YES! AND… Creative Gorilla # 79
There might be an alternative use for some of your products or services if you spend a little time thinking about it…
“The best car safety device is a rear-view mirror with a cop in it.”
Dudley Moore, Comedian and Actor
Could you adapt some of your products and services to other markets with just a little thought?
I’m in one of my idea phases this morning, which tends to make me a bit absentminded (anyone inferring that it might be age related may stop reading now). I was in the shower when I realised I hadn’t shaved. No problem, I’d shave in the shower; but I had no mirror. Looking down I saw the big chrome head of the waste plug and picked it up.
It was a near perfect shaving mirror; it even made my face slimmer, a double whammy (and you can use it for plucking your eyebrows too gentlemen!)
I wondered if the firm who made it realises this and could use it as a benefit. “Chrome waste plug with new vanity mirror facility. Even better, they could market it as a vanity mirror that doubles as a waste plug. Put that in your handbag, gentlemen. (No one is going to accuse me of political incorrectness in this article!)
This set me thinking how many other things in the same environment could be used for different purposes and could we apply the thought to organisations? There is so much emphasis on “reuse and recycle” it struck me that it would be worthwhile for organisations to have a workshop where they could generate ideas for taking their products / services in to other industries or using them in novel ways.
I use the classic preparation technique for this in my innovation workshops, when I have people generate ideas to use a flexible spring stress toy in alternative ways. Some of the ideas are very creative; recently on a workshop, Dave, a new Gorilla reader, devised a flexible thumb support for a sprained thumb and one lady used it as a metaphor for communication (when you pull it too far apart, the communication falls through the gaps).
At your next team meeting, spend ten minutes and ask people to consider one of your products or services and how it might be used in different ways or different industries. To get them warmed up, use the exercise I mentioned above (you can use any object) or have them think how you could make Dudley Moore’s idea work in practice (blow up policeman on the back seat anyone?)
The exercise may produce nothing, but it might come up with a killer idea like a vanity mirror waste plug… Race you to the Patent Office.
Yesterday, Friday, I came up with not a single idea for anything. Today, Saturday I got the idea for a new course, designed it in record time and dreamed up this article. Which makes me reflect, if most people work Monday to Friday, why can’t our brains be designed so that they come up with work ideas during those days?
John Brooker I Facilitate, Innovate, Transform.
Call: +44 (0)2 08 8869 9990
To sign up for our regular Gorilla articles, please go to Contact Us