Getting Agency Big Idea Thinkers to go Bigger

Workshops and training to up-level thinking in strategy and creative teams

Going lateral to create a new workshop series for Big Idea thinking.

The Challenge

We all know those big, spicy brand ideas that seem to endure effortlessly generation after generation. The Real Beauties and Hangry's and Shot on iPhones of the world. And what about the genius moves like taking a doll who was almost the face of perpetuating the patriarchy for 50 years, and using her to create a wider platform to talk about the as-yet-unequal condition of modern womanhood...? How do you come up with ideas like that?

Are these ideas within us? Are they out there waiting to be plucked from the universe? If you mash up enough things, is there a formula to get there?

And whose job is creativity, anyway??

Many teams struggle with this question. In this workshop series designed for one of the fastest-growing creative agencies in the US Mid-Atlantic, we set about reframing creative thinking as a muscle to be built, with many tools available to do so intentionally.

The Approach

Calling in pop-culture references from Liz Gilbert and Paula Scher to LVMH's appointment of Pharrell, teams navigated multiple days of lateral thinking exercises, Miro board breakouts and more, designed to explore ways to think more intentionally and then co-create a few new, branded tools for Big Idea generation.

Using an adaption of the classic Thinking Hats approach from Edward de Bono, we attempted to codify a new process for building on ideas, and saw in real time our proclivity towards critical thinking and how sometimes, that's the enemy.

Tools for Lateral Jumps

Mixing in famous and less-well known examples from brand, category and culture, we came up with prompts and questions that could send brains down new lines of thinking.

Showing that no brainstorm is complete with an injection of external stimulus, these questions, provocations and pivots to put fresh lenses on old briefs and generate new ideas.

What's Next?

At the end of the sessions, plans were made to commit time and attention to building creative thinking muscle, and codify new tools into regular programming.

If you're interested in assessing and refreshing the state of creative and strategic thinking "bigness" in your organization, give us a shout ;)

The Phoenix team has been both valuable and a pleasure to partner with. Their research has provided thorough insights into user problems and needs, helping shape our product strategy and prioritization

- Rosie

PM, Noom, Inc.

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