I have seen drawings used in idea creation workshops before. I mentioned this back in January this year, though I was in a different world at that time. Then the people from Infomatum asked us to draw our ideas on Post-It notes and expand our ideas into a single viable proposition. This time it was different.
I was at the Northumbrian Water Group’s Innovation Festival at Gosforth Park Racecourse in the ‘Tomorrow’s World’ sprint and we had been asked to focus on possible ideas that would solve some of the problems the organization was facing.
Now I am not that involved with Northumbrian Water but I went along with the exercise which was called Crazy 8s – Crazy because you had to draw your idea in a very short space of time and 8s because you had to think of eight separate ideas. You could not do eight variations on a theme. Not at this stage anyway.
Esther was the facilitator. She gave us eight minutes and after each minute she blew a whistle to move onto the next. My eight were:
- An opportunity board to bring people with ideas and skills together
- An intorverter to let extroverts know when us introverts would prefer to be left alone
- A Dullometer which measure our enthusiasm for tasks and automated those we didn’t like through robotic process automation
- A wearable desk for true mobile working
- A Communications Style Interpreter which takes individuals communications preferences and puts them into another’s
- A No-emotion feedback machine which gets technology to let people know what others really think
- A Feeling Interpreter which lets one person know how the other is feeling.
- A Story Generator that brings all the good news about the team into one place and creates a narrative that can be used to show what a great job we are doing.
The process was then run again but taking one of your ideas and breaking that down into eight components that describe your solution better. Another eight whistles and another eight crazy minutes drawing eight rubbish drawings.
Finally the whole process was brought together in a storyboard that honed your idea into something deliverable. I’m not sure about that as I went with ‘Work anywhere with Wearable Seat Pants!’
It wasn’t the idea that I was interested in. I was not involved enough to get to grips with what Northumbrian Water needed but rather it was the process that was fascinating. It is an excellent way of flushing out people’s thinking.
As for the wearable office? You never know. You have seen it here first.