Problem Solving2021-06-18T07:55:11-07:00
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How Do You Uncover Unseen Problems?

August 18th, 2021|

Anyone who works in the problem definition space knows the pitfalls of hidden issues. Solving a problem is sometimes dependent on who is articulating the problem, the lens with which they view the world, and the space that they have at the table...

In Search of the Perfect Brainstorm: An Update of Collaborative Ideation

July 26th, 2021|

Imaginary scenario: you have been invited to a meeting to explore new approaches to a wicked problem. Loudmouth Number 1 describes his solution. Loudmouth Number 2 vehemently disagrees. A heated argument ensues. Some people take sides. Others remain silent. There are bruised egos. You are not the only one who feels frustrated. All that time just one single idea has been considered. Have you ever experienced such a meeting? Have you ever wondered why brainstorming came to be? Brainstorming Today: Why It Needs an Update These days the noun “brainstorming” and the verb “to brainstorm” are used (and misused) extensively and in many different ways. Our working definition in this article is that brainstorming is a “process to enable purposeful, [...]

Leveraging Alien Thinking: Exclusive Interview with Cyril Bouquet, Jean-Louis Barsoux, and Michael Wade

June 8th, 2021|

For the past decade, Cyril BouquetJean-Louis Barsoux, and Michael Wade, professors of innovation and strategy at IMD Business School, have studied inventors, scientists, doctors, entrepreneurs, and artists. These people, or “aliens,” as the authors call them, are able to make leaps of creativity, and use five patterns of thinking that distinguish them from the rest of us.

The Six Step Innovation Lifecycle

April 9th, 2018|

Innovation isn’t a one-time project. It’s a continuous activity. Which is why we are seeing numerous organizations adding an innovation department to their company infrastructure. In fact, in a recent survey of our client base, we were surprised to learn that almost 40% of our customers operate out of a dedicated innovation group.

Impact Assessment: The Innovation Paradigm Shift that is Coming

February 6th, 2018|

In the context of business management and economics, innovation has mainly been considered as a source of profit and growth. But innovation can also have a transformative role and recently more and more innovators and entrepreneurs are not only considering the financial returns of their projects, but also the societal impacts that they might bring with them.

How to Choose the Right Technology for Your Startup

January 11th, 2018|

In today’s era of hyperconnectivity, technology is the backbone of every successful business, irrespective of its size. For your startup, the choice of right hardware and software pieces means not only managing your team properly, but also boosting their productivity, getting the most of every project, and saving a lot of time and money.

Don’t “Fiddle” with the Crowd – Ask it Better Questions Instead

November 15th, 2017|

As the examples of successful use of crowdsourcing to address complex technical, business and social issues grow in numbers, so do the instances of failed crowdsourcing campaigns. To make crowdsourcing a widely recognized idea-generating and problem-solving tool, it’s imperative to understand the reasons of why this tool can fail or underperform.

Making Innovation More of a Science And Less of an Art

February 21st, 2017|

One of the greatest challenges facing innovation professionals is to find the right approach to a given innovation problem. Whether that’s instilling the innovation mojo in a large corporation or simply helping teams become more innovative, the ways to do this seem to be more of an art than a science. However, during the last ten years there has been a strong push to turn this art form into more of a science.

The Catalyst Network: Expanding the Reach and Impact of your Innovation Team

February 16th, 2017|

To amplify your company's presence and scale your influence, innovation teams need to harness informal networks and not simply rely on formal structures to create a thriving innovation eco-system. Enter Innovation Catalysts: natural champions who are believers, idea generators, problem solvers, mentors and sponsors in your organization.

The Frustrated Innovation Team: What Should They Do?

February 3rd, 2017|

Many executives talk a lot about innovation, but they don't really know how to make it happen. A corporate innovation team asks themselves: How do we "educate" our executives on innovation management and develop stronger corporate innovation capabilities together?

3 Advantages to Collaborating on Innovation as a Global Community

January 16th, 2017|

The list of problems that need to be solved is growing almost as fast as our solutions are. Some are concerned about the lack of food and water security, others worry about access to education and a whopping 45.2% of millennials think today’s most pressing problem is the destruction of natural resources. But with the proliferation of problems, organizations and enterprises are broadening their search for innovative solutions and many of them are looking to the crowd for ideas.

Creativity is Key: Tips on Avoiding Groupthink

January 10th, 2017|

It’s awesome when everyone agrees, isn’t it? Yes—and no. Most of us have, at some point, fallen into the trap of groupthink to avoid conflict and promote harmony in a group, whether at school, work, or on a committee. Groupthink has its perks: everyone feels comfortable, and there’s no risk of tension among members. It’s safe. Easy. Unfortunately, it can also kills creativity and innovation.

Transformative Constraints — Why They’re Core to Innovation and Inventiveness

November 25th, 2016|

They say creativity loves constraint. In fact, if you ask professional, creative people about their “limitations” they naturally see them as exciting and stimulating. Engineers and software designers for instance see constraints as absolutely fundamental to problem solving. So why does constraint get such a bad wrap? Why do so many people see them as things to be managed and talked around and spun? In this week’s episode, Adam Morgan delves deep into this topic and explains his process for creating a framework to understand constraint and a process to help people successfully manage it.

Product Innovation of a Trolley: A 3-step Journey

September 27th, 2016|

Consider the world’s most ingeniously designed products. Whether it’s your smartphone, your favorite racing bike or a nifty robotic lawn mower – they all have a one thing in common: rather than being conceived overnight, they were shaped by a series of consecutive, systematic innovations. But how does such a structured product innovation approach look? This CREAX project illustrates the ins and outs.

Challenged by Innovation? Someone May Have Already Solved Your Problem

July 12th, 2016|

In 1946, Soviet inventor and science fiction writer Genrich Altshuller developed a methodology called TRIZ. It became known as "the theory of inventive problem-solving" and was based on a simple premise: across different disciplines and applications, the same challenges occur again and again. Unfortunately, people keep solving nearly identical problems from scratch. The main lesson from TRIZ is this: if you understand how your innovation challenge is similar to someone else’s, you can reapply solutions that already exist, instead of reinventing the wheel time and again.

Avoid Innovation Paralysis – Why all Companies Can and Must Embrace Change

July 4th, 2016|

Someone once told me this: “Innovation is like an apparition of the Virgin Mary: one person saw her, but everyone talks about it.” Although funny, the quote aptly captures an attitude towards innovation that exists in many companies today. Innovation – and the skills that enable it – are sometimes considered as mystical gifts, preserved for the chosen few. In other cases, innovation is feared, because it involves unregulated processes, risk taking and investments with unpredictable outcomes. In this blog post, I’d like to make a case against this kind of innovation paralysis. Every company must innovate, and with the right understanding of the word ‘innovation’, every company can.

Urgently Wanted: The Design Driven Manager

June 30th, 2016|

The potential of Design Thinking becomes more and more visible because organizations like Apple, Coca-Cola, IBM, Nike en Proctor & Gamble not only show overtly that they use it, but start showing significant results. They outperformed their peers in the last decade with 219%, measured by the Design Value Index (assessment by Design Management Institute).

Platform Disruption Wave

May 18th, 2016|

In the new global environment innovation is tending towards Platform Disruption, and is more focused on waves of change than single technology disruptions. The competitive capability of different innovation cultures, rather than technology, therefore becomes the critical success factor. In this article, Haydn Shaughnessy examines product and service platforms as the new organisational form and suggests that modern enterprises need to take the leap to a new way of business.

Six Levers For Solving The Corporate Innovation Problem – Part 3

May 2nd, 2016|

This is the third part of a three-part article series. We are investigating why – despite all the investments made into the early phase of innovation – innovation results remain disappointing. We call this the “corporate innovation problem”. In the first part we illustrated that companies are investing heavily into the early phase of innovation. In the second part, we provided some metrics on the corporate innovation problem and found that the corporate innovation problem actually consists of a “complexity” problem” and a “system problem”. In this article, we show six levers to change the “system problem” and think this is the way to solve the corporate innovation problem – and ultimately to increase innovation performance.

Six Levers for Solving The Corporate Innovation Problem – Part 2

April 25th, 2016|

This is the second part of a three-part article series. In the first part we illustrated that firms are investing heavily into the early phase of innovation. In this second part we show that despite of all these investments, innovation results remain disappointing. We call this the “corporate innovation problem”. We provide some metrics and find that there are two root causes. In the upcoming third part we will suggest that six levers can be used to address one of the root causes. We believe that moving these levers can provide a solution to the corporate innovation problem – and ultimately lead to increased innovation performance.

Six Levers for Solving the Corporate Innovation Problem – Part 1

April 18th, 2016|

Innovation is at the top of the Management Agenda for many companies. For excellence in innovation, companies have to master the chain of activities from discovering valuable insight into unmet customer needs to successful market adoption. However, despite large and growing investments into innovation, results remain disappointing. We call this the “corporate innovation problem”. In this 3-part article series we dig deeper into this problem and find that there are actually two root causes for it. We focus on one of the root causes – the “system problem” – and work out six levers of improvement. Acting on these levers offers a solution to the corporate innovation problem and ultimately increases innovation performance.

The Creativity Delta: How to Come Up with New Ideas

April 4th, 2016|

In a study of 5,000 adults in the US, UK, Germany, France, and Japan conducted by Adobe about creativity, they came up with some interesting findings. To begin with, they asked every participant if they felt creativity was valuable to society and two-thirds of the respondents said “yes.” Perhaps even more significantly, 80% of them felt that unlocking creativity was critical to economic growth.

Employee Innovation Training – What Approach Works Best?

February 29th, 2016|

As organizations increasingly focus on building corporate cultures that are more open to new ideas, they are examining ways that they can engage a range of employees in innovative thinking and actions. In the past, the answer to this kind of effort was to run a challenge and pat yourselves on the back for a job well done.

Applying Collaborative Innovation in Advanced Manufacturing: an Example of Lean

December 8th, 2015|

Achieving authentic transformation across the manufacturing enterprise can seem as challenging as playing a competitive game of Jenga® in woolen mittens. In this article the innovation architect Doug Collins explores the role that collaborative innovation can play in realizing meaningful change. He grounds the exploration with an example from lean.