Applied Business Creativity

Applied Business Creativity is an innovative approach to great business thinkingApplied Business Creativity

The most valuable asset that you have is your mind, and Applied Business Creativity is a new way of applying your mind to important business issues. Applied Business Creativity (or ABC) starts with us helping you identify a hard, growth question – your Killer Question. This question is one that is within your remit to deliver and which will deliver significant growth and value in a specific area when answered well.

Your Killer Question is broken down into a number of sub-questions (or elements) designed to focus the thinking into specific areas. You then invite 16 people from around your business to take part in the exercise, and Ingenious Growth create a customised workbook for each of these people. A sample of the workbook is shown below. These workbooks guide the participant’s thinking through a series of creative techniques which explore the specific areas where successful answers to the Killer Question are likely to exist.

We also run an ABC programme focussed on customer experiences and also an Applied Services Creativity programme designed specifically for the public sector. More details on these are available at the bottom of the page.

An outline for a typical ABC programme is:

  • We help you shape your Killer Question and elements. This is done via a phone call, email or meeting – whichever you prefer
  • We prepare 16 individual workbooks and courier them to your offices
  • The participants have around 10 working days to complete their workbook, typically spending 20-30 minutes a day on the thinking exercises
  • They photocopy two summary pages and hand them to a contact person in your team who collects them and sends the pages back to us
  • We collate the findings and apply our own creative techniques to boost the opportunities
  • We compile a feedback document and arrange time to talk you through the opportunities that best address your Killer Question

(Note that it is possible for us to run an alternative, intensive version of the ABC process in 1.5 days. This version of the programme is intended to be run at your premises, so all participants do need to be present).

Some questions you may have…

Why should I try ABC?
Where else in your business do you still use 1950’s technology? Brainstorming encourages out-of-the-box, blue sky ideas – which are frequently impractical. ABC encourages looking inwards, into the box in which you exist, to see what’s been missed that will deliver the answer to your Killer Question.

What’s the duration?
The process typically takes 3 – 4 weeks. This includes two weeks for your team to complete the workbooks.

Are there any workshops?
Not with the ABC process as it’s entirely workbook run. We offer other services though which do incorporate highly-innovative workshop approaches.

What does the workbook look like?ABC workbook pages
The participants write all their ideas in the workbook as they use the tools – which helps them keep all their ideas in one place. The workbook has two main sections – one for each of the elements the participant addresses, and the style of the workbook is shown here. The workbook also contains educational snippets on the mind and how it works to further stimulate the participant’s thinking in their work and home environments.

Why does it work where brainstorming fails?
ABC keeps people focused on specific elements of your Killer Question – which we help you to identify at the same time we create the Killer Question with you. Each participant addresses two elements, so each element is considered four times. It works by avoiding the barren areas where practical opportunities have a low chance of existing and focusing on the zones of high-potential opportunity.

How much of my time will it take as the sponsor?
The set-up and feedback can be done remotely with you if you prefer as we know your time is precious. The setting up, running and feedback for the project will take around four hours – over half of which can be delegated. The participants in the process will need 3 – 5 hours of time each to complete the workbook – but this is best done in short blocks of time spread over the two-week period.

Who are the best people to be participants?
People from your team who are close to the delivery of the customer solutions add considerable input. Additionally, others from key areas of your business not directly involved in the issue can also add great value – as can suppliers and key partners. Our Ingenious Growth team also add an external, creative perspective to boost your solutions.

What output do I get at the end?
We create a presentation of the best opportunities that aim to be the natural next steps for you to take. Practical, organic-growth opportunities that will deliver value in the short to medium term – and which can form platforms for growth in the longer-term too.

Other Applied Business Creativity focussed workbooks

ABC workbook covers
We offer other programmes that use the ABC process on specific areas. Our Applied Business Creativity for customer experiences focuses on ways to grow an develop the experiences you offer to your external and internal customers.
We also offer a version of the programme for the public sector called Applied Services Creativity.
All versions of the programme are run in an identical manner.

Want to know more? Phone Chris Thomason on +44 (0) 7595 202 783 or email