The one sentence summary

Workshops can be a success if you design them properly and use the right techniques.


·      This is all about how to design and lead successful workshops.

WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT the-workshop-book

  • It provides a set of techniques and exercises that you can match to your needs. These caught the eye:
  • Idea stretcher: start with your initial idea; then push it to an impossible extreme version; then rein it back to merely innovative or ambitious, and see if it’s an improvement.
  • Keep or grow: a good system for weeding out what needs developing.
  • Ideas measure asks four questions:
  1. Does it fit the brand?
  2. Does it have a consumer need?
  3. Does it give us a competitive advantage?
  4. Is it easy to make?
  • Rule breaker: write the rules of the product or category, and then write the extreme opposites and explore the space between.
  • Newspaper/postcard/ storyboard: all these techniques involve writing headlines or articles from the future, forcing participants to envision their goals.
  • Advice to myself 10 years ago: a close cousin, good for passing on experience.
  • Future trends: brief description of trend; opportunities this offers the business; risks if we ignore it.
  • Calibration: draw a vertical line down a chart. Put a tick on the left and a cross on the right. Then work through questions such as who is our customer, and (crucially) who is not?
  • Identifying initiatives: name it, describe it, and then vote on it.
  • Accountability template: project description, elements, opportunities, challenges, action in the next week, month, with responsibility names on it.
  • Old way, new way: what’s the usual way of doing this, and how are we going to change it?
  • Ideal job: what is it? Good for defining peoples’ motivations.
  • Outputs not updates: get it done, don’t just keep telling everybody what you are doing.
  • Be a problem owner, not a problem moaner.
  • The three main ingredients of creativity are your field of expertise, the cultural context, and your personal experience. Mix them together and you are likely to generate a decent idea.


  • Much of it is common sense and you may have seen a fair number of the techniques before.