In early 2012, creativityPRISM’s co-creator, Richard Harmer (@richardharmer), was invited to conduct a Branding Strategy Think Tank for a not-for-profit organisation. The Think Tank’s focus was identifying what made that organisation awesome, and what the organisation could do to further enhance its impact in community.
The organisation’s budget constraints meant the Think Tank needed to deliver results fast, which counted out most traditional brand and product/service development and deployment approaches.
Richard started talking to himself (weird, we know!) …
“OK Rich, if everything you already know how do is not right for this project, what now?”
“I need more ideas that are new, novel and awesome.”
“Where will you find them?”
“Well, they are everywhere actually. What I need is a way of looking at all of the possible options, scenarios, ideas and strategies available to see which ideas are the best for addressing this organisation’s challenge.”
“That will take too long!”
“OK, I need a way of reviewing looking of ideas in relation to each other to see which ideas are the better ones.”
“Still too slow.”
“OK, stop nagging. Let me think.”
“Alright, I need to look at lots of ideas simultaneously, and I need to do so in a way that also determines those ideas would make the greatest difference once implemented, and I need to do this really fast.”
“I also need more people spotting new and novel ideas that that no good idea is left out. And those people need to believe so much in the ideas they identify that they will do anything to implement the best ideas once identified.”
“Getting there, now how?”
“Alright, I need a way for people to pluck lots of novel ideas (that no one thought would ever work) from some some parallel universe, and for those people to rapidly look at the fundamental elements of these different ideas to see which THE ROCKSTAR IDEA fit for purpose for addressing the organisation’s issue.”
“How will you do that?”
“The answer is all around you. What can you see with fresh eyes now.”
“Looking, looking, looking.”
“Come on, have a look around you. What do you see?”
—- KA POW —-
“Wow, look at that painting on the wall. How the light comes from the darkness into the light and splits it into its rainbow colours.”
“OK, I get it now. I need a mechanism that ‘splits open’ an idea so that a group can see into its many colours to determine if the idea is fit-for-purpose for the challenge at hand.”
“You need a prism?!?”
“How do you do that?”
“Good question. How do I of looking into an idea’s many colours quickly, and make it fun?”
“What do you know that is fun, and fast?”
“Improvisation games, drawing games, games where you make things, games where you have to work with others to solve difficult challenges, games where you have to think on your feet, games where having fun with others is just as important as winning, games of strategy, games that put you out of your comfort zone … um.”
“OK, you need a game that groups of any size can play to generate new ideas, The game needs to be able to split each idea generated into its aspects to see what makes it tick, but without loosing its essence. The game needs to be fun play and, most importantly, it has to deliver novel yet game-changing results fast.”
“I know, but how do I start?”
“How about starting now by creating something – your 0.8 prototype. What does it look like? How do you play? What are the rules? How many players? What do they do?”
And with that flash of inspiration, the idea of using a metaphorical prism to bend an idea into its many colours – its perspectives, aspects, attributes and applications – was born.
And the rest, as they say, is hard work making an awesome idea happen!