Problem Solving2020-03-20T15:57:26-07:00
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Innovation Via the Customer Journey

October 25th, 2019|

Innovation is usually spoken of in relation to products, research, and development. However, every aspect of your business can be innovated. In fact, one of the most important – and often overlooked – is customer service. Innovative customer service helps you build loyalty, encourages repeat business, and can also bring in new buyers as they observe how you care for your consumers.

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.

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.

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.

How to Break Out of the Commodity Trap: A Lesson from Mickey Mouse

January 12th, 2012|

Look at almost any industry and you will see companies struggling to differentiate what they have to offer from everything else in the marketplace. So it’s hardly surprising that one of the most common complaints I hear from senior executives is “My product is becoming commoditized. Is there a way out?”

Innovators Look for Problems

January 11th, 2012|

A brand new innovation often requires changing a person’s behavior or habits, which can be a nearly impossible task! So why not approach innovation by looking at existing problems? Gijs van Wulfen looks at 10 practical problems and innovative new products or services solving them.

40 Reasons Why People Struggle with Innovation

December 6th, 2011|

The fuzzy front end of innovation confronts you with a lot of questions. For the new edition of my book ‘Creating innovative Products and Services' I have posted a question on front-end innovation struggles to innovation practioners in more than 20 linkedin groups. The response was massive. I made a list of forty reasons why people struggle starting innovation in their companies in daily practice.

The Competition is Not Who You Think It Is

November 10th, 2011|

It has become extremely difficult to foresee competition. But this isn’t cause for alarm. It’s now far more important to forge ahead with innovation, allowing a product or service to evolve in new ways, than trying to crush or outsmart perceived competition.

Use Front and Back End of Innovation Skills

November 8th, 2011|

With a front-end that's fuzzy and a back end that isn't very effective, no wonder creating new products and services isn't easy. Gijs van Wulfen explains why connecting the two can enhance inspiration and smooth the innovation implementation process.

Biomimicry: How Business Solves Problems by Looking to Nature

October 21st, 2011|

Sometimes, talking about new ways of approaching business benefits from looking at some of the world's oldest ways of doing business. Biomimicry is a practical methodology to solve problems by looking to nature. Learn more from some examples of biomimicry on social media and co-creation.

How to Solve 7 Challenges in Employee Driven Innovation

October 20th, 2011|

The collective wisdom of your co-workers is a huge asset in the fuzzy front end. But which challenges do you need to address and solve in order to create a structured and effective employee driven innovation process? Read more about a method using idea markets as a powerful incentive. And it has already proven its worth in a number of large Scandinavian companies.

How to Accelerate Innovation through Challenge Driven Innovation

October 17th, 2011|

Challenge Driven Innovation enables companies to tap into diverse perspectives and talent to solve problems faster, more cost-effectively and with less risk, ultimately resulting in accelerated innovation outcomes and improved business performance. In this article Steve Bonadio introduces the concept of “Challenges” and their role in the emerging innovation management framework called Challenge Driven Innovation (CDI).

How to Start the Practice of Collaborative Innovation

September 20th, 2011|

Today, many seek ways to transform the manner in which their organization convenes to solve problems and to reach a shared understanding of strategic intent. The practice of collaborative innovation offers a path forward. In this article innovation architect Doug Collins suggests a place for people to start their journey focusing on how to work with the enquiry led, internally focused form.

Solve Customer Frictions

July 5th, 2011|

Good ideas are most successful when they're not just a modern novelty, but fulfill an unmet customer need. Gis van Wulfen describes how to find innovation opportunities by identifying customer frictions.

Personal Innovation: We Need to Stop and Think

September 28th, 2010|

Innovation experts love to make lists of obstacles to innovation. These lists include issues like lack of time, resistance to change, poor communication, middle management and so on. Employees like to cite obstacles such as these in part because they place the blame on the organisation and their mangers rather than on themselves. And, indeed, can you imagine a middle manager responding to a questionnaire on obstacles to innovation with the answer: “Why, I believe I am a major obstacle to innovation in this firm.”? But the truth is, possibly the biggest obstacle to innovation is simply that people do not stop and think!

Creativity: How to Retrain Your Inner Censor

September 8th, 2010|

If you want to make the most of your creative potential, you need to learn how to override your inner censor so that it does not stifle your most imaginative ideas. Here are several techniques you can use to do this.