Tuesday 30 April 2013

The Recipe for Innovation

It's tempting to think of innovation as a "flash of inspiration" - a blinding idea - a lightbulb going off.

However - counterintuitively - many of the most innovative and imaginative teams and companies use a structured and deliberate process to innovate.

We can see this structure below in the clip from IDEO, which shows their innovation DeepDive process applied to innovating the humble Shopping Trolley.

Notice how they go through several deliberate steps in their Deep Dive - a process similar to our Business Driven Action Learning process. The steps are

1) Identification of the problem
2) Data gathering around the problem
3) Sharing and consolidation of the findings
4) Idea creation and mock-up
5) Idea combination
6) Solution testing

Note also the ground rules, and the deliberate time pressure, and listen to the summary at the end.

Innovation has a recipe. It can be deliberate. It can be structured. Don't wait for inspiration to strike - go out there and hunt it down.

1 comment:

Lisandro Gaertner said...

I always made a clear distinction from creativity and inventivity. What most companies want is creativity, related to the solution of problems. Kind of boring, i know. But what most, if not all, companies need is inventivity, the creation of problems. We are told and taught in schools to solve problems (maintain the status quo) and not to create new ones (don't change the system). I believe any discussion about "innovation" (what is that, anyway?) should start from this point: What we want? Solve problems or create new ones? Then we can sincere about it and do what is best for the whole group.

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