow to be creative. In our 12-minute chat below, Kes talked about the five steps or phrases of innovation: Preparation, Incubation, Insight, Evaluation, and Elaboration. Also, he pointed out that when we are coming up with good ideas to solve problems, we have the tendency to stop once we have one good idea. The different innovation techniques can help us to come up with more ideas or building on existing ideas. Then we can a pool of good ideas to choose from. The innovation process consists of complex mental tasks, so a game like ThinkCube is a fun way to practice these skills. I included a list of innovation resource below for your reference.
Books and Tools:
- De Bono, Edward. Serious Creativity: Using the Power of Lateral Thinking to Create New Ideas. London: HarperCollins, 1995.
- Michalko, Michael. Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative Thinking Techniques. 2nd ed. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press, 1991.
- Kelley, Tom, and Jonathan Littman. The Ten Faces of Innovation: IDEO's Strategies for Defeating the Devil's Advocate and Driving Creativity Throughout Your Organization. New York: Currency, 2005.
- Kes Sampanthar. ThinkCube: A Professional Innovation Tool (Cards).
- Gerald Haman. KnowBrainer: Accelerated Innovation and Creativity Tool (Cards).
- Roger Von Oech. Creative Whack Pack (Cards).
Kes and Sue Sampanthar are the partners at MetaMemes, a company that makes tools to help people innovate. Building on the successful 2004 release of the eponymous innovation game MetaMemes, they have just release ThinkCube, an innovation system for individuals and teams.