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ECD, Darren McKay, partner at BIFF (The BIG IDEA facilitation factory) and owner of The Greenhouse, joined us at our leadership session to share his wealth of creative expertise to help us drive creativity throughout our business – no matter department we work in.

At CWDi, we firmly believe that creativity is everybody’s responsibility and that having an entire company thinking creatively to solve business challenges and drive innovation is key to growth and success. Not just for our clients, but for us too.

We asked Darren for some guidance to help us conceptualise, identify and develop award winning, breakthrough ideas.

Here are the 5 key takeouts:

1. Find the insights / truth.

You’ll get to a good space faster by keeping this tool top of mind.
Dig deep to find the insight/ truth within the target audience, brand or product. This is where the magic lies and from where great concepts arise. Try not let the new inflatable igloo tent or the latest tech gizmo define your idea.

2. Think opposite

We accept many things as status quo and this technique helps us to challenge our assumptions to come up new creative solutions. It feels a bit strange at first, but go with it and you will be inspired by the results.

So, how do you do it?

Identify the problem that needs to be solved
Eg: Biodiversity and air quality is declining in our cities

List your assumptions
Eg: There is just no space to grow plants that are important for biodiversity and air quality

Look for opposite realities to your assumptions
Eg: Why do plants need to grow on the ground?

Think about these new realities, how it affects the problem and what potential solutions there are.
Eg: What if we grow plants on the top of bus shelters?

The solution to this problem resulted in flowers being grown on the top of bus shelters. These green roofs not only attract bees but also capture dust to improve the cities air quality. Read about the Utrecht Green bus stop project here.

With this change in your approach, you can explore new possibilities, get fresh insights and as a result, crack better ideas.

3. Brutal simplicity

Think you have a great idea? Try writing it in 30 words or less. This technique helps you get rid of the fluff and straight to the core of your idea.

If your idea still sounds awesome, you’ve cracked it.

Only once you have a simple, well defined and original idea can you amplify it to create the various campaign elements.

4. Keep thinking-fit

Just like staying in shape, your brain needs to be thinking fit.
Set personal goals and challenges to keep pushing yourself. Be proactive. Share your ideas with others, no matter if you feel they are average or awesome. This way you can build on them and learn through others input.

5. Stay alert

Remain awake and alert. Look, listen and be aware of whats going on around you. Inspiration and ideas can come from anywhere. Its up to you to recognise them and develop, nurture, encourage them into something great.