Other Services

  • Freshness Fridays

    Creativity Workshops

    Creative Thinking Ideashops

    Struggling to come up with innovative ideas?

    Need to think out the box?

    Have your team’s brainstorming techniques passed their sell-by date?

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    What are they

    We coach participants in basic to advanced techniques of creative thinking in a relaxed and fun environment, and can guarantee participants will shift their thinking by the time they leave.

    Who is it for

    Everyone. We are born creative, and then are taught to think, sit, and paint in defined lines. In essence, our education system is rooted in a linear paradigm and what we bring are tools to ‘trick’ the mind into making creative leaps outside the lines again.


    We facilitate in a very open manner, and believe that play and humour are key ingredients to generating ideas that result in great Return On Innovation.


    We develop the skills to uncover hidden connections, break existing patterns, to let go the existing pot of ideas that generally get recycled, and to make creative leaps between seemingly disconnected concepts and the challenge/problem at hand.

    We cover areas such as

    • understanding why we are hard-wired not make creative leaps
    • specific strategies and tools to allow “blank sheet of paper” thinking
    • designing the type of environment necessary to foster creative thinking
    • how to handle “devil’s advocate” or worst-case scenario actors in meetings.

    Half-day workshop

    We offer half-day sessions where teams or a group of individuals develop creative thinking skills. We ground our ideashops on practical and tangible experiences and projects that the group can relate to. And the sessions can be held on any day, not just Fridays.

    The ideashops are designed to create awareness to the above elements and is not intended to solve major problems in four hours, but participants will definitely benefit by having a much clearer approach to engaging those challenges.

    Ongoing Programme

    We also offer ongoing creativity programmes to help teams extend and expand their creative toolset use, and can be tailored to specific team objectives.


    (Prices exclude VAT, venue-related and travel costs)
    • Half-day ideashop – R10,000: includes freshness toolkit (max participants 20).
    • 6 month programme – R55,000: a half-day once a month with a team/multiple teams.

    Call Simon de Haast on +2783 326 3496

  • Blog Insight

    Research and Inspiration

    Online Research Platform

    Stuck in the echo chamber of stale ideas and research?

    Need to find inspiration but lack the time to find great sources?

    Let us be your online muse to feed your imagination.

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    What is it

    A service from Ideafarm that incorporates a custom-designed website that acts a repository for research relevant to your business, as well as insights and articles posted by us.

    This platform can be very rapidly built and modified, and because it is web-based, allows for the global sharing of research and insight, as well as facilitating feedback on ideas or concepts within your team. The website is generally closed for public access through a username and password mechanism.

    So What

    Saves you time. Gets you thinking beyond your current space. Our repository model collects wisdom and insights from various sources and provides multiple perspectives. An extremely useful feature is the search function, creating the possibility of using the platform almost as a concept thesaurus. Allows for easy addition of guest writing and commentary. It offers your team a single place to publish their observations and ʻweb-clippingsʼ. Weʼre doing this research all the time for ourselves and weʼre very good at it.

    Who is it for

    Marketing, Product Management, Innovation and New Product Development teams. Senior management and executive teams needing a quick way to be see what the latest ʻstuffʼ is in technology, product innovation and market trends. Some of our clients have included FNB Mobile, SABMiller, and Standard Bank Corporate.

    Structure & Costs

    (Costs exclude VAT)

    The service comprises two components, the technical platform, and the research postings.

    1) The Platform

    Our solution is based on an open-source web-publishing platform that we customise and tailor for your brandʼs look and feel. We host the platform, and we look after all the technical bits related to that.

    Within the platform there are two components, the administrative side (where the research entries will be created) and the user interface (where the research entries will be seen). You may request the latter to undergo more advanced graphic design services than the standard offering, to which we will quote separately (or ʻbringʼ your own designer).

    Any number of additional authors (inside and outside your team) can be added, allowing for rich collaboration to occur.

    We charge a basic platform hosting fee of R2500 per month, and this covers all hosting admin, user authentication, basic graphic design, programming and maintenance. A monthly email digest version of the past monthʼs posts is additional R1000pm.

    2) The Research

    As innovation catalysts we are continually researching key shifts in technology, social behaviour, market/ consumer trends, and business strategy. Because this is core to our innovation and insight functions, we have become very good at finding interesting 'stuff' and we cover a lot more ground than most businesses whose core business is not research and insight. Innovation is about tomorrow's revenue, and getting a 'heads up' on developments at the edge of markets or technologies puts one in a better position to create more product revenue possibilities.

    It makes sense for us to then package this research into streams that are relevant to our clients. We have the advantage of being highly technically literate, great integrators of trends, and have the ability to articulate this in a way that is engaging and entertaining.

    Research topics are chosen by you and are not set in stone. When we come across material relevant to your mandate (we interpret that very liberally), we will write about it, referencing all sources. This helps your team draw inspiration for product or service concepts outside your traditional research areas.

    The cost of researching, editing and posting articles is R450 per entry. Typically we would contract a minimum (8) and maximum number of entries per month.

  • cxDesign

    Mapping Customer Experience

    Innovation through Touchpoint design

    Ideafarm’s core belief is that brands can outsource innovation and marketing to their customers.

    Customers donʼt necessarily always have great ideas. But they do have pains, problems and predicaments in their day-to-day lives. We see these as possibilities and what we do is to help transform these into ideas for products and services. Innovation starts with an eye

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    Brands can do this by redesigning their organisation’s points of interaction with customers (touchpoints) from the outside-in, creating conditions for remarkable customer experiences to occur. This in turn, helps foster a trust relationship making it more likely that customers will share with you their challenges, issues and points of pain that surround their customer journey, and share with their friends their positive experiences.

    So What

    It is from these new insights that new services or products can be co-created with customers, and a shift in the organizational culture and design from being a collection of complaint harvesting silos to a proactive customer listening system can be made.

    Good product design starts from the outside, and works its way inside.
    - David Carey, president of design consulting firm Portelligent on Apple

    How we Help

    Ideafarm helps to bridge the efforts of customer experience design to the innovation quest of brands. We do this with four steps, using a mapping and journey metaphor: i) creating the map; ii) document the current experiences; iii) redesign the touchpoints iv) digging deeper.

    Step 1 Touchpoint Mapping

    By mapping all points of customer interaction with your brand or organization, a brand obtains a starting point to reinvent the experiences a customer has on their journey and thereby create a solid trust foundation that helps feed the innovation funnel.

    Touchpoint mapping can be broadly segmented into various elements: physical (e.g. product interface, building), communication (e.g. call centre, website), process (e.g. customer returns, upgrades), and people (e.g. reception impression).

    This is achieved by on-the-ground assessment, interviews, observation and documenting of the various elements in the brand delivery system, similar to a cultural anthropological study.

    The outcome is a web-based interactive report (.pdf snapshots are also made) that takes the reader on a journey into the organization from the customer’s perspective, using where appropriate various multimedia artifacts (video, audio, photos) to add richness and detail.

    Step 2 Experience Audit

    With a touchpoint map available as a reference point, customers are interviewed at the various points of interaction on their expectations, actual experience, and missed opportunities. This step connects the map to the How we help territory. It also stress-tests the mapping topology against what customers see, since the map is a simplification of a complex construct. Think of the touchpoint map as a customer service GPS.

    Again, the richness of multimedia artifacts is used to bring the data alive, and is added to the map plots created in the first step.

    Step 3 Touchpoint Re-design

    This is where the insights gained previously are fed into a ‘possibilities pot’. Cross-functional teams are recruited from the organization (and outside) to develop ideas around how best to reinvent customer experiences across all identified touchpoints, and develop new ones where appropriate. This is done in an environment where creative thinking skills are developed and coached, called a customer experience greenhouse.

    It is also an area where new ideas can be tested and prototyped in customer “co-creation labs”.

    Step 4 Exploring the Customer’s Territory

    Having a systemic view of your brand’s touchpoints gives you a great vantage point to understand how your customers see your organisation. This allows you to create remarkable experiences that turn customers into volunteer salesforces and start insightful conversations. However, innovation really starts to happen when brands apply the same mapping metaphors into their customer’s business. As a supplier, your journey is mostly done when the customer buys your product or service. However, that is really the start of your customer’s journey.

    By digging a bit deeper into how and where your offering lands up being utilized inside the customer’s space (and more tellingly, the customer’s end users), a flood of new insights will emerge once you start hearing about their issues, challenges, and points of pain. For example, a major US-based hospital drug supplier adopted this “follow the pill” approach and unearthed a significant amount of complimentary innovation opportunities.

    Remarkable Customer Experience as a gift

    A good gift makes a connection … It means a fresh way of looking at something so the person that receives it thinks of you when they use it

    They say: 'How clever, you thought about some part of my life and how to make it work. You didn't just go through the motions on this gift.'
    - David Pogue, New York Times


  • Conference Talks, Lecturing

    Inspiring Food for Thought

    Developing Thought Leadership with Ideafarm

    Our focus is getting people to think differently about stuff and connect them with new ideas.

    We see our mission as expanding rather than changing minds by introducing additional ways of seeing the world.

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    What we are really good at is combining and integrating multiple thinking models into something practical and usable by managers and business owners. We do this through our workshops, seminars and lecture series, as well as through our research and consulting work.

    A range of thinkers, from McLuhan to Machiavelli, has influenced our thinking, with a strong bias towards systems thinking.

    This is especially relevant now given the increasing awareness and adoption of “design thinking” principles in business which demand “radical collaboration” between multidisciplinary teams.

    Our work can help participants a) make sense of the deeper context around them b) make better decisions by sweeping in multiple perspectives, and c) ultimately create a platform for more innovative products and services to be developed.

    Current business is about today’s revenue, and accordingly is structured around routine processes that strive to eliminate variance and deviation – finding better answers to the same question.

    Innovation is about tomorrow’s revenue, and this needs an ability to think in these terms. Ideafarm can help teams craft new questions, as the quality of ideas are dependent on the quality of the questions.

    The main focus is on using entertaining stories to bring home the point of how to see differently. Themes we cover include:

    • Seeing differently: original stories on innovation and creative thinking
    • Navigating the new branding and media landscape
    • Web technology and why it's really different now
    • How to create the future (by being aware of the present)
    • Understanding Design Thinking and Customer Experience
    • Creative strategy development with McLuhan, Obeng, Senge
    • Lead-user innovation and customer conversations