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Thinking Expedition Stretchers

A thinking Expedition is about diffferent thinking diffferent, doing diffferent, experiencing diffferent, and getting diffferent results. On Thinking Expeditions we have found that adding several outside stretchers to the team significantly increases the amount of diffferent the team experiences and achieves. A stretcher is someone who knows little about the topic or problem being explored and comes from outside the organization. We primarily recruit most stretchers from either our pool of School for Innovators graduates or from groups or teams who have already been on a Thinking Expedition or a Thinking Adventure; this ensures that the stretcher is already familiar and comfortable with many of the innovation tools and techniques that will be used and is also generally familiar with the design and flow of a Thinking Expedition. First and foremost, the mission and purpose of the stretcher is to add value (their brains, style/type of thinking, different perspectives from that of the group, and their background) to the Expedition Team. They help open up the Mess that the group will be working on so a divergent thinking and problem-solving style and type is what we are looking for in most cases; occasionally we need more convergent thinkers as well depending on the Mess and the desired outcomes/results. In any event, the stretcher is NOT an observer. They become a fully participating member of the client's Expedition Team. Ideally a team should include at least four stretchers. Second, participating on the Thinking Expedition should add value to the stretcher personally and also to their company or organization in the larger sense: Personal: They become smarter with regards to innovation, their own type and style and they make some new connections with new people in other organizations Corporate: They become smarter and more skilled in innovation tools, techniques, processes, and the creative problem solving (CPS) model, and they bring back some new ideas that their group or company can use. Being a stretcher is the equivalent of bringing big chunks of the School for Innovators back into their organization at high-speed. Third, using the gross cost of the Thinking Expedition as a baseline, the sponsor is effectively paying $3,000-$4200 per person. For that they not only get out-of-the-box innovative solutions, they also get their people back with new skills and abilities backed up with a toolkit full of creative thinking tools, techniques and innovation processes. -- as well as some significant personal mindshifts. Stretchers are invited to participate on a Thinking Expedition team and the Expedition sponsor has the final say on whether or not there is any potential conflict of interest. If approved by the sponsor, stretchers sign a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA). The stretcher's organization normally pay travel and lodging expenses only, and the expedition sponsor provides meals. So the stretcher's company trades his or her brains and background for $3,000 worth of de facto "training" for a minimal cost. (win-win).


The first step in applying to become a stretcher is to complete the eVISA below. The second step: If you have not previously taken them and do not know your scores, we will mail you two inventories in a separate mailing: The KAI (Kirton Adaption-Innovation Inventory) and the Meyers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The third step: After receiving your eVISA and your KAI and MBTI and Temperament scores, we will send you the format for completing a short biographical sketch. We give this to the Thinking Expedition sponsor prior to the expedition to make him or her more comfortable with the outsiders who will be joining the team as stretchers (bringing in an outsider who knows nothing about the problem at hand is quite an unusual concept for most people). Last: When we have a Thinking Expedition planned for which we need some stretchers, we review the eVISAs we have on hand. If a particular stretcher appears to be a good fit for the problem and the group, we first contact the stretcher to see if he or she is interested and available for the planned timeframe. We then meet with the Thinking Expedition sponsor and review the stretcher's qualifications. If the sponsor agrees, we then formally invite the stretcher to join the team and include him or her in the normal planning process. This will include completing a new eVISA specific to the particular Thinking Expedition (many of the answers in the stretcher's eVISA on file below can simply be copied into the new one).

TIP: We frequently receive very brief, cursory answers to some of the questions. To alert you to our expectations for the "size" of the reply we would like, we are looking for longer answers, in most case 3-5 lines/sentences at a minimum. MORE IS BETTER!



Work Address:

Home Address:

Work E-Mail Address:

Personal E-Mail Address:

Work Telepone Number:

Home Telepone Number:

FAX Telepone Number:

My Mission & Purpose (1-2 lines):

My General Areas of Responsibility in my Organization are:(1-2 lines):

Some Jobs and Responsibilities I Have Had in the Past, and Some Majors Projects In Which I Have Been Involved During My Career are:

My Academic Background and Favorite Areas of Study:

Why I Want To Be a Stretcher on a Thinking-Expedition:

Unusual and Special Skills and Experienced I Bring to the Team:

Some Outside Interest I have are:

Associations, Clubs or Other Organizations to Which I belong are:

Some Unusual Adventures I Have Been On:

Some Unusual Places I Have Been:

Some Insights and Discoveries I Have Made in Life:

A Little Known Fact About Me (Almost Nobody Knows This):

Meyers Briggs Type (Include Preference, Scores and Date Take, if Known:

Temperament: If you know your Temperament, please indicate it below. If you do not know your temperament, please click on the link below to go to the Keirsey website to complete the Keirsey Temperament inventpory before entering your Temperament

-- Keirsey Temperament Sorter II --






KAI Score (Include Date Take, if Known:

Total Score O-Score E-Score R-Score

Some Different Perspectives I Feel That I Can Bring To a Team as a Stretcher Are:

Some Interesting Shifts and Trends I have Noticed Taking Place Are:(List Five)::

A Major Mess I am Currently Struggling With:

(a mess is a whole bunch of interrelated issues, challenges, problems, ideas, opportunities and background history)

I hereby apply to participate as a Stretcher on a Thinking Expedition team. I understand that my role as a Stretcher will be to immerse myself fully in the Expedition process, engage with the team’s “Mess” and to commit myself fully to thinking diffferent in generating ideas and in pushing and stretching the other team member’s thinking. I realize that in joining a Thinking Expedition team, I am committing to finishing the Expedition and agree not to depart early - the team can count on me!)


Should you have any questions or difficulties, please call the School for Innovators, Fredericksburg, Texas at (830) 456-4963 or send an e-mail to: HQ@thinking-expedition.com