When I walk into a client’s office with IdeaKeg, I feel like a rock star.

           Mike Werner's portrait of creative facilitator Mimi Sherlock

Mimi Sherlock is an expert creative facilitator with 20 years experience. Trained as a chemist, Mimi is highly skilled at helping technical companies solve complex problems.

Here Mimi tells us about her first experience using  IdeaKeg21 with a company that supplies consumer product companies. 


My client wanted to tap into the power of trends. Could we use trends to predict what the client's customers would want to buy in the future? What products should we be offering our customers in the future?

I've seen this client look at trends. What they've done for many years is to purchase or create or PowerPoint trend deck. Then they get together as a group, looking at the slides and trying to come up with ideas. I've noticed with them - just like I've seen with other clients - that trend decks just aren't a good way to utilize trends for ideation. Plain and simple: trends decks are not inspiring. When you put up a trend deck, people get very literal with how they use the information. They find it very hard to make connections with their particular business challenge.

I was looking for a new way to utilize the power of trends, and I thought this was a perfect opportunity to try KILN's IdeaKeg, so I did.

My client's challenge

The challenge the client was facing was strategic. So stakes were high. 
Also the product category while newly emerging was, frankly, pretty dull.

Here's what made it dull to the client team: 

  1. The category was narrow.
  2. The category was mature. For technical reasons, there hadn't been much innovation in the category for quite some time. 
  3. The category brought with it technical parameters that limit what the client can do with their product.

No wonder the mood was awful. Everyone was understandably feeling: "this is going to be hard. We're not excited about this challenge. But we know it matters commercially." All in all, this was a very difficult project. 

We didn't have any open ended questions that would make it fun. I hoped IdeaKeg would help people overcome their dread and engage.


Absolutely. The client team has gone on to develop a whole branded approach to the category: with marketing materials and infographics. They're now presenting the fresh approach to their customers around the world. Early reports on the customer conversations are positive. I can't say more at this time.

WHAT Did IDEAKEG21 do for the project?

IdeaKeg had a huge impact.

We got to far-flung ideas more efficiently. It helps to have something physical like IdeaKeg to engage people.

The energy in the IdeaKeg session was markedly different than the energy this client team has when they use presentations to inspire creative thinking. People were more involved. Participation was high. Their imaginations were really going wild. They were interacting directly with product examples. Using physical stimulus that represented trends was completely different than PowerPoint.

IdeaKeg works to get creative brains working. It gets people talking. IdeaKeg gets people collaborating with one another, building on everyone's ideas. 

The value of IdeaKeg is how it engages people. It forces people to work hands-on with objects in small groups. When the MindMaps come out, the big sheets draw a circle of people together. They have focus and direction. They work faster and with more imagination.

Certainly, I would say that using IdeaKeg reduced the amount of time it took for us to get some interesting ideas on the table.

For more on Mimi's work, PLEASE visit:
Sherlock Creative Thinking

Will this client use IDEAKEG again?

This was a pilot project, and it certainly worked.

The client loved IdeaKeg21.

Number 1: it's just totally different from anything they've done before. 

Number 2: They loved the story of how they came up with the new ideas they're now sharing with customers. They can tell that story to customers, and enjoy telling it.

It's definite: the client will use KILN's IdeaKeg again on another category.

Was IdeaKeg21 good value for money?

Yes, definitely. Especially for this client. They are going to use the same IdeaKeg21 on different categories and with different groups. 

My client bought IdeaKeg and I keep it for them. I expect they will want a refresh in the next year or so.



I recommend IdeaKeg to my peers. The whole package works really, really well. 

We used the objects, we used the trend notes, we used the Mindmaps showing questions about each object. The starter questions on the Mindmaps for each object worked as further stimulus for ideation. 

Having this tool in my facilitator's toolkit, I could use it at almost any idea generation session.

When I write training proposals, I include assessments like FourSight. It's the same with IdeaKeg now.  When I write ideation proposals, I include IdeaKeg.

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