“THE HEART AND SOUL OF THE COMPANY IS CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION”

Bob Iger, Chairman and chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company

USING THESE FIVE SECRETS TO REAL INNOVATION COULD MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE

1. Separate your innovators from the company: Your innovation teams need to interact with potential suppliers, partners, and current managers in the company.

2. Follow the Design Thinking process: Maybe some innovation happens by mistake. Think about the penicillin story. But luck is not a solid strategy to use when it comes to new product/service development.
By using a Design Thinking approach your probability of success will increase exponentially.

3. Bring in a catalyst: This seems to be a key missing piece in unsuccessful innovation projects. They go through the Design Thinking process – or something similar – but the output (prototypes) just doesn’t wow the target users. The problem is that everyone on the team is afraid to ask the hard questions.

4. Include mentors from inside and outside the company: No innovation team can possibly have the depth and breadth of skills, talents, and abilities to create effective innovations. There will always be blind-spots and/or gaps in expertise or experience. A panel of mentors needs to be recruited to help the team for a few hours each week.

5. Top Management Buy-in: This one should probably be number one on this list. Innovation is not a diversion for a company. It is the life-blood and is the only means for long-term survival. If top management is not totally committed to the innovation initiative, then you should  just cancel the program.

simple-secrets

LATEST INNOVATIVE DESIGN THINKING TOOLS

Here are a few tools to help you get things done smarter and faster and with more Wow!

whatis

What Is?

1) Listen to target users and dig for more – Live in their shoes.

2) Too early to solve the problem? Just look for Insights. Fill in the blanks: How might we (provide, help, support, …) our focus user to (accomplish something important).

3) Find the true Pain Points! and/or Passion Points! Be ready to be surprised.

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What If?

1) Brainstorm for the attributes of the potential solution. Not the solution… yet.

2) Brainstorming: Start with an open mind and use tools to generate many attributes. Organize a Yard Sale!

3) Deliverables: List of attributes of the potential final solution – Feature list, size, color, look, feel, etc.

whatwows-1

What Wows?

1) Sort through the ideas/attributes and pick the ones that are the most inspiring, exciting, and cool.

2) Identify the key assumptions (what behavior needs to happen for this to work?) and find a way to confirm or refute the assumptions.

3) Make the idea tangible with a prototype. Test it, fix it, improve it… Rapidly! Cheaply! Smartly!

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What Works?

1) When you are happy with the prototype start sharing it with the users. Get their input and iterate the prototype.

2) Watch for assumptions that don’t prove out as you expected. Move and react quickly.

3) Don’t be afraid to launch. In a measured way, of course.

WHAT DOES REAL INNOVATION LOOK LIKE?

RESEARCH

“Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought.”

— Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, 1937 Nobel Prize Winner in Physiology/Medicine

REPUPOSE

“To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.”

–Thomas A. Edison, American inventor and businessman

REVIVE

“And one more thing.”

–Steve Jobs, Entrepreneur, marketer, and inventor, co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Apple Inc.

For good ideas and true innovation,
you need human interaction,
conflict, argument, debate.

– Margaret Heffernan
Entrepreneur, CEO, writer and TED speaker

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