Suggested SOURCES

  • Innovation Survey:
  • Strategy card deck:
  • Board of Innovation free cards:
  • IMA overview of XFT:
  • Mind Tools guide to XFT: and
  • Stuck for ideas? Try:
  • What kind of decision should I make? Try:
  • Two great innovation guides: and 
  • Great web resources:
  • Innovation Toolkit: (they have it in Mandarin too!)
  • Group decision making ideas:
  • Tangible Cards:

Sentiment Analysis Tools (for analyzing audience):

Note: the preview button does not work on the link, but if you click next to the file name (not on the name) you can download the PDFs. 

  • Day 1:
  • Day 2:

Brainstorming games to brainstorm on your own: 

  • Free the Genie Cards ( shtml). Free the Genie is a set of 55 creative thinking cards for openminded people. 
  • The KnowBrainer ( ). A useful fandeck tool with 180 cards which include questions, quotes, words and images to provide you with inspiration for new ideas. 
  • Thinkpak ( A set of brainstorming cards by Michael Michalko to stimulate creativity and get new ideas. 
  • Innovative Whack Pack ( A set of cards made by Roger von Oech with 60 creative ways and inspired by the old Greek philosopher Heraclitus. Brainstorming games for groups: 
  • IDEO method cards ( A set of 51 cards by the world famous designing agency IDEO, which contain various ways in which the designer teams can understand the target group better. They also have free resources: A demo set is here:
  • Metaforio ( An instrument for visual and creative development based on the technique of visual thought. The game consists of a set of 53 inspiring training cards based on the garden metaphor.
  • More ideas: and and finally:

Brainstorm software is widely available. There are two main areas of focus: software for mind mapping and software to support the whole process of brainstorming. Below are some examples of both types. 

  • CREAX Innovation Suite ( An extensive and user-friendly package regarding systematic innovation, based on TRIZ from Creax. It offers a step-by-step approach to the whole process of innovation. 
  • Flashbrainer ( A brainstorming program which consists of four steps (Investigate, Create, Evaluate and Activate) and leads you through the innovation process. • Mindmanager ( A well-known and extensive mind map package. It has various editions and all sorts of ‘addons’. 
  • Visual Mind ( A software program for mind mapping. An ‘add-in’ has been made, (The Realizer), which is a practical tool to help you to generate and evaluate ideas

There are many ideation generating tools available on the Internet. They are free of charge and are usually practical and simple instruments to generate new ideas, such as the ‘Ideagenerator’ described below. Websites where you can mind map online without any software, such as ‘Mindmeister’, are also very popular. Other sites allow you to generate and evaluate ideas immediately online within a group, such as ‘Brainreactions’ and ‘Brainstormnet’. 

  • Mindmeister ( A mind mapping tool enabling you to create mind maps online and in a group. 
  • Brainreactions ( Online brainstorming rooms, where you can jointly generate and evaluate around a challenge of your choice.

Tips and Tricks

Listening Enhances Understanding of Interests

One of the best ways to persuade others is with your ears. Good negotiators are good listeners. Listening in itself can become a powerful concession because we all want to be heard. Besides, your patient listening will always pay off because it strengthens relationships and trust.

Authentic Listening builds rapport and trust, uncovers the underlying messages, and sets the stage for you to be heard.

  • Have you ever been frustrated because you felt that a point you were trying to make was not getting across? Then finally, the listener understood you. This experience creates a strong alliance with the listener. It also makes it possible for you to hear what the other person is trying to tell you.

Why is it difficult to listen?

We speak at    125 words per minute

We can listen to    600-800 words per minute

We think at    2,000 words per minute

Many factors affect our listening and comprehension. What affects yours?

  • Background noise/conversations
  • Sincerity of interest
  • Energy level – time of day; hunger; sugar high
  • Pitch of the voice
  • Accents different than our own
  • Others priorities of the moment
  • Arrogance that we know more
  • Anxiety about what to say next
  • Trustworthiness from our last encounter
  • Credibility on the subject
  • Impatience
  • Listen as an ally. And listen loudly!

Listening Filters also make authentic listening difficult

Listening filters are internal processes that selectively choose certain information to pay attention to, or modify the information to suppress, minimize, and distort reality. Filters are the barriers we erect when listening to others. These barriers prevent us from accurately hearing what is being said.

Active Listening Strategies

  • Ask questions : Ask many open-ended, Probing questions. Then listen to the entire answer. People love to talk. Let them.
  • Value silence , one of the most powerful tools of listening.
  • Active listeners : Nod, paraphrase, reflect, show understanding, summarize.
  • Entice: Draw the other person out with statements such as,
  • "Tell me more about that." "How so?" "Anything else you want to add to that?"
  • Body language: After the other person finishes speaking, continue to maintain eye-contact, keep nodding, lean in, say, "Uh, huh."
  • Paraphrase : "Let me see if I got this right. What you are saying is…"
  • Acknowledge feelings : "Sounds like you are feeling…"
  • Sympathize : Show that you understand when you say, "It makes sense to me that you would feel that way, given what you just went through."
  • Questions without authentic listening are thinly veiled challenges, judgments, and assertions.
  • Challenging questions with authentic listening activates latent power, potential, and collaboration.