Above all Silicon Valley is not where it is by accident. You have a license to “Think Outside the Box” in Silicon Valley. Give that license to your employees.
We believe that you can implement a fast, iterative, innovation capability that is just what your business needs to advance into the future. Here are some Innovation Ideas sources.
You don’t just go out and hire somebody to think out of the box for you. You know your business, your competition, therefore you are in the best position to come up with winning concepts. However, there are some innovation ideas techniques that will assist you in thinking outside the box. Let’s just look at a few:
- Employees – They work for you and know all about about your products. Likewise turn it around on them and have them figure out how to make the products better or even add new products.
- Customers – Customers can tell you how your products are used and how they could function better? I guarantee you customers have thoughts on that. Use customer desires to drive your innovation. No, use customer information and ideas as a starting point.
- Brainstorming – Firstly round up ideas from a group of diverse people.
- Brainwriting 6-3-5 – Secondly, six people coming up with three ideas in five minutes.
- TRIZ – Genrich Altshuller analyzed 40,000 patents and distilled them down to the 40 Innovative Principles that were used in all these patents. Subsequently TRIZ can give you a head start in what direction the innovation needs to go.
- Gemba or Jobs-to-be-Done – In addition Gemba is go to the source. Live with your customer as they use your product or service. Think of what you will learn. In other words Jobs-to-be-Done is powerful.
- Mammal Analogies – There are areas where animals are extremely advanced over what we can produce. For example, let’s say I want to innovate a new automobile paint. How about looking at an abalone? The abalone is continually repairing and expanding throughout it’s life.
Other Ways to Think Outside the Box
Rowan Gibson, the author of “The 4 Lenses of Innovation” recommends 4 ways of opening your mind to new innovation ideas:
- “Challenging Orthodoxies” – “We always do it this way” is an innovation killer. “Lets change what we are doing?” is an innovation winner.
- “Harnessing Trends” – In the appliance business could you take advantage of some of the innovative ideas in the computer business such as connect the appliance to a wireless network, transmit registration information as well as predictions of future issues? “Hi, your dryer told us the motor is worn. Could we send someone to check it out?”
- “Leveraging Resources” – Not everyone in your organization takes the same path to coming to a conclusion. For example diversity and brainstorming lead to innovation ideas.
- “Understanding Needs” – If you have a problem, maybe that is my opportunity to innovate.
In addition one of the many Innovation things to consider: What does your target audience look like:
Innovation relies on business focused new ideas and that is what this discussion is about. The tools above support thinking outside the box. Therefore they can really help the genesis of new ideas. Subsequently I am going to finish with a couple of videos that highlight some of the solutions above.
Brainstorming and Brainwriting
Innovation ideas, use Brainstorming and Brainwriting are key for the development of new ideas. Above all this should be done with a diverse set of individuals:
TRIZ is a powerful generator of ideas. Have a look: