Select Page

Innovation, Ideas and Creativity with Dr Jo North 

Ideas are what new business growth is all about. But how do you plan for and get your team fired up to generate more ideas? How can you get the people around you to be more innovative and creative so you get the ideas that will bring the business growth your so desire?

That’s where Dr Jo North from the Big Bang Partnership comes in. She’s this week’s guest on The Next 100 Days podcast.

Innovation, Ideas, Creativity, Dr Jo North, The Next 100 Days Podcast

The Big Bang Partnership

You can find Dr Jo North at The Big Bang Partnership


Jo is a regular in Gibraltar

Jo was just back from helping a Gibraltar based business transform their business thinking with innovation and creativity. It was there that she lost her voice. So the recording is Jo with a rather squeaky voice.

Not Change for Change’s Sake

Jo does not do change for change’s sake. It is about continually evolving and differentiating. The ideas that businesses have are the things that set them apart. For Jo, it is about staying ahead of the curve and continually evolving.

People are often so busy doing their day job. So it is a challenge to think differently about what you are doing. It means you may need to change processes. It is about a mindset. If you can see the vision, it helps.

  • How can things be different?

What does Jo do to help people get better at Innovation?

First of all, Jo explains a little about how the mind works.


Sometimes we think the best route to get from A to B is the direct line. If you choose that route then you will only get the most OBVIOUS solution. Your ideas will be at their most obvious!

So, what is an idea? 

An idea is when two thoughts come together for the first time. How do you have ideas? They come from your head. So the stuff you put into your head, will effect the thoughts you have. The quality of questions we ask, really helps out thinking.


What are the types of questions that we should be asking ourselves?

Ideas come from questions that you ask yourself that are:

  • open ended
  • start with HOW
  • such as How could we? How might we?
  • What if?
  • How could we reduce the time to market by 6 weeks?
  • Asking these questions creates possibilities in minds.
  • What if we did this?
  • Play around with different solutions – not committing yourself, just giving yourself permission.
  • Also, Wouldn’t it be fantastic if…(then complete the sentence)


Go to Idea Time

Get Jo’s DIY Team Away Day Toolkit Takes you through the agenda and how to do an away day.

Sticky Dot Voting….nothing to do with Brexit…one of 200+ creative techniques that Jo uses. The ideas are on the walls, you have so many votes to spend and you stick your dots against the ideas you like best. (Remainers will follow you around and peel off your dots though!)

How to sift the ideas you come up with?

Jo advises using a simple How hard or Difficult it will be plus the potential returns from the idea using 2×2 matrix (Ease of Implementation/Potential returns).

This is explained in the DIY Away Day Toolkit.

Your Brain

Careful, the brain takes the path of least resistance. So, you need to get yourself into a place or state of mind where you are relaxed. You need to relax your FRONTAL LOBES. They are gatekeepers of thinking. They stop neural connections around the brain.

Be relaxed and enjoy yourself. So when do you get your best ideas?

  • At the end of the day
  • In the shower
  • At the gym
  • Going for a walk (and sleep on it)
  • On the toilet

When we are busy we are not tuned into conscious. Kevin charges his clients for dog walking.


SCAMPER? A checklist of actions to work through to FORCE you to think differently. Going offsite is part of the process. It changes the mentality.

Ask and answer those great questions we talked about earlier.

Another Technique is ERRC

What can you

ELIMINATE that the competition are offering?
REDUCE that the competition are offering?
RAISE IN TERMS OF STANDARDS that the competition are offering?
CREATE THAT NOBODY ELSE that is offering?

If you like Jo, you’ll also love Duncan Wardle – our guest on Episode 124

Take something out, but combining. Steve Jobs said it was about combining and connecting things.

Be careful NOT to prematurely evaluate the idea?

Like me, about the fish n chips in Jo’s new style restaurant. Think different and see where it takes you.

Make sure you can brainstorm the idea. Let people know what is going on. Cut and stick newspaper cuttings to combine thoughts.

The Next 100 Days – What can you get done, with new ideas?

What steps?

Jo advises a 12 week programme – next one starts 21st January.

  • Go somewhere DIFFERENT
  • Start by working out what you want – SOAR technique
  • Wouldn’t it be fantastic if
  • Prioritise
  • How could I…?
  • Idea generation – mind mapping, get ideas out
  • Sticky note clustering – sort them into groups and see what you’ve got
  • 2 by 2 box (easy/hard versus big win/smallwin)
  • Make a plan to do it
  • Momentum is important – every day or every week.

Also take a look at IDEA TALK on where there are blogs about all these techniques.

On her programme, Jo helps unsticking stucks. Have focused attention, every day.

Sorry about the quality of the video on this podcast – BT Super Fast Broad Band – in Ripon – clearly a rubbish service!

Next 10 years?

  • Jo wants the Idea Time Programme to be more prevalent
  • A book
  • Jo wants to help a lot of people.


Contact Dr Jo North

Contact Jo on LinkedIn:



What does Jo think of The Next 100 Days – Jo North – “listened to every episode – the value is terrific!”