Innovation lab

The Innovation Toolkit

The Innovation Toolkit is a series of tools, techniques and processes that I have developed, used and refined over the last three decades and I use and distribute them in workshops and masterclasses.

These are printed journals, workbooks / worksheets, notebooks to be used in strategy workshops and in everyday use as part of your ongoing Horizon Scanning and Innovation Management process.

Yes, these could all be software programs or apps but they aren't and here is why:-

  • a large part of being more innovative requires focussing on the task at hand - paper and books are distraction free, meaning that when you start writing in a book you are fully engaged in the medium and the moment - no alerts or emails or anything to get in your way allowing you to focus and bring clarity (and creativity) to your thinking - and I believe it's a scientifically proven fact that we retain more information when we write it down than when we type it (don't quote me on that - I'll try to find a source!)
  • we all (still) learn to write at school - I don't have to explain an interface and there is zero complexity - you know how to write - just start writing!
  • nothing beats a single purpose notebook for keeping a single collection of thoughts or topics in one place - yes, you could stick everything in a folder on your computer - and then promptly forget that you have it buried somewhere that you can't remember - OK, you could have a dedicated app to do the same thing - but I refer to the first bullet point in this case .... and finally
  • books don't run out of battery - continuously powered gadgets are still elusive in our current age - you notebook will never let you down in this regard!

I embrace using the right technology at the right time, but I've often come across people and teams that get so caught up in searching for and deploying a technology solution that they lose sight of WHY they needed the solution in the first place. They spend months trying to get a solution to work the way they need it to and then they have to figure out how to integrate it into their existing legacy systems and get people to use it. All of this translates into a huge amount of time and effort and often prevents people from just simply making a start.

In my opinion the process, discipline and HABIT needs to come first. Only then do you start looking for technology solutions to support the process.

Having said all of this, I do advocate simply using your phone to take photos of your completed pages and sharing them, as another huge part of innovation is collaborating with other people to get feedback and input on your thoughts!

Based on feedback to date, I have turned some of these into Miro boards, digital downloads and "fillable" forms to make digital collaboration and distribution easier ........ but my caution remains - don't forget about the documents once created - this is NEVER a "one-and-done" exercise!

This page and the associated sub-sections dedicated to each workbook / worksheet will be continually updated and added to as more of the tools are published so please bookmark and come back again soon.

Horizon Scanning TIPS

Being aware and keeping track of what is going on in the world around you is a key step towards being more innovative in everything you do.

This journal / notebook is designed to help you record and track TIPS and includes guidelines for "Horizon Scanning" - an activity that you can get your entire team or organisation involved in, acting as your eyes and ears while they go about their lives.

Think like a futurist

Future visions

How do you "envision the future"?

Have you ever thought how a futurist manages to come up with so many scenarios of how the future might turn out? This will equip you with a simple tried and tested technique to envisage countless possible futures so that you can begin building the one you want to become a reality.

Eye on the future

Innovation RADAR

What's on your RADAR for the future?

How do you decide what to focus on, what to watch for, what to hunt for?

Visually keeping track of opportunities and challenges will help you to decide what to do now, what to focus on next and what to keep an eye on for the future.