From the over 8,000 unique links shared on the Twitter #innovation community in the past three weeks, it appears that the “How-To”s of innovation can be as easy as following these tips and tricks.
Three Rules for Innovation Teams
Harry West, CEO of Continuum, has some rules that will dramatically increase your team’s ability to innovate.
Rule 1: Manage Creative Friction
Creative friction, unlike normal uncomfortable friction, creates results. To ensure this type of friction occurs:
- Include the entire team and the client throughout the ideation process so that the whole group shares a common foundation and sense of purpose.
- Remove those pesky communication barriers and let the conversation flow—understanding how others communicate will only enable the innovation process.
- Get in the project room and have at it; a team will be able to debate, create and think critically all at once because there is only one agenda.
Rule 2: Bring Creativity to the Center
Your project room should be well equipped to aid the team with any material resources they might need (white boards, AV equipment etc). However, this room should not be a silo—put it in the center of the company (literally or figuratively—your choice) and make creativity a core aspect.
Rule 3: Stand for Delivery
When it’s time for the innovation team to pass their innovation to production, make sure there is some one there to pick it up. An overlap in teams helps ensure ownership and understanding of the idea. The last thing any company wants is the launch of an idea dissimilar to the approved original.
Stop Inbreeding Innovation
Innovation inbreeding occurs when efforts are led by the same group of people, are in the same geographic area or occur along the same product lines. To stop these recessive ideas from debilitating your organization:
- Force new internal connections – Bring people together from different functions, geographic locations, levels and units.
- Bring in outsiders – If you’re entering new market, ask the professionals from that market for their thoughts before you dive in headfirst. Proctor and Gamble seek external help when exploring new markets.
- Involve customers or other stakeholders – Surprisingly, customers innovate faster than the companies they buy from do. Consider bike enthusiasts who modify their bike frames after a purchase. Co-creation can pay off.
5 Principles of Creativity
Greg Satell breaks the bad news: we can’t all be Picasso or Mozart. However, we can all follow some simple guidelines to enhance our ability to think, create and innovate.
- Define and distill the problem so that there is a space to target your innovation.
- If you want to create something truly new and different, you should start by learning your field extremely well.
- Cross domains to broaden your search for answers to your questions and problems.
- One innovation or creative idea is nice, but take a lesson from the most creative minds in the world and produce lots of ideas; large, medium and small.
- Keep at it; the more work you do, the better your work gets.
What It Takes To Innovate: Wrong-Thinking, Tinkering and Intuiting
Taking a look at creators past and present, author Jocelyn Glei identifies core traits any inventor would do well to develop:
- Be persistent and productive and you will produce and test more ideas
- We’re all taught the right way to do things. If you want to discover something other people have not, think wrong.
- Embrace failure for it is an opportunity for learning.
- Sketching, putting ideas to paper gets them out of your head and onto something tangible.
- Trust your intuition. As Einstein said “All great achievements of science must start from intuitive knowledge. I believe in intuition and inspiration…” “Imagination is more important than knowledge."
- A love for tinkering, a fascination with understating how things work and how to make them work better.
- Possess a boundless curiosity to know more, do more, see more, experience more, to make more.
Dr. Feynmean’s 6 Principles of Trend spotting
Richard Feynman dreamed up nanotechnology and quantum computing decades before they existed. But how did Feynman do it?
- Curiosity about everyday things – “It is ironic that often the greatest thinkers who see the farthest are also the ones who pay the closest attention to what is going on around them.”
- Amalgamation of facts into principles – “Take one concept and see where else he could apply it, think about what would have to be improved and how it could be.”
- Acknowledge the messiness of the world – “Every solution changes reality a bit and that creates more problems to solve.”
- Rigor – “Focus tremendous energy on a problem over a long period until it [is] solved…leave no stone unturned.”
- Trend spotting as a discovery – “What’s missing in most efforts is the desire for discovery – a yearning to uncover just a little bit more about how the world works each day. That requires being wrong far more often than being right and testing your ideas far more rigorously than a casual observer would.”
- Watchmaking vs. Time-telling – “The true and valuable trends are those that don’t reverse themselves. They point to the future because they represent real progress.”
Until next week, keep innovating!