Problem Solving2020-03-20T15:57:26-07:00
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Four Innovation Themes from Open Nation 2019

December 4th, 2019|

Every year, IdeaScale hosts innovation leaders and creative thinkers from around the world in a global summit that shares innovation best practices. These leaders share success stories, failures, challenges, and solutions as they get to know each other so that they can call on one another throughout the year (long after the event is over).

Community Innovation is Led by Positive Deviants

October 16th, 2014|

Positive Deviance (PD) is an idea which is based on the observed principle that in any community there are people who adopt unusual and successful approaches to problems that beset the whole community. These people are the ‘positive deviants.’

Mind the Gap! 5 Tips on How to Align Your Boss’ Perception of Innovation Maturity with Reality

March 24th, 2014|

The Fourth Product Portfolio Management Benchmark Study identified challenges organizations face in speeding innovation to bring products to market. The biggest disconnect appears between middle management and executives as to where the organization is with their innovation maturity. Bridging this gap may be the most important thing you do to improve ROI.

Effective Innovators Start with a Problem

October 24th, 2013|

Innovation is difficult because your potential users need to change their behavior. And why should they? That’s the question! You will have to give them a strong reason why! So start solving a relevant problem.

PharmaX, the CEO’s Dilemma and Open Innovation – Part 2

September 18th, 2013|

In the first installment, Gordon the newly appointed CEO at Pharmax is confronted with an innovation gap of 5 years. Certainly, the potential of the portfolio is high, but the risks are even higher. With market pressure breathing down his neck, Gordon tries to make sense of the options that he has and make the right decisions.

Leaders’ Dual Roles When Managing Innovation

September 11th, 2013|

Leaders have dual roles when managing innovation. In a bottom-up role, they stimulate innovative results as they facilitate ideas and initiative coming from individuals and teams. In a top-down role, leaders are the primary means for the organization to realize its innovation goals and strategies. A fundamental challenge is to balance these two roles.

How to Find Customer Frictions

August 21st, 2013|

An innovation is a simple new solution for a relevant problem. That’s why at the start of innovation you should look out for relevant problems instead of ideas. But how do you find them?

The Many Paths to Collaborative Innovation

April 30th, 2013|

The Lean Startup. Lean Thinking. Design Thinking. Agile. Skunk Works®. Outcome-Driven Innovation. Customer Co-Creation. Future Search. The World Café.Hunting for Hunting Grounds. Choosing an approach by which to pursue collaborative innovation is like choosing a religion. In this article innovation architect Doug Collins reflects on the essence of the practice.

Using a Story in Innovation Work

April 29th, 2013|

Business is changing. To be successful in the twenty-first century, businesses in developed economies must connect with people’s emotions. This move towards greater emotional intelligence explains why “storytelling” has become so fashionable in marketing and therefore, in the following article, we will explain how you can bring storytelling into your innovation work. The aim:helping you create novel concepts that also connect emotionally.

How a Decision Room Can Enable Change and Innovation

March 15th, 2013|

One of the challenges leaders face in times of uncertainty and rapid change is helping senior managers to engage in bigger-picture thinking. To enable this process, a growing number of companies are creating “decision rooms” – dedicated areas that help them visualize challenges and opportunities from a number of perspectives and make better decisions.

Be an A-Tension Seeker: Why Good Ideas Stem from Irritating Problems?

March 4th, 2013|

All too often we see companies coming to us with a new technological advancement that they are very excited about. Sadly, having a new technology does not guarantee a winning innovation. One needs to work hard at the front end to understand what the consumer needs and how the current market offer isn’t meeting those needs. Only against this backdrop can we hope to bring an idea to market that will be truly disruptive. The following article explains.

Get a Taxi – Anatomy of a Process Innovation

December 13th, 2012|

With over 400 million Google hits, “innovation” may be considered a buzzword, some entrepreneurs may even avoid talking about it, but they’re certainly practicing it! This article takes a closer look at an example of process innovation in the service industry. Understanding it better offers the possibility of spotting a large range of opportunities and converting them into business successes.

Searching for Needs is the Best Innovation Strategy

November 15th, 2012|

Is it possible that only a quarter of all companies are highly effective at the front end of innovation? If so, what kinds of companies are most successful at the ideation and conversion stages? Gijs van Wulfen describes three different kinds of companies and suggests the Need Seekers strategy offers the greatest potential for superior performance in the long term.

Innovation Method – Copy and Paste

September 12th, 2012|

One of the most common operations performed on a computer is copy and paste. We copy a section of a webpage and paste it into a document. We take it for granted. We grab an idea from one place and put it to use in another. So why not use this method for your next product or service innovation?

Conflict in Teams – Does it Stimulate Creativity & Innovation?

September 6th, 2012|

Conflict is a dreaded word. Most people associate conflict with interpersonal clashes ranging from inelegant avoidance tactics in the breakroom to fierce and open hostility. Surely, it is obvious that conflict in teams is detrimental to creativity and innovation. But is it? In this post we will explore this matter further and see when conflict sometimes can enhance the creative thinking skills of teams.

Designing the Perfect Ideas Competition

July 17th, 2012|

What's the most effective way to design an idea competition that doesn't just result in a huge pile of ideas, but enables teams to implement ideas that will help to make your organization more creative? Jeffrey Baumgartner shares one practical framework for making this happen.

Expertise and its Role in Innovative Problem Solving

July 3rd, 2012|

The nature of problems in innovative work is that they are often ill defined, novel to the individual who engaged them, and complex in that often several solutions exist to the same problem. In this post we will see how expertise is an important factor in innovative problem solving, and how leaders and organizations can cultivate R&D team expertise.

Creative Problem Solving Technique: Become the Problem

May 31st, 2012|

When we are trying to generate ideas in order to solve a problem, whether through anticonventional thinking, brainstorming or another method, we typically distance ourself slightly from the problem. We look for ideas on how to improve our company’s product, how to deliver better customer service, how to cut costs or alternative business models. In all of these cases, we separate ourselves from the problem and, by so doing, we potentially limit our understanding of the problem. Why not take a different approach and become the problem?

Wicked Problems Demand Various Viewpoints

March 14th, 2012|

All organizations face wicked problems – highly complex issues demanding multiple viewpoints to be solved. In this blog Susanna Bill argues why innovation needs to leave the single product dominant perspective behind and take social aspects into consideration.

How to Build Your Innovation Skills

January 30th, 2012|

In the 21st century economy, having strong innovation skills is critical. This year, instead of the proverbial New Year’s resolution to lose weight or get a new job, why not commit to building your innovation ability? This article discusses the urgency for building your innovation skills, and outlines some simple and effective ways for doing it.

Photography: the Art of ‘Seeing’

July 16th, 2002|

There are a number of elements that contribute to creative photography, and which have metaphorical equivalents in the world of creative problem solving. Learn how to 'see' more effectively in both realms!

Tips for Personal Brainstorming

July 1st, 2002|

Everyone has problems and challenges that need solving; they're an inevitable part of living. What many people don't realize, however, is that most of them can be overcome using a simple, focused program of personal brainstorming. Here's how...

Got a Problem? Take a ‘Walk’ Around It

September 6th, 2001|

Visualization - the powerful technique used by the world's best athletes to condition their subconscious minds for peak performance - is also a potent problem-solving tool. Here's a simple four-step visualization technique that can help you solve nearly any problem you may face.

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