Last Updated on 11 August 2019

I’m not trying to coin a new term… It’s just a catchy headline for what I call “the nouns of innovation.” We were taught early that a noun is a person, place or thing. I use this model to describe the key components necessary for creative problem solving and ultimately innovation.

While the CreativityLab discussed in the previous post is about a PLACE… I don’t suggest that that’s where creativity can begin-and-end.

You need the right NOUNS to innovate… the right people, place and things…

Nouns of Innovation

  • PEOPLE – Include the right participants. Make sure you have someone who understands the objective and problems you’re trying to solve…

Include subject matter experts who best understand the problem, issue or need you’re addressing.

Should stakeholders be present? Will they feel more a part of the implementation stage if they’re part of problem-solving? Or will they hinder the process? You be the judge.

If you’re building top-level strategy, make sure your participants aren’t too junior. On the other hand, a high-school Junior will cut through any chest-beating VIP with a simple, “I don’t get it?” (Remeber the scene in “Big” where Tom Hank’s character Josh – who’s a little kid grown BIG – says “I don’t get it?” when he was presented with demographic and psychographic research ‘proving’ that toys in the shape of buildings would appeal to kids?)

  • PLACE – BrainStorm in a conducive space. Plain… … at your office… in an exotic location… As long as the space is comfortable for the participants and allows them to focus on new ideas, it doesn’t matter where you’re creative. However, it IS easier to think out-of-the box when…
    • …you’re not in a space that feels like you’re IN a box,
    • …you have things to keep your hands busy and to get your mind working… that’s why you find Play-Doh, Silly Putty and other gadgets at BrainStorming sessions,
    • …you’re away from phones, e-mail and office distractions that don’t allow focus on the problems at hand.

    Check out my PLACES link to find a space specifically designed for out-of-the-box thinking…

  • THINGS – Have the right tools and resources. Simply gathering in a room with a few flip charts and white boards isn’t going to get you very far. Knowing a few BrainStorming techniques and methods to get the group thinking differently are key to creating wicked good ideas. My MUST READS page along with TOOLS page are great places to start to get a list of THINGS you may need.