The longer I spend working with creative projects and non profits, the more I value practical exercises using paper. The difference between a ‘brainstorming’ session where people sit around a table and stare blankly at each other, versus one where something like a mind map is used is phenomenal. Working on paper frees up your mind, focuses your thinking and means that the introverts in the group get as much chance to contribute as the extroverts.
As a huge fan of the paper + post-its + markers approach, I was chuffed to find the DIY Toolkit. This amazing resource was produced by the UK organisation Nesta (an ‘innovation charity’) and contains 30 different tools that will help you research, generate ideas, collaborate and plan. There’s ones that were familiar to me like a Theory of Change and a SWOT analysis, and new ones such as Blueprints and Story Worlds.
Free to use, with lots of printable templates that you can use in creative sessions. It’s delivered both as a website and as a complete downloadable toolkit. And everything is beautifully designed, which makes me happy 🙂