Parallel Worlds What to do Parallel Worlds is the final creative activity of the session and is designed to take people out of their ‘River of Thinking’ so that they can come up with even more creative ideas. It is based on the premise that if you only look within your industry or to your competitors for inspiration, you will, at best, only develop ideas which are as good as the competition. If you look wider, you can find principles in what others have done to inform the challenge you are trying to solve. 1. Recap the challenge your group has been set and say “Our final activity is about stepping out of our industry and thinking about how the challenge we are exploring may have been approached somewhere else in the world. We may not find a ready-made solution for ourselves but if we explore how others have approached the challenge in their industry, we may find principles that we can build ideas around.” 2. Ask the group “Can anyone think of other industries which have faced a similar challenge?” It may help to give an example of a parallel world. For example, if your challenge is “How can we re-invent the consulting business model with new services, products or commercial models to meet future client needs?”, you might re-frame this as “what industries or sectors have seen changes to their business model or approach?” An example you might give if the group isn’t forthcoming might be: “How about print media? They have reinvented the way they create and share content through digital channels and built a business model around that.” 3. Reinforce to the group that they do not need to be experts in the industry they are sharing. This is about the intersection of their understanding of the parallel world and the challenge you are exploring. 4. We have included a couple of Parallel World cards in your pack as prompts if your group is unable to think of their own examples. Use these as stimulus to come up with ideas and think about other Parallel Worlds. 5. When your group have identified a parallel world, ask them probing questions such as: • Why do you think they did this? • How did they go about this? • What was the impact? • What were some of the challenges they faced? • What do you think is the principle at work that we could explore? 6. A principle might be (coming back to the Print media example) “Reduced revenue per eyeball but increased reach”. 7. Once you have identified a principle say “OK, how could this principle relate to our challenge?” 8. This is when an idea is likely to emerge. Listen out for the nugget of an idea and, once you do, record the idea on a generating template, following steps 6-10 in the First Burst Ideas Activity 9. Once you have recorded the idea generated from this principle, discuss any further principles in this parallel world or ask if the group can identify another. 10. At the end of this stage, ask your group to select their best idea to share with the room. Give this one idea to the Super Facilitator and place your other completed ideas into your ‘Generated Ideas Envelope’.
Parallel Worlds Template Parallel Worlds What is the parallel world? What are the principles of what they do? What idea does this make you think of?