Some of the topics I am thinking about, relate to analogies (as tool to think out of the box, creatively), the concept of introvert (defined by Susan Cain as people who are at the most capable when they´re in quieter environments), canvas tool (to think about a business model) and the power of networking (not mainly to sell, but as a way of listening, helping, learning and creating connexions).
Probably I will start by highlighting the benefits of networking to link with partners, clients and suppliers… and to develop relationships and support networks.
Thinking about introverts, as Susan Cain said in her Ted Talk:
“This is especially important when it comes to creativity and to productivity, because when psychologists look at the lives of the most creative people, what they find are people who are very good at exchanging ideas and advancing ideas, but who also have a serious streak of introversion in them.”
She mentions the collaboration between Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs to start Apple Computer and also how groups famously follow the opinions of the most dominant or charismatic person in the room, even though there's zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas. She also added: “Stop the madness for constant group work. Just stop it.”
Susan Cain Ted Talk “The Power of Introverts” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0KYU2j0TM4
Susan Cain website http://www.quietrev.com/
Thinking about creativity, there are benefits and disadvantages when thinking individually or in group, ie. Groupthink(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groupthink) or Anchoring(http://www.fastcompany.com/3033567/agendas/brainstorming-doesnt-work-try-this-technique-instead).
I have always found analogies a very useful tool to innovate (http://www.oceansofexcellence.com/synectics-creative-connection-making/)
There are many useful ways to use analogies, especially trying to relate things that are unrelated (http://www.tallerdecreatividad.com/blog/analogies-between-books-and-friends). https://www.mycoted.com/Analogies
Finally, I love the idea of canvas for business model generation:http://www.businessmodelgeneration.com/downloads/business_model_canvas_poster.pdf
My suggestion is to organise networking events in which people can attend with their own canvas. They will meet with somebody who has his/her own canvas. It is expected that they belong to a different type of business or they should look for somebody else.
Then, the idea is to share item by item of the canvas (for example, each of the customer segments respectively), in a type of analogy activity in which there is a discussion about what would happen if one of the individuals would have as a segment market, the same segment market of the other business (after this discussion, the next discussion will be the opposite, if the other individual would choose to have the segment market of the other). By exchanging ideas from a different type of business, they force themselves to think from another perspective, plus having some opinions from the person who is in the other business. So, the idea is to make an effort of thinking from the other perspective and allowing permission to think about a variety of options and analyse what would happen. Also trying to help the other person by suggesting ideas.
The rules are not fixed, but it could be interesting to change only one item of the canvas at a time, to see how it would affect the other items of the canvas. At the same time, it might not be possible to use exactly the same item of the other business, but it can trigger other types of ideas, other options.
First published on www.miguelacha.com