Dubai Impact HUB ideation session

February 28, 2014

An ideation workshop took place during the opening night of Impact HUB Dubai on Jan 13, 2014. This workshop was only half an hour event organized to offer maximum flexibility for people coming in and out of the room yet gaining as much knowledge or experience on how to use their creativity in the workspace.

We started the workshop with a practice ideation session.  The first 3 people were able to generate 20 different uses for a normal single chair within 7 minutes. Gradually, the group expanded to 10-12 people. We listed a number of “problems” to solve and I’ve used 4 of the ideation tools explained in the previous post and each method went for approximately 5 minutes each. Some of those ideas are not as clear now as they were then when the owner explained them. You can interpret them the way you desire.

Feel free to add your notes or comment on which one had a better result for you or easier to implement.

Change the word

Problem statement: How to improve brand loyalty?

Further statements after changing the verb:

How to better brand loyalty

How to enhance brand loyalty

How to maximize brand loyalty

How to support brand loyalty

How to decrease brand loyalty (negative) – the ideas generated from this stream will be implemented in the opposite direction.

Ideas generated from “change the word” method (in no particular order):

  1. Make it personal
  2. Awards for staying
  3. Identity
  4. Variants
  5. A need as opposed to a want
  6. Change design
  7. Culture
  8. Giving back
  9. Re-import environmental trees, air, water
  10. Motivation
  11. Consistency in quality
  12. Marketing budget
  13. Break down in its elements
  14. Long life
  15. Quality
  16. Big market live
  17. Promote positive attitude to no-name product alternatives (opposite)
  18. Make it Untrusty (opposite)
  19. Harmful effect (opposite)
  20. Bad after-sale (opposite)
  21. Hurting your consumer (opposite)
  22. Bad example (opposite)
  23. Neglect (opposite)
  24. Bad customer service (opposite)
  25. Bad product (opposite)
  26. –unreadable post — 🙂

It was extremely easy for the group to come up with the negative aspects as we tend to see the problems in other products/services much easier than we see their positive sides. This is a great way to generate ideas on how to not do it. However, when stating the problem, it’s important as well to keep it in its negative term “how to harm” rather than “how not to harm” and then simply reverse the implementation of the idea

Tip to further explore this problem: Try changing the words brand, or loyalty, or both with other similar or related meaning and generate more ideas

Concept fan

Problem statement (1) How to get more hours in the day?


  1. Slow down
  2. No facebook
  3. Sleep less
  4. Multitask
  5. Meditate
  6. One spare
  7. Remove distraction
  8. Plan ahead
  9. Delegate
  10. Organize better
  11. Prioritize
  12. Quit your job
  13. Increase human interaction and face to face meeting
  14. Lessen tech dependency

Problem statement (2) Bigger picture: how to organize our time and lives better

  1. Check your Values
  2. Location
  3. Perspective
  4. Efficiency
  5. Family cooperation
  6. Nutrition
  7. Transportation
  8. Lifestyle habits
  9. Consumption pattern

Problem statement (3), branch of bigger picture: how to live in harmony with society

Problem statement (4), branch of bigger picture: how not to notice time

Problem statement (5), branch of bigger picture: how to create your legacy now

We came up with 23 ideas just by shifting our perspective once to see the problem from a bigger point of view. If we continued with the branches or making it even bigger, that would generate even more ideas and some would be extremely creative for our problem.

Put on a different hat

Problem statement: How to improve communication?

How would a  ……………….. improve communication?


How would a performing artist / actor improve communication?

  1. Humor
  2. Do the opposite of what you are known for
  3. Facial expression
  4. Body language
  5. Silence
  6. Sign language
  7. Tone of voice
  8. New language
  9. Movements
  10. Audible notes

How would a Bio Evolutionist improve communication?

11. Breed example animal / insect

12. Visual listing

13. Go outdoors

14. Releasing theorem

15. Communicating with farmers

16. Gardening

17. Time machine

18. Dress up clues

19. Tattoo breeding of evolution

How would a Formula 1 Driver improve communication?

20. Trainings / courses

  1. Visuals (photo)
  2. Take pictures of family life
  3. Sounds of tire engine and actions
  4. Intuition
  5. Signs
  6. Training
  7. Vibration
  8. Lights

University Professor

  1. Asking
  2. Showing interest
  3. Simplify technical jargon
  4. Write articles and publish
  5. Change way of speaking
  6. Relate explanations to need / practical expresses to theories in real life
  7. Be open
  8. Define the audience
  9. Simplify
  10. Encourage feedback
  11. Use technology
  12. Listen


  1. Visibility trips to farms
  2. Broadcast
  3. Transparency and more information
  4. Going out more
  5. Community
  6. Educate
  7. Engage
  8. Horns
  9. Party
  10. Follow the cows

This method was definitely a highlight as people learn how to use empathy to see their problem from someone else’s point of view (especially if that person has an occupation that we can barely pronounce :).

5 whys

How are we viewing our problem? From what perspective? How to make it more abstract? Less abstract? Ask “WHY” five times and ask “HOW” the same way, then decide at what point of abstraction do you want to generate your ideas.

Problem statement:

How do I overcome fear?

è In what ways can I overcome fear?


How do I become more free?

è In what ways do I become more free?


How to become happier?

è In what ways can we become happier?


How to return to our true nature?

è In what ways can we return to our true nature?


How to live better with others?

è In what ways can we live better with others?

Due to time limit, we were not able to generate ideas for this method but it was clear that each person needs to work on a different level of abstraction and their answers to this question “why” differs as much as their experience and knowledge. This method is best used individually and ideas will flow like river.

I hope those who were in the workshop can share their opinion about their preferred method, and if they used others from the previous post. And those who did not make it there, which method you think you can use the most?

Till next time,



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: