People & Human Resources

We’re fresh out of new ideas. How can we spark some creativity around here?

Aunty B /

Dear Aunty B,

We’ve got a bit of a gap we are trying to plug in our budget at the moment, so the other day I called everyone together and asked for some smart ideas to help us get over this hump.

But I got nothing. The guys stared at their notebooks hoping someone else would talk and we sat there like stunned mullets for 10 minutes. I got so angry I told everyone to piss off and take a good hard look at themselves.

Are they tired Aunty B, or have I sapped them of their creative juices? Do I need to start moving some people on or did I catch them on a bad day?




Dear Stuck,

Luckily your dear Aunty B isn’t out of ideas on this occasion or you’d be up under-budget creek without a paddle.

I think mass sackings are probably a slight overreaction here, but as we get into the final quarter of the year you can enter a bit of an ideas wasteland. So instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, why don’t you try to improve on some existing ideas – a little bit of creative sourcing.

Call another meeting and ask everyone to answer the following questions:

  1. 1. What’s the best idea we’ve come up with internally in the last two years and how can we refresh it?
  2. 2. What’s the best idea we’ve come up with internally that didn’t see the light of day for some reason? How can we make it work this time?
  3. 3. What’s the best idea that companies in our market overseas have come up with and how can we localise it?
  4. 4. What’s the best idea we’ve seen in another industry that we can adapt?
  5. 5. If money and resources were no object, what idea would you love us to implement?

If everyone in your team comes to the meeting with those questions answered, I will guarantee you’ll get at least three good ideas.

Good luck,

Your Aunty B

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Aunty B

I’m SmartCompany’s resident Agony Aunt. Have a problem to solve? Just ask. @IamAuntyB #AuntyB

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