Creativity Techniques A to Z

This A to Z of Creativity and Innovation Techniques, provides an introduction to a range of tools and techniques for both idea generation (Creativity) and converting those ideas into reality (Innovation). Like most tools these techniques all have their good and bad points. I like to think of these creativity and innovation techniques as tools in a toolbox in much the same way as my toolbox at home for DIY. It has a saw, spanner, hammer, knife and all sorts of other things in it, they are all very useful, but you have to pick the right tool (creativity / Innovation technique) for each job.

Designing a basket page to do too many things


The basket page on an ecommerce website serves one purpose. It allows the customer to check that they have everything they want in their order before they click the checkout button and go on to complete their purchase.

We’re also asking the page to allow the customer to:

  • Add a donation
  • Add Gift Aid
  • Apply a coupon code
  • Add a add-on product
  • See┬árelated products
  • Continue shopping


With all of these extra elements the page becomes very full, and so difficult to allow the customer to a) know what actions to take on the page, and b) convert. But we’ll get it up and then test the hell out of it.

Bucks Mind Strategy Planning


Board of Trustees, CEO, Senior Management Team, and Staff Team all working towards to develop the strategic direction for the charity. The challenge now is to distill the aspirations down to achievables, set targets, and create an implementation plan. Lots more work to do.

How The Independant’s shift from print to digital reveals the difficulty with digital content business models

The Independent is going digital, scraping its print version to save costs and attempt to become a world-class world-wide digital publisher.

Phil Hall, joint head of investment for Mediacom UK, said in The Drum:

The print sales are low and obviously there is a production cost involved in producing print and this is part of the reason for their shift to a digital business. While they have a decent digital subscriber base, the challenge as it is for any digital business will be to monetise that. There is certainly a possibility that they will look at a subscriber model, or they can hope that the quality of their journalism is such that they will generate more traffic and get a greater return from advertising.

The move to ‘more digital’ or ‘digital only’ content is clearly an attractive trend for a every business that deals with content. Digital production, done right so it can be repurposed, can be more cost effective than print so it’s easy to see why any content producer would shift to digital over print. But, as The Independent shows, its not quite that simple. Just being more cost effective in production doesn’t necessarily lead to greater revenue in consumption. People may well consume more content via digital means, but they do so in a very different way. Articles are read, photos looked at, and videos watched with a fast-paced throwaway approach. On the other hand, we have an innate feeling that words and images in print are somehow immortalised and so more precious, that we should take time over reading them, and pay them more attention.

This difference in consumption is what makes the digital business model so difficult to make profitable. As Phil said above, The Independant has only two potential income streams: subscription and advertising. The Subscription Model is a difficult one to get right for a newspaper as it needs to make its best content publicly available to show its quality and value, in which case subscribers are left with paying for lower quality content, and the Advertising Model, which is under increasing pressure because of the rise of ad blocking software.

Other types of organisations face the same issue. A charity could quite sensibly choose to move more of its print content to digital formats, and justify this move as saving print and distribution costs. But that fundraising campaign flyer that drops through your letterbox might hang around longer and be taken notice of more than the banner ad that you didn’t even notice as you were reading an article on The Independant’s website.

I’m a believer in all things digital, and of the digital transformation of organisations and society, but I also believe in knowing what you are trying to achieve and understanding the end-to-end process and impact of decisions like ‘going digital’. Perhaps digital, with its limited revenue models, will force organisations to accept more streamlined and smaller business models. Perhaps it will force businesses to accept lower revenue in return for greater cost-effectiveness. Perhaps ten percent profit on one million pounds turnover is better than one percent profit on one hundred million pounds turnover.