Innovation is highly relevant to every organization. Yet, eighty percent of innovation projects never reach the market. Many have a false start. My new book is written to inspire you with practical tools on HOW to start innovation effectively. The process of innovation is a process that many struggle to master.“What is the right moment?” “How do I discover what customers want?” “How do I get breakthrough ideas?” “How do I get internal support?

In chapter nine of my new book,‘The Innovation Expedition’, which you can download at the top or bottom of this article, I present 37 inspiring tools for you to use in your projects at the start of innovation. Section 1 includes six openers for workshops: warm up activities to facilitate the start of a workshop. Section 2 presents three exercises to energize the group. Section 3 offers ‘the compliment game’, a wonderful technique to conclude a workshop. Section 4 is dedicated to idea generation tools. Thirteen idea generation tools are presented. Section 5 provides eight tools to select and improve ideas. Sections 6 through 8 introduce three additional ways to brainstorm: playing brainstorm games, using brainstorm software and online brainstorming. Sections 9 and 10 explain two other useful techniques, the TRIZ and SIT methods, which both can be used at the start of innovation. Section 11, the final section of the toolkit ends with one of my favorite techniques developed by de Bono named the Six Thinking Hats.

The Innovation Toolkit

1. Openers 5. Idea Selection Tools

1.1 Photo Introduction

5.1 Pinpoint Ideation Directions

1.2 Keychain Introduction

5.2 Select Ideation Directions

1.3 Your Innovation

5.3 Idea Mind Mapping

1.4 The Sequence Game

5.4 With Ketchup?

1.5 Mix it Up

5.5 Salt and Pepper

1.6 The Trash Can

5.6 Pros and Cons

2. Energizers

5.7 Multi-criteria Selection of Concept Boards

2.1 The Horse Race

5.8 My Valentine

2.2 Swing to the Beat

6. Brainstorm Games

2.3 In Touch

7. Brainstorm Software
3 Closer: The Compliment Game 8. Online Brainstorming
4. Idea Generation Tools 9. TRIZ

4.1 Brain Dump

10. SIT

4.2 Innovation Opportunities

11. Six Thinking Hats

4.3 Customer Frictions

4.4 Presumptions


4.6 Flower Association

4.7 Biomimicry

4.8 Comic Book Hero

4.9 Silly Things

4.10 The Insight Game

4.11 Crawl Into The Skin Of

4.12 What Would Apple Do?

4.13 Trends Dance

Every tool is explained very practically mentioning the timing, the procedure and where to use it in the innovation process. You can download the toolkit here at the bottom. Wishing you lots of inspiration on your own innovation expedition.

Interested in the previous chapters? Please click here

By Gijs van Wulfen

About the author

Gijs van Wulfen (The Netherlands, 1960) helps organizations to start innovation effectively as author, speaker and facilitator. He is the founder of the FORTH innovation method. With FORTH he create attractive innovative products and services with great internal support with a multidisciplinary team. In his latest book ‘The Innovation Expedition’ he makes innovation very accessible by telling the story in a visual way. His clients are international companies in industry and services, as well as non-profit organizations. Gijs also trains and certifies facilitators in his method. Gijs is a keynote speaker at international innovation conferences and was chosen by LinkedIn as one of their 150 Thought Leaders.

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