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AFC Framework for Creativity and Innovation Process

1. Define the challenge: Develop a set of powerful questions to surface opportunities, and frame innovation.

2. Gather data: Learn how to gather data through qualitative research such as observation and storytelling to augment traditional forms of data gathering.  Tools include Journey Mapping and Value chain analysis

3. Reframe and clarify the challenge: Make sense of research by seeing patterns, themes, and larger relationships between the information. Challenge assumptions and illuminate opportunities latent within the organization.

4. Artful reflection: Cultivate your intuition and develop  aesthetic ways of knowing. The elegant solution wins in the marketplace. Visualization: Develop visual thinking skills to de-code images, and communicate ideas visually. Visual  literacy transcends the limitations of language,  and activates our senses. Tools include Mind mapping, sketching and painting.

5. Ideate: Learn six idea generation tools to foster shifts in perception,  break out of traditional mind-sets, and generate seed ideas for innovation, including SCAMPER, Metaphorical thinking, connecting the dots, and Edison’s invention techniques.

6. Evaluate: Identify the criteria you need to evaluate ideas; learn the distinction between critiquing and criticizing an idea; give feedback that enhances creativity rather than crushes it.

7. Prototyping: Create a visual tangible representation of your idea and present it to the group for feedback. Create a feasibility and an adoption checklist to get people onboard. Customer co-creation:  Exploring alternative futures  with your internal and external customers.

8. Assess: Gather feedback from prototype. Assess outcomes, and refine your project. Develop a set of feedback questions to get the information you need, i.e., does this add value to the customer?

9. Implement: Create an action plan and test-drive your innovation Iterate: Assess results, modify and improve, using this framework.