These companies have experienced the results of creative success:
S.C. Johnson
Vicki Baxter's African Journey
Jacque's Floral Shop & Garden Center
Newsday
U.S. Army
Outdoor Life Magazine
Clorox
General Motors
Candler Hospital
Mead Paper Company

See the complete client list.


S.C. Johnson Uses Creative Problem Solving
Techniques to Create a Breakthrough Product

You're sitting on your patio on a luscious summer night...crickets are singing, outdoor torches are creating the perfect ambience...and SLAP! Your reverie is zapped short by the mosquito you've just had to squash as it went in for the kill on your neck. This was the pesky problem Mike Fryan wanted to solve for customers of his company's already popular insect repellent products. Obvious solutions weren't working, but when Mike, Section Manager for Home Cleaning and New Products at S.C. Johnson, participated in Dr. Roger Firestien's Leading on the Creative Edge seminar, he came away with Creative Problem Solving techniques that led him and his team to a breakthrough. By rephrasing the problem and combining already existing products and technologies in new ways, the new OFF! ® Mosquito Lamp was born. The team's ongoing efforts to making creativity techniques a way of life have also led to shortened product development cycles and many additional patent filings for S. C. Johnson.
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A Trip to Africa from Divine Inspiration
Creative thinking does work. One person can make a difference. Just ask Vicki Baxter, a teacher who felt that her long-time dream of going to Africa on a church mission trip was financially out of reach. A student in Roger Firestien's graduate course in Creative Studies at Buffalo State College, Vicki got her whole class involved in brainstorming a creative solution to her challenge. In just one class period, Vicki and her fellow students came up with 700 ideas for raising money! But the idea that really inspired Vicki was so extraordinary - and simple - it just had to work. Vicki decided to ask 2,000 people for one dollar. Via letters, e-mail, and radio, word about Vicki's good cause spread like wildfire and she easily collected the cash she needed to make her dream come true.
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Creative Talking Leads to Success
After 24 years in the floral industry, Paul Godbout and his wife, owners of Jacque's Floral Shop & Garden Center, were inspired by a Roger Firestien creativity seminar to try some new things in their business. They asked employees from different divisions in their company to suggest answers to dogged problems in design, sales, and delivery. One suggestion, to place orange dots on the delivery cards of time-sensitive deliveries, helped the company to rocket from a two-person operation to a 33-person power that ranks in the top 65 FTD florists in the country. Talk about miracle growth!
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Newsday Saves $22,000 the First Day
Pat Troy, Training Project Manager at Newsday, facilitated a Creative Problem Solving session for the paper's production department. The group eventually decided to focus on how to develop a system to check the paper for accuracy before it is released. That afternoon, the production team went back to the composing room and created its comprehensive checklist. By using the list that very night, the team caught an error in a full page color advertisement that would have cost $22,000 to fix. "We made our money back on the first day!" Pat declared.

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U.S. Army Reduces Energy Use 35% With Creative Problem Solving
John Nerger, Director for Facilities and Housing for the U.S. Army, oversees about two billion of the U.S. Army's sixty billion dollar annual budget. He's responsible for all construction investments at army bases worldwide, as well as for approximately 115 thousand housing units. When Congress directed John to find a way to divest the military of its energy-providing function for its bases worldwide, he and his colleagues used principles of Creative Problem Solving to develop a strategic partnership with another defense agency that specializes in energy. Recently John was given an executive order to reduce energy use at his facilities 35 percent by the year 2010; to meet this objective he's again using the techniques of CPS.
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Creative Problem Solving Helps OUTDOOR LIFE Magazine Increase Subscription 30%, Newsstand Sell-Through 37%

When Todd Smith took the helm at Outdoor Life magazine in early 1997, the publication boasted a proud heritage... but a troubled bottom line. Prior to his arrival, a failed attempt to reposition the magazine from its traditional hunting and fishing roots to a more general sporting focus had eroded ciruclation and damaged profits. Using principles of Creative Problem Solving, Todd reenergized the magazine and within a year and a half, subscriptions rose 30 percent, newsstand sell-through jumped 37 percent, and both circulation and advertising revenue sharply increased.
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Rephrasing Problem Statement Leads To Solution of 77-Year-Old Consumer Problem For Clorox
Chemist Mike Fryan once solved a vexing 77-year old consumer problem by using ideas he picked up in a Creative Problem Solving session. For more than seven decades scientists at Clorox had tried and failed to fix a glitch that generated more than 50 percent of all consumer complaints on a popular product. Mike and some colleagues spent more than a man-year trying to find their own solutions - until Mike decided to apply a lesson learned in a CPS session and challenge the accepted problem statement. In fifteen minutes he set up a crude experiment which in two weeks gave him the answer he and the company had pursued for so long.
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General Motors Forge Plant Finds A $1.50 Solution To A $40,000-A-Week Problem
During a training session in Creativity, employees at a GM Forge Plant in Upstate NY set their sights on finding a way to prevent the ring gears made at their plant from sticking in and breaking dies during production - a problem that was costing the plant thousands per week. While brainstorming, one teammate suggested using the cooking product PAM to prevent the sticking, and another participant quickly built on the idea. The result: Using a $1.00 spray bottle and fifty cents worth of solutions, plant operators now spray the dies before making ring gears to prevent sticking, and the plant saves as much as $40,000 weekly.
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Graham Cracker Cookies Yield $4.5 Million At Candler Hospital
When Janet DiClaudio, Director of Medical Records, joined Candler Hospital, 300 records were backlogged, and doctors weren't coming to the Records office to sign them - a situation that prevented the hospital from billing patients for millions of dollars worth of healthcare services. To overcome this challenge, Janet held a Creative Problem Solving session and asked employees, "How can we get MDs to sign their records?" During the session, employees observed that Records was far from where doctors typically congregated: the lounge. The solution: Put a desk outside the lounge and reward MDs with graham cracker cookies for signing their records. The result: By moving a desk staffed with one Medical Records employee outside the doctor's lounge, the hospital billed $4.5 million in backlogged records and has regularly reduced receivables by $3.5 million a month.
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Mead Increases Paper Brightness From 89% to 98%, Saves $.5 Million Annually
When first asked by a key customer to supply paper that was 95% bright, Mead said, "we simply can't do it." In fact, Mead struggled for years to enhance the brightness of its papers without success. Invigorated by a creativity workshop, however, Mead assembled a team to tackle the problem. The result: the team improved the brightness of Mead's paper, developed a new world-class line of products superior to any of Mead's competitors, and came up with a new process that save more than $1/2 million per year!
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Innovation Resources, Inc.
P.O. Box 615, Williamsville, NY 14321-0615
Tel: 716-631-3564
Fax: 716-631-2610
Send email to Roger.