Think and drive

AA launches campaign to boost Britain’s creative drive

12 April 2012

AA launches ‘Think and Drive’ campaign to boost Britain’s creative drive

AA launches ‘Think and Drive’ campaign to boost Britain’s creative drive

AA launches ‘Think and drive’ campaign to boost Britain’s creative drive during World Creativity & Innovation Week (15-21 April 2012)

When it comes to driving habits most of us confess to listening to music, even getting angry with other motorists but few of us take advantage of the great opportunity behind the wheel – to think up new ideas.

Eighty one per cent of drivers in an AA/Populus survey of 21,408 confess to having ideas while they are driving, yet only 19% take action and make note of them.

while you are concentrating on your driving and focussing on making sure you arrive safely at your destination, your brain can also be working in a background mode on many other things

Edmund King, AA president

Comment

Edmund King, AA president, comments: “It is a wasted opportunity that drivers think up great plans behind the wheel but rarely act on them. This is the creative equivalent of winning the pools but not bothering to cash the cheque.”

To celebrate ‘World Creativity and Innovation Week’* (15 – 21 April) and to help drivers make the most of the creative opportunity while driving, the AA has teamed up with leading creativity expert, Andy Green of the Flexible Thinking Forum, to offer a free guide, The AA’s seven point ‘Think and Drive’ plan to transform Britain’s drivers’ creative thinking’.

A car journey is one of those increasingly rare moments when you are not intensely focussing your personal attention on talking to other people, watching television, speaking on the phone, or surfing the net.

“Our brains have got this great ability to multi-task: while you are concentrating on your driving and focussing on making sure you arrive safely at your destination, your brain can also be working in a background mode on many other things. By letting your unconscious mind ‘incubate’ a problem, it will generate some top quality ideas – as long as you remember to capture them. Many of my best business or campaign ideas have been dreamt up in the car,” says Edmund King, the AA's president.

Ideas whilst driving

We asked the AA/Populus panel, "Do you have ideas whilst driving which you then make a note of when you stop driving?"

  • 19% Yes
  • 62% have ideas but don’t make a note
  • 20% don’t have ideas whilst driving

The AA/Populus poll also revealed how motorists higher-up the social scale were more likely to both make plans or have ideas during their journey, while also ensuring to make a note of any creative thoughts.

Younger drivers under 34 tended to be in the majority in making plans or having ideas on their journey, but were among the least diligent in following-up and making note of any new thoughts.

Drivers in Northern Ireland led the way in being creative by making a note of any new ideas, but were also among the least inspired when behind the wheel, with some 20% of drivers there confessing to not having any ideas while driving.

The survey also revealed that while driving alone 89% listen to the radio or CDs, and nearly a third get annoyed with the traffic or other drivers.

Think and drive tips

The AA ‘Think and Drive’ tips for boosting your creativity while driving include:

  1. Define your problem as a question. Then challenge yourself to ask better quality questions.
  2. Forget about your question. Concentrate on your driving.
  3. Add variety to your journey. 
  4. Use unfamiliar triggers on your journey to nudge your thinking.
  5. Capture your ideas; otherwise they will disappear, often forgotten forever.
  6. Keep your ideas in your own ‘Ideas Log book’.
  7. Congratulate yourself on completing your journey safely while also making full use of the creative opportunity. Go on with your day in a positive frame of mind.

Commenting on the launch of the new Guide, Edmund King,  AA president, added: “All of us need new ideas to cope in these difficult times. You can use the insight from our Guide, whilst driving safely, to transform your creative potential to put you in the driving seat in your life.”

(13 April 2012)


Andy Green is an expert on how ideas are created and spread. He is the author of five books on creativity and innovation which have been translated into eight languages.

AA/Populus poll of 21,408 AA members conducted 16-22 February 2012

* ‘World Creativity and Innovation Week’ (15 – 21 April). 15 April was chosen as it was Leonardo da Vinci’s birthday.