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Idea Stormers: How to Lead and Inspire Creative Breakthroughs

Idea Stormers: How to Lead and Inspire Creative Breakthroughs

Bryan W. Mattimore

ISBN: 978-1-118-13427-6 September 2012 Jossey-Bass 256 Pages


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How to solve critical business challenges by generating more and better ideas

Every organization needs a steady supply of fresh, relevant ideas, but managers can?t just lock teams in a room with a mandate to brainstorm and hope for the best. Ideation is both a science and an art, and when group ideation processes are well-designed and well-facilitated, anyone can generate an abundance of creative, implementable options?not to mention true breakthroughs?for any business need. Drawing on his work leading high-stakes ideation sessions at over 300 organizations, Mattimore explains the how, what, and why of successful ideation and provides a framework for when and how to apply various techniques.

  • Identifies Mattimore?s top ideation and innovation techniques (including ?brainwalking,? finding inspiration in worst ideas, the unexpected effectiveness of wishing, and more) and lays the groundwork for you to invent successful processes of your own
  • Tells real stories of ideation at work in Mattimore?s consulting business, including how Ben & Jerry?s named a new strawberry fudge flavor, how Thomas? invented a new, healthier English muffin that now accounts for over 30% of its sales, how IBM transformed the culture of one of its divisions to make it more innovative, and many more
  • Mattimore is a world-class expert on applied creativity and an innovation process consultant to over one-third of the Fortune 100 companies; he and his team have helped create and launch products and services worth over $3 billion in annual US retail sales

With a diverse range of tested methods, Idea Stormers is the indispensable guide for developing original, practical solutions to even the most intractable-seeming creative challenges.

Preface ix

Introduction Idea Engines 1

Chapter 1 A Map of the Creative Mind: Embracing Seven Creative Thinking Mind-Sets 11

Chapter 2 Beyond Brainstorming: Understanding Individual and Group Ideation Techniques 23

Chapter 3 Your Ideation Toolkit: The Seven All-Time Greatest Ideation Techniques 49

Chapter 4 Innovation Overview: Strategies and Tools for a Successful Innovation Process 71

Chapter 5 Real-World Challenges: Applying Ideation Techniques and Innovation Processes 99

Chapter 6 Idea Meets World: Navigating the Road from Good Idea to Successful Innovation 133

Chapter 7 Thinking Like a Facilitating Leader I: The Who, Where, and How of Planning and Leading Group Ideation Sessions 155

Chapter 8 Thinking Like a Facilitating Leader II: New Product Ideation Session Design 175

Chapter 9 Thinking Like a Facilitating Leader III: Five Strategies for Inventing Ideation and Innovation Processes 199

Conclusion 221

Notes 225

Acknowledgments 227

About the Author 231

Index 233

“In a world of hyper-competition and nonstop reinvention, the only sustainable form of business leadership is thought leadership—generating more good ideas faster than anybody else. In Idea Stormers, Bryan Mattimore sets out a collection of insatiably useful practices and revealing case studies to help you and your colleagues rethink your approach to creativity. So here's an idea: buy this book, apply its uncommon wisdom, and out-think the competition.”
—William C. Taylor, cofounder, Fast Company; author, Practically Radical

“A fun and engaging tour of the creative process. I love Mattimore's stories, which place their emphasis on real-life examples and proven techniques. This book is sure to boost your imagination and your group's creative willpower; indeed, it'll put white caps on your gray matter! Highly recommended.”
—Roger von Oech, author, A Whack on the Side of the Head and the Creative Whack Pack

“To stay ahead of the competition it is absolutely necessary to embrace innovation and creativity, whatever field you are in. In Idea Stormers, Bryan Mattimore clearly articulates must-have processes for leaders to embrace and use to inspire innovative thinking across all functions. One of his most important messages is that leaders should leverage creativity across their organizations. He believes (and I agree) that everyone in your company has the potential to create great ideas that will add value to your culture and your bottom line. All you need to do is engage your associates, make them feel valued, and use some of the techniques in this book to unleash their ideas!”
—Kay Krill, chief executive officer, ANN Inc., Ann Taylor, and LOFT

Idea Stormers is a practical facilitator's manual for inspiring creative thinking. It also shows you how to translate new ideas into real world applications. Highly recommended.”
—Michael J. Gelb, author, How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci

“As a creative thinking expert, I am very familiar with Bryan Mattimore and his outstanding work in the ideation and innovation consulting field. Bryan is one of the best facilitators and corporate creativity consultants in the world. He is among my heroes who inspire, teach, and guide others in the corporate world on how to create original and implementable ideas that make a difference in our competitive business environment. Mattimore’s newest book, Idea Stormers, offers a host of creative-thinking tools and techniques. More importantly, it provides an excellent framework for unleashing the creativity of groups, no matter what their role or function is within an organization. Mattimore’s behind-the-scenes look at his successes with teams provide you with lessons and techniques to create, inspire, facilitate, and drive creative collaboration to generate the ideas you need to achieve uncommon results. Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. Mattimore shows us how together we can generate original ideas, make good ideas great, and create game-changing ones.”
—Michael Michalko, author, Thinkertoys, Cracking Creativity, ThinkPak and Creative Thinkering

“Question everything! Hands-on and ready-to-go, here are techniques to get you started.”
—Seth Godin, author, Purple Cow

“Bryan Mattimore has helped me create breakthrough new products for Godiva, generate innovative promotions for The Food Network, and most recently, with re-positioning Good Morning America. I know firsthand that the ideation techniques and innovation processes in Idea Stormers work, and that they can unleash the creative potential of any team. Idea Stormers should be required reading for anyone on the front lines of marketing innovation!”
—Adam Rockmore, senior vice president marketing, ABC Daytime and News and SOAPnet