To survive and flourish, companies and organisations need to constantly evolve, whereby the introduction of competitive and highly regarded new products is essential. The question is: where should ideas for these new products come from? According to Dennis Sherwood some proposals could quite possibly result from customer feedback, from hiring ‘creative people’ or even from copying a competitor. But, as he goes on to state: “it is far, far better to discover ideas by using a deliberate, systematic, rigorous and disciplined process.”


And Dennis certainly knows what he is talking about, having helped many businesses to unleash their creativity. “As a consultant I stimulate business creativity, by which I mean helping organisations understand how they can discover business-relevant ideas, such as ideas for new products which might even be disruptive,” he explains.

Delegates who attend his sessions learn that creativity is neither an accident nor something that only happens to special, ‘creative’ people. “The message is that creativity can be made to happen, deliberately and systematically, by using a well-crafted, rigorous, disciplined and analytic process. All these words are adjectives which are well at home in the world of engineering too!”


In short, there is nothing whimsical about Dennis’ approach. “The process of ‘deliberate creativity’ that I describe to clients is certainly applicable to new product development, and so engineers, designers and R&D people are often to be found in my classes.”


Valve World is therefore delighted that Dennis will be moderating a workshop during the Valve World Conference 2016 and also delivering a plenary lecture. “In my talk I will describe a process for the deliberate discovery of ideas, a process that is highly analytical and therefore very appealing, especially to engineers. Then, in my workshop session, participants will have the opportunity to gain hands-on, practical, experience of using that process, so gaining confidence not only that the process works, but also that ‘I can do it!’”


Dennis’ presentation and workshop are being held on Thursday, 1st December in Dusseldorf, during the final day of the Valve World Conference. For more information, please see

Rutland: England’s smallest county

Dennis is proud to hail from Rutland, which as he says is England’s smallest country. It is totally landlocked, bounded to the west and north by Leicestershire, to the northeast by Lincolnshire and the southeast by Northamptonshire.

It is barely 27 km from East to West and 29 km from North to South.

 Given its modest dimensions, the count council adopted the Latin motto Multum in Parvo or “much in little” in 1950.

 Rutland boasts just two towns: Oakham, the county town, and Uppingham.

 Many of Rutland’s older cottages are built from limestone or ironstone, with roofs of slate or thatch

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