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Thinking Room - an introduction

Thinking Room is a cross-sector innovation unit that combines user-led design techniques with best practice project management to make good ideas happen. Thinking Room has been developed by Cornwall Council.

We are updating this area with new information all the time so please come back and visit. You can contact Thinking Room for more information or leave us feedback:

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We also have a Thinking Room booklet which can be downloaded in PDF format or just continue to read below to find out more details.

Most organisations want to be innovative, creative and productive, yet despite this it is often a struggle to create the right conditions and culture to support radical change. As our world becomes simultaneously less predictable and more complex, we need to spend increasing amounts of time and effort thinking about new ways to tackle the challenges we face.

Below you can read about our approach to harnessing innovation and how we are developing it in the future - We call it Thinking Room.  Find out about the Thinking Room stages in the supplementary pages.

It represents our collective thoughts and experiences on change – how to do, how not to do, what’s fun and enjoyable.

Our ideas will change with time as they are tested and refined, as we build our collective wisdom about what works across Cornwall from our experience working with citizens to make change happen.

To create this we have brought together all sorts of people: designers, strategic thinkers, policy makers, experts and members of the general public. The result? We believe that this approach makes a difference.

What is innovation? We think it is often misunderstood so we prefer the phrase ‘making good ideas happen’. We all have ideas but do we think we have the right mandate, motivation and responsibility to deliver them?

Your idea could be ingenious, something that could make a real difference. Thinking Room is about making good ideas happen by understanding how we nurture and create the conditions for your good ideas to flourish.

Change is a part of life.

We are facing a period of unprecedented uncertainty in the global economy, socio-political upheaval and fundamental environmental challenges; the need for ‘change’ is increasingly the only constant.

Our ability to understand and manage change is therefore critical to our prospects. Change is often seen as being difficult to achieve, high risk and prone to failure. Generally accepted advice includes ‘don’t give up’, ‘deliver whatever the cost’, ‘it’s going to hurt, but it will be worth it in the end’. Often we strive to understand how we can make the end results of change better.

Let’s ask ourselves how can we make change more enjoyable?

Innovation and change starts with people.

Bringing together different expertise and intelligence around the needs of stakeholders and end users makes common sense. Greater interaction and participation of individuals working collectively and generating new expectations of what’s possible is both an exciting and challenging prospect.

Technology is a great enabler. Experts and professionals face criticism that delivering pre-determined agendas of the few on behalf of the many can inadvertently exclude the views of the silent majority, undervaluing their contribution. Experience tells us invoking change in this way can undermine good intentions or worse still have a counter productive effect.