Insider Insights #1: Brainstorming techniques

In the first instalment of our Insider Insights series we are joined by Liz Bielinska of Planning Express to discuss brainstorming techniques.

Transcript

[00:00:00] Thank you very much, Maddi and thank you very much, everybody, and thanks for inviting me to come and do this. I’m going to share with you some slides with you in a moment so that you can follow along with me. But what I thought I would do today is one of the things that I do is workshops. And we come up with different ideas, all sorts of different ideas. And there are some techniques that you’ll be familiar with and some that perhaps you might not have tried before. So there’s one that I find just really unusual, a really interesting way and a very easy way to come up with very different ideas. And I thought it might be quite nice to share that with you today if it if it can help you come up with a new idea whether to sort out something about how to, you know, how to handle locked down or whether it’s to do with work, whatever it is, whatever the problem is. I’m really hoping that if you if you follow along with me for the next half an hour or so and learn this technique, you’ll find a really nice way to come up with new things.

[00:01:02] So, so I’m going to share my screen with you so that you can follow along with the…some of the things that I’ve got to show you.

[00:01:16] We’re going to get the chance to do two different brainstorming exercises together.

[00:01:24] I’m hoping everybody can see the red slides of the insider and insights, sort of a set of series outline there and. Yep. And so, please. I know you’re all on mute, so please wave to Grace and Maddi if you if you can’t actually see the screen. But I thought that this particular ideation technique that we’re going to go through was absolutely perfect for now, because now more than any time we’re in such an unusual situation, extraordinary times need extraordinary ideas. And this is a lateral thinking technique.

[00:02:02] So we can’t really at this at the moment, it’s some ways we can’t come up with ideas for our brands and for our clients and for our teams using what we’ve done in the past because it might not actually be relevant. We need something a bit new. So. So this is a technique that we’re going to I’m going to share with you that is just is just brilliant. Once you learn how to do it, you can’t unlearn it. It’s something that you’ll be doing all the time. Now, I’ve given it a name. It’s actually comes from Synaptics, which is a company in in Boston, in the States that does a lot of ideation. And they never gave it a name. But I thought, you know, it’s really helpful to to say, oh, I’m going to use this technique today. And I’ve called it the universal connexions technique. And by the time we get to the end, you’ll realize why I’ve called it that. Because as you can see, everybody, you know, we need new ideas for this new situation. I’m not entirely sure on the picture here that this is the best idea in the world to how to handle lockdown. But we really need some new things. Um, and, you know, we need some ways of coming up with things. We need techniques. And this is a simple technique that helps you create great ideas on your own and in your own timeframe.

[00:03:16] You don’t need a workshop to be able to do this. It’s something that can do sitting at your desk on your own. No one ever needs to know. I’ve just put a picture up there, just, you know, one of the life hacks of simple things coming up with an idea of using a bulldog clip to organise things on your desk. All these wires that we’re having to do at home at the moment, it’s to come up with simple things, complex things, tactical things, long term things, anything at all, but using lateral thinking technique. And as I say, it can be used to come up with ideas for any literally any profitable situation. I use it and we use it in workshops for creative solving business issues, coming up with product ideas, run propositions, campaign ideas. And as you’re about to see, because we’re going to have a go at it and we’re going to we’re going to solve a personal problem that we’ve all got at the moment. So especially if you’re family, how to keep your kids entertained during the lockdown. And we’re going to do a work one as well. You can see that it can it can solve personal conundrums as well. So let me tell you about it as a sort of other background to it. This technique works on the simple principle of making connections between seemingly unrelated objects.

[00:04:34] Now, that is actually the principle of lateral thinking exercises. And we’ve got a little to little way. We use the piece of paper to be able to do this, because if I say lateral thinking exercises, too, you might think, oh, yeah, I’ve got to just come up with something wacky. The brain needs a little bit of stimulus and it needs some stepping stones to help it do that. And this will this is a technique that does that really easily and really seamlessly to come up with. A few things. Now, the principles, as I say, is about making connections between seemingly unrelated objects. So here on this page is two completely unrelated objects. And actually, when I first started using this technique, I literally used these two different objects. I went in the cupboard to see if to grab a food product and found a tin of beans. And at the time, my children were quite small, and I looked in their toy box and the first thing I saw was this very garish toy horse. And so they are completely different. And you can literally do this with it, with anything that’s sitting on your desk and you’ll see how we use it later. But it works on the principle that there will be things that these two things have in common.

[00:05:43] Now, normally when we do this in a workshop situation, I’ll ask you for what all the commonalities between these two things for time, because we have not much time for this exercise. I’m going to I’m going to sort of feed you some things that I thought of. For example, you could say that if you wrote a list of things that these two things have in common, you might say kids like them. You might say actually they’re quite robust. You know, the tin, and the toy gets thrown around. So they’re quite robust packaging toy toys or even you can relate it to just horses have been around forever. Baked beans have been around forever. If you think of the horse one as a horse and not a toy, then actually the both edible, you can see they’d both come in different shapes and sizes and flavours and they both appear to be quite colorful. If we sat and we thought about this, we could list a 20 things that these two seemingly unrelated things have in common. But but I’ve just just just a few things down. Now, if we imagine ourselves to be working for Heinz and Heinz have asked us to come up with some new product ideas, we could use the list and be in the middle to come up with new things.

[00:06:55] You could probably come up with your own here but just quickly, looking down this list, I might think kids let the kids like them. Well, you know, a product idea might be some children’s pots of beans, specifically with some children’s licensing, says carrot juice on it. The robust packaging might make me think of different types of packaging than having the beans in a tin. So you see things in pouches at the moment. Being around for a long time might make me think the opposite. Well, actually, if I want it to not be around forever because beans might live for years and years and years and you’re in your cupboard. What if it was fresh? So could you put a product in the chilled aisle in the supermarket? For example. Edible makes me think of who is edible for, how about bake beans for dogs, for example, etc, et cetera. You can see how just looking at the thing that’s written in the middle can make you come up with a new idea. And that’s when I was talking about before having a stepping stone, looking at your problem, which is what do we do with baked beans, using a seemingly completely unrelated object and having a stepping stone for that thinking. So that’s the principles of it. So hopefully you can see and you could probably come up with lots and lots of different things yourself. And as you could tell by the ideas I was just listing, I didn’t use it literally.

[00:08:13] I just thought around the problem. The edible became who is edible, too? They’ve been around for a long time. That became well, actually, what if it was the opposite? So you just think a bit more creatively around it. So if that’s the principles, let’s have a go. I’m gonna give you. We’re going to we’re gonna talk through a personal task and a business task. It always starts with having a task. What do we want to solve? And the first one that we’re going to solve is one that I think quite a few people will relate to. It’s the kids are getting bored. We’ve been in lockdown for a few weeks. The schools have been closed. How can I keep them happy this week? There’s I seem to have exhausted all the things that the school has been suggesting doing and things that I’ve seen on Facebook. What could we do? Well, what we do is we take that task and we put it aside for a moment. So remember, this is our task. How can I keep the kids happy? What new things can I come up with to make them happy? If you don’t have kids, think about your nephews and nieces. And, of course, you’ll all be thinking of kids of different ages. It could be you know, we’re thinking about toddler, how to keep toddlers amused, how to think about keeping teenagers amused.

[00:09:25] So it doesn’t really matter. You have your personal task here. Think of your children. Think of your nephews and nieces in particular. So we have the task. We put it aside for a moment. We now grab our unrelated objects. So we pick a random object. Now, I’ve got a selection of ideas here because it literally can be anything. It can be objects in the room around you. It can be something that you can see out of the window. It could be something related to a hobby or an interest that you have. It can. One of my favourite ones is actually trying, is using films, and if we have time at the end, I’m going to use films as an example just to show you how it works. But I like to use that. But it has to be a film, you know quite well. You’ve got to know layers to that film. Not just know one thing about it. So I. I usually say the last really good film that you saw. So you’ll be able to think of different things. It can be literally if you have a magazine to hand, you pick up a magazine, randomly open it and it’s the first picture that you see, or it could be something in the toy and the kid’s toy cupboard, like I did with the with the toy horse.

[00:10:34] Now, so that we can relate to each other’s ideas, because I could literally right now say pick something and it could be something in front of you, for the purposes of this I’m going to give you some specific choices because then there may be work because we’re going to have a little go at this. I’m going to ask you to maybe shout out some of your ideas. You’ll tell us where it’s come from. What was the object that you thought of, and just so that other people can relate to it we’ll keep a short list here. So I’ve got some choices here for you to pick as your random object – things that are typically in the room or that you can see out of your window. You might be looking out on your garden and you could see a garden chair. Everybody’s got a phone next to them. You might be in the living room so you can see a sofa. Outside the window everybody can see clouds on a day like today. And then on the right hand side of things that you probably can’t see. It’s something that’s a little bit more lateral. So I very much doubt you’ve got a tank in your garden unless you live somewhere very specific.

[00:11:34] You probably can’t see traffic lights. I very much doubt you’ve got a crocodile in the house. And I’m really just for fun because we haven’t rebuilding in lockdown and we haven’t had to do it. There are certain items that we’ve not been wearing or using and so high heels we just haven’t seen for a while. So pick it doesn’t matter which one you pick. I want you to choose one of these objects. So pick one of those objects. Next thing we do is get a blank sheet of paper. So I’ve just picked some paper off the off the printer. Use a page in your notebook. Just make sure you’ve got a decent bit of space. And what I want you to do is…you’ve picked your object. I want you to write the name of that random object in the center of your piece of paper and then right in this center of the piece of paper, draw a circle around it and then draw spokes coming out of it. So as a little example, I’ve picked one that’s not on that list just so that you can’t copy my ideas. I’ve picked something that’s actually behind me at the moment. An indoor plant. So I’ve written in the middle of this paper written drawing a circle around it and just randomly drawn some spokes, many, many as you like, around it.

[00:12:51] Once you’ve done that, then I want you to and here’s one I wrote earlier. I want you to write any and all associations you have with the objects around at the end of every one of these spokes. So you’ve all got you’ve all picked something different from the list. I’ve got a different one here, just so that you can’t copy them. But just for a moment, look at what I’ve done here. The indoor plant made me think of that they’re often given as gifts. So gifts. They’re usually green. They grow quickly. They need water. They might smell nice. Indoor ponds, they say, put oxygen into the room and take carbon dioxide out of it. They might have flowers on it. And people say that they’re good for the room because actually they some particular plants can take toxins away. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t even matter if you agree with what I’ve written here. You’re going to write your own for your object. Writing anything, anything at all could be the colour of it. If you’ve picked the tank, it could be that it’s camouflage. It could be that it uses petrol. Could be that it’s used in war, anything at all. Right. Lots and lots of things in your piece of paper. And you are not in any way thinking about our task at hand.

[00:14:07] You are just thinking about the object. So everybody write a few things on your around your object, fill up all of your spokes.

[00:14:19] Now, I can’t hear you, so I can’t tell you can’t tell me whether you’ve finished it or not. But I’m going to make an assumption that that everybody has written maybe four or five things. You do need quite a good choice. So do try to fill your page like I have. Now you could think of hundreds of things. So do double the amount if you want to. Whatever, however much time you want to spend on it as you’re about to see, this little technique is so great you can just do it in five minutes. Do it as you’ve rushing off to a meeting or anything. So finish writing things on your, at the end of your spokes we now then use something. We just go round the page. We use one of these things to come and think of an idea a bit like I did with the list that was next to the Heinz baked beans. So as an example, I’m going to use my indoor plant. Our task is about the what to do with the children. I’m going to pick, I’m going to start and go round it clockwise. I’m going to start with green. Green? What can I do with green? Green makes me think of eco things. Maybe we could have a garden big enough. We could build a couple compost heap.

[00:15:32] That might be an idea. Build a compost heap. I’m going to pick water. What could we do with water? Water obviously makes me thinks of different liquids. How about we make ice lollies out of all of the drinks in the house? Even maybe a gin one for mum and dad. And for the summer later. And make them into little ice cubes and put them in the freezer. And so that they could be used for another day. Kids love to do that. I love the oxygen and oxygen as a weird one to use. That makes me think of science. What about if I did a Google quiz, make a little pub quiz for the kids where they’ve got to Google the answers to some funny questions so you can see how this works. Gifts? I thought, why not? We haven’t seen grandma and granddad for a while. Why don’t we make something for them for when we do see them? Maybe paint some pots, maybe make a collage of family photos, anything like that. So it’s so there’s no right or wrong answer. As you can see, it’s just any and it doesn’t matter how your thought process goes with this, because the idea that you come up with in the end might have gone a few steps on from what you’ve written on the piece of paper.

[00:16:45] But hopefully me just giving you that example is giving you sort of the the the thought process to go through. So I’d like you now on your piece of paper to write a few ideas. Consider each of the things that you wrote at the end of those spokes and maybe have a go at writing a few ideas. I’m going to leave you for a moment, just because I’m waffling, so you can think to yourselves. Write a few things on your piece of paper and then I’d love it if I’m Grace can unmute everybody. And you could a couple of people could maybe share some of their thoughts. So have a little think about what you’ve got there and stop sharing for a moment. And how about so remember, our task is for what can we amuse the kids with, whether it’s nieces, nephews or whether it’s or or neighbor’s kids or whether it’s your own kids. It doesn’t matter where it’s come from on your piece of paper. It doesn’t matter what object you wrote in the middle there. How about…have a little think about fit. Try to fill your piece of paper. So what do we think. Can we unmute and see if anybody wants to share an idea or two?

[00:18:08] Andy I’m happy to chip in, Liz.

[00:18:12] Liz Yeah hiya, what have you got? Because they must be driving you mad.

[00:18:17] Andy Well yeah talking from experience my kids are driving me mad! I picked the word crocodile. I wrote down things like snuffy, dangerous teeth, Africa swamps. And then I kind of went from swamps to going on a nature walk down the canal and spotting other animals that down by the canal. Around Africa I wrote down that we can have a quiz and name other animals that live in Africa. And then with teeth, I wrote down, perhaps we could make a model of a crocodile with toothpick teeth and things like that. So, yeah, I’ve got loads of ideas now!

[00:19:02] Thank you. Yes. Great. Anybody else.

[00:19:07] Bew Yeah – hiya Liz. I picked tank. So I just thought nobody would pick that but then you’ve kind of used it as an example, and camouflage is one of the ones I’ve chosen. And that was my favourite one, because that got me thinking I could just hide from the kids.

[00:19:28] Liz Yeah. The biggest hide-And-Seek they’ve ever played.

[00:19:33] Bew What that did make me think was that tanks are heavy, and the opposite of heavy is light. You know, you could kind of make a kite. They’ve got tracks. So that made me think of, like, a running track. Then like, obviously you can’t go outside so it made me think of an obstacle course you can do in the house. It’s got guns on it. Obviously you can’t give them guns, but it made me think about shooting. And then you could have like a football challenge where you’re shooting different targets in the garden.

[00:20:11] Brilliant, wonderful, great. So you’ve all thought of some really brilliant ideas.

[00:20:17] And we won’t have the chance to go around the room and, and everybody give their ideas. But hopefully you can see by listening to what other people have put as well, and how you laterally thought, as you said there, you thought the tank was heavy, but that made you think of light. So you just allow your brain to go on a little journey. It doesn’t have to be literal. It doesn’t have to be rational, with the connections that you make, you can allow it to evolve from different things. And an ideas can – like Andy’s idea of “let’s make a model of a crocodile” – the idea came right back to what was in the middle of the page, but it doesn’t have to. It’s really all the things that are going on that you wrote…that were those connections. Those were another step on. And I often use the words “stepping stones”. The brain works better when it’s given those stepping stones to be able to do it. So I said, well done, everybody. Yes, I’m sure youv’e all got loads and loads of them of other ideas. So I’m going to, sothat’s how we can use it. You’ve had a little go at it, but obviously you might be thinking to yourself, well, that’s all very well coming up with fine ideas for kids in the garden or whatever. What about my job? What about what we do on a day to day level at work? So, I’m just going to well, let’s use our time to have another go, I’m just going to share my screen again. If it’s going to let me do it.

[00:21:41] Sure. Let’s come back. Sorry I keep pressing the wrong buttons.

[00:21:48] Let’s let’s have another go at doing the same thing but for a work situation. So hopefully you’re back on seeingmy indoor plant.

[00:22:01] And…hang on a second.

[00:22:05] So so, yes. So we’ve just created. And if we had the time, you could all offer an idea and we would have, you know, 20 different ideas on how to entertain the kids this week. Using any kind of objects. And it can be some of you might have picked the phone, some of you might pick from the cloud. As you can see, it really doesn’t matter which what you choose. But how about, as I said, what if it’s a slightly more sobering thought of what we have to do for work? I’ve picked a work task. So let’s have another go at it. You can see how quick it is to do. And I’ve picked a fairly general problem that- if you’re in the marketing department, then it’s you I’m talking about, you and your brand. If you’re in an agency, pick one of your clients, because I do want a pick. I’ve given you a task that’s very general here. But actually, you do need to think about a specific brand, so the task that I’m going to give you now, we’re going to do it all over again, the same thing. So we’ll need another piece of paper, turn you turn sheet paper over or another page in your notebook. The task that we’ve got now is currently I’m imagining your brand may be having difficulties meeting its sales targets is really, really tough out there for everybody.

[00:23:19] If you’re a store that isn’t allowed to be open, if your products that are in a store that that can’t be that can’t open, or your service say because it’s hands on spas, beauty…we all know that we all need a haircut and we can’t go and have a haircut. But so pick a brand here, pick a product or a brand that actually isn’t booming. We all know that cycling is booming. We all know that Tesco sales are up and everything. That’s it wouldn’t be too much of a challenge. Just think of ideas for them. Let’s think of ideas for a brand that can’t sell at the moment. And the task I’ve given is what can you do to at least improve the brand’s reputation and relationship with its audience? How can we create fans out of our audience base at this challenging time so that when we can trade again, we can maximise the sales? So how to maximise a bounce back in sales when trading conditions improve? This is a big challenge that a lot of brands have got at the moment. So, that’s our challenge. Now, I found while I was trying to come up ideas with it, it that this is much easier when you do have a specific brand in mind because, for example, thinking about ideas for an airline might be very different than thinking of ideas for a hairdresser, as an example.

[00:24:36] So it’s easier the more specific the ideas you have for me to give you examples, I’m going to be quite general about it. But you can be much more specific. So let’s do our task all over again. So, another reminder, you can think of different types of stimulus here. Objects in the room, things out the window, et cetera, et cetera. And again, just so that we can relate, we’ll do the same thing and share a couple of ideas. So just so that we can relate to them. We’ll use the same ideas. But I just want to show you first that I do this a lot in workshops so you can use it on your own or you can use it in a workshop. And to do that, I’ve actually even created cards, cards with films on them, cards with heroes on them. I nicked from the kids some flash cards. I made cards with brand names on them, a little toy bags, so that you could literally, you know, pick up that pick. Use the medal. That could be your object that the pencil sharpener in there and so on.

[00:25:36] So this is just to sort of show you that you can actually sort of create things that you can use more formally with people. But for our little task today, again, you these are your choices. Perhaps pick a different choice than you chose last time. I’m going to use the indoor plant again as my example. But we’re going to do exactly the same thing. Blank sheet of paper. I won’t put it up on screen again, but blank sheet paper, pick your object, write it in the middle of your page. Draw a circle. Draw spokes out from it. And then write any and all associations that you make with that. Now, if you were in a rush and you’ve got a couple of tasks to do, you could go back to the one that you just wrote on for your tank or for your crocodile, whatever it was there. And. Oh, Zoom’s just let us go unlimited…great. Let’s just go off on the screen. So pick your object. Write it down. Write the spokes. Exactly as you did before. Write any and all associations that you make with it. And I’ll leave you for a second. Then I’m gonna share the thoughts I had using my going back to my plant, my indoor plant.

[00:26:52] And again, I’ll ask a couple of you, maybe different people to maybe offer your ideas as well. So what could you do?

[00:27:02] Maybe as inspiration I’ll share with you what I had thought of. If you remember, I haven’t got split screen at the moment, but one of them I said was gift. There’s an obvious one. A general idea might be to offer some free gifts, like maybe you can buy vouchers now to redeem later with 20 percent off. Like, for example, would be probably all seen our local restaurants have been doing that to try and get some cash. Now, later, there’s an idea that actually will reap some money, but they don’t have to. Another one might be, if you remember on my plant, I put down that it takes away toxins. The toxins made me think of eco and being greener and better planet. So I thought, how could we be greener? Why did we take the opportunity to ask our customers for ideas, maybe do it on social media, for our customers, for ideas on how we as a company or a brand can be more sustainable? Gives you this this point. This time when we can’t trade, maybe it’s given us some opportunity to step back and rethink a few things, why not get customers involved in it as an example? The flowers that were on my sheet of paper made me think of birthdays and mother’s days. And it made me think, why do we ask customers what’s their favourite product from our range? We’ll put one aside for your birthday. So tell us your birthday, you’ll have to give us some information, we’ll be building a database of our customers. So it could be absolutely anything. So with that in mind, again, here’s our task. It’s actually about making the world lovers when they can’t buy from us. What sort of ideas can we come up with?

[00:28:48] I don’t if I’ve given you enough time, if we unmute would anybody want to share an idea that they thought of?

[00:29:02] Grace I can share one of mine and the brand that I had in mind with a local restaurant in my neighbourhood. Um and the object that I chose was a phone, and for that I put social media, they can keep up their online presence even when they’re closed. And then I also put work, they can encourage people to order from them when they’re at home on their lunchbreak. That kind of thing….and that’s actually as far as I got.

[00:29:37] Liz Ok. That’s great. Anybody else?

[00:29:41] Anybody want to raise their hand? Yes?

[00:29:48] Mark Hi Liz it’s Mark. Yeah, the garden, the garden chair and the kind of words I got around that in the first instance is that it’s kind of like movable, obviously outdoors…nature…plants.

[00:30:06] Mark Kind of, warm weather, fresh air.

[00:30:09] Mark Comfortable, hopefully relaxation. So I thought with movable. Well, this is a check. And to be around the garden for the sun. So the obviously big thing to them is that people have may have already booked at the moment.

[00:30:23] Mark But it might be that they want to kind of offer information for people to rebook, when they can rather than giving refunds. I mean in the future duration.

[00:30:34] A thought I had was time out for you with the garden chair. I think that and that led me to think about once we’re able to leave our homes to kind of reconnect with the wider family. So then they offer suggestions on holidays. You go with your parents or grandparents and those things really.

[00:30:52] Liz Yeah. Yes. Wonderful. And then on that time out for you. That makes me think that, could it be if. Yes. If you can’t book a holiday at the moment. Do we ask them for their favourite destinations and their favourite holiday memories and things like that? Happier times.

[00:31:11] And yeah, on social media, they can put a load of facts about those places or something just to create a dialogue, isn’t it? Yeah, something like that. So. And anybody else who go with a third person with a perhaps a different object and a different brand to be thinking of.

[00:31:33] And if we want to suggest something,

[00:31:39] Andy I’m happy to chip in again, if nobody else….so I picked Mr. Kipling as a brand that we’ve started working with recently. And my household object was a sofa cushion. Right. And one of the things I wrote down, the spokes was made me think of home. Mm hmm. And so I started thinking about kind of Mr Kipling bake at home cakes so you could, you know, by the by the recipe boxes and make them at home. And then I thought of the social campaign around sort of recreating the classics, say, make your own French Fancies at home, or Cherry Bakewells at home, and then I thought, what about kind of mail order cakes, you know, cakes direct to you. Maybe the setup would be that you can mail order Mr. Kipling cakes direct to your door. Which would be rather yummy.

[00:32:26] I love that idea because I see it as something quite kitschy about that, that, you know, when you normally get something quite fancy coming to you in the post. But actually, it’s just a set of classic old French Fancies in a ribbon.

[00:32:39] That’s really good manners. Brilliant.

[00:32:43] So, so great. So so, again, you can see how simple and how quick this is.

[00:32:48] And you can literally keep doing this again and again and again and and genuinely, if if one object doesn’t reap that many benefits or, you know, that many things that are inspirational on your piece of paper and you don’t come up with that many ideas. Think of another one. Pick another one that could be at another at random. Any type of random objects. So let me go back to the screen again.

[00:33:18] So, yes. So in general, this is a this is a case of just have a go at it. Nobody needs to know that you did it. When you come to a meeting with an idea, the more you do it genuinely, the better you get at it. And the faster you get us it and trying to find some pictures. I went on the internet to look for really bad ideas, really bad inventions, and this one tickled me a bit.

[00:33:44] It’s just a really, really bad idea.

[00:33:46] But it’s just a little reminder that it’s OK to write really awful ideas on your piece of paper, because the more you write, it’s almost a game of volume, if you like, is a volume game of just write lots and lots and lots and lots of different things down. And if all you’re looking for is one or two that are going to be viable and things that you want to do, and sometimes you’ve got to go through some get write some pretty awful things down to be able to get there because nobody comes up with the perfect invention the first time. So. So just keep. Just have a go at it. As I say, it’s very simple to do. No one needs to know that you did it. You can literally do it quietly in your head, sitting at your desk. You can do it when if if Andy says, right, we’re having a meeting, we’re going to do some brainstorming some ideas on something, then you can think, oh, I’ll just do this beforehand for five minutes before I leave my desk. You can all it can be done at any point and you can do it with other people as well. In a in a in a meeting, you can just suddenly say, right. Let’s just have a go at this. The Universal Connections technique. See if anybody comes up with something slightly different, slightly, slightly more lateral. And hopefully you can see that it’s not relying on rational things to do with the problem and the past and historical other ideas that ideas that have been done before.

[00:35:06] It’s, it’s just using your brain in a completely different way. And then the last thing I wanted to mention, I think I think I have a couple of minutes to do is you might have looked at that list of different bits of stimulus and thought, oh, my God, how do I use a film? And I mentioned that it’s actually my favourite one to use, but that’s actually because I love films. But you might be because you like music, you might be into theatre, you might be into books. And the point is that these things are multi-dimensional. So films are great things to use. And I’m going to just demonstrate it very, very quickly. We won’t come up with ideas, but just show you how it works. I’m gonna pick a film that I think most people will have heard of. Almost people will know it’s an old classic and then read one of the reasons that I picked Jaws is as a demonstration and I often use it as the example in workshops is that a law people might look at. Jaws there and say, oh, it’s just a horror film about a shark. And to me, it’s a lot more than that. And if I were to write Jaws on a piece of paper, some of the things that I would write down there are a bit like Andy in the crocodile with sharp teeth.

[00:36:18] I would write down sharp teeth and it’s a story of man versus nature, and it’s about unpredictable animals. It’s a very American film. It had very famous music that went to it. It was the Steven Spielberg’s first film. So it catapulted him to stardom. But it’s set on a beach and it was all very idyllic and it was all about how the idyllic beach was getting ruined by this terrible shark in the water. But there were also some other layers to it. And I’m really only demonstrating this, that when you start thinking about the plot and the subplots and actually it was about a police chief, it moved there from the city because he’d had to shoot someone and he just lost his confidence and he found enough strength in this story. And actually, everybody had a go at killing the shark. But actually, it took the three of them to, you know, the old salty sea dog, the police chief and the oceanography bloke with all the tech to work together to make to help them win. So really, I was just demonstrating. And, you know, and you could imagine that once you’ve written things that are a bit deeper on your sheet of paper, like unlikely three work together to win. That made me sometimes if I use that, that makes me think of partnerships. And you might think back to our work task.

[00:37:39] How could we partner with. How could that brand partner with or sponsor somebody else to give them some support and do some more unusual than everybody supporting the NHS at the moment, for example? So and it just so it just wanted to show you that to show that, you know, if you’re into fiction or if you’re into music and songs have different meanings to you or films or TV shows have layers to them. This is just to inspire you to use that as your stimulus as well, because you can find multi layers about how it was promoted. What’s the main plot, what’s the subplot in everything you so it was just a way of helping inspire you to sort of look a bit a bit deeper. So thank you for watching the little session for 40 minutes. I hope you got something out of it and thought you’re probably quite a good creative thing because anyway, we tend to be in agencies and marketing departments. But just having a little technique might help us come up with even more better ideas. And and yet, if you want any more inspiration on different brainstorming tips as lots of other exercises that are sort of related to it. But this is one of most simplest ones. Then be happy to to share and give you some different ideas. So I will stop sharing now and let me know. Is that useful?

[00:39:09] Maddi Yeah, it’s great. Thank you so much.