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October 8, 2008

Thinking out of the box

In the second year of its Think Tank concept, Crowne Plaza has worked with leaders from the business and creative industries, to create bespoke innovations to directly benefit business guests staying in its hotels.


The new creative platform follows on from the success of its 2007 Think Tank activity, which saw the hotel brand partner with a group of visionary thought-leaders, ‘the Crowne Plaza mavericks’.


One of the first innovators to be involved in the campaign is Roger von Oech, an author, inventor and speaker, who specialises in devising methods and products that inspire creativity and maximise energy in meetings. As his innovation for the Think Tank campaign, Roger has designed a ‘Think Box’ which will be available in selected meeting rooms across the region.


In an exclusive interview with meetme, von Oech explained the thought process that led to Think Box. “I worked together with Crowne Plaza to identify the three key creativity hurdles faced in meetings. I then re-worked some of my existing innovations, as well as devising new tools such as the Inspire Boards, to directly assist in overcoming these issues in meeting rooms. I then picked the most effective of my tools to feature in the Think Box,” he said.


Each Think Box contains three different items, designed to troubleshoot these common meeting problems, which include loss of focus, lack of creativity and achieving meeting goals.


“The first is the set of 32 ‘Think Cards’ which are based on my Creative Whack Pack. These are creativity strategies such as: ‘Think Like A Kid’, ‘Avoid Arrogance’, and ‘Simplify’. Each card has a strategy, a story and an example, and finally a question to apply the strategy to the problem at hand.


“Also included is my ‘Ball of Whacks’ innovation, which is a set of 30 magnetic design blocks. Its ‘home’ shape is the ball-like rhombic triacontahedron but it can be turned into many other shapes. Playing with the Ball of Whacks stimulates brain activity.


“The third element is the set of ‘Inspire Boards’ which are based on my creativity book, ‘A Whack on the Side of the Head’. These include inspirational sayings and exercises. All in all, a good way to perk up your thinking at the start of a meeting!” he added.


The Think Box will be featuring in four Crowne Plaza Hotel meeting rooms across the Middle East; two in Dubai (Dubai and Dubai Festival City hotels), the other is the Crowne Plaza hotel in Amman, Jordan and the final venue is the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. 

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