Challenge Assumptions to Spur Innovation

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Looking to unleash creativity and generate insights for innovations? In The Four Lenses of Innovation Rowan Gibson identifies four approaches that can be used. They are:

  • Challenge Orthodoxies – Are the deeply held dogmas inside your company and industry, outdated, unnecessary, or just plain wrong? (E.g., Will people only care for products they own, or can then share in a collaborative economy?)
  • Harness Discontinuities – Spot unnoticed patterns of trends that could substantially change the rules of the game. (E.g., If the skills to create Apps are not taught in traditional schools to young people, why not create specialized academies that do?)
  • Leverage Competencies and Strategic Assets: Think of your company as a portfolio of skills and assets, rather than a provider of products/services for specific markets – what implications could that have for new services, products, markets and continuous learning directions? (E.g., If a 24/7 copy-company can accept “overnight†packages, what else can it do?
  • Understand Unarticulated Needs: Get inside your customer’s “skin†and identify their additional wants and needs that you can meet.

In our workshop “Let’s Get Creative to Spur Innovationsâ€*, these approaches underlie the exercises participants use to generate new links and develop new insights. For companies committed to institutionalizing ongoing innovation, these sessions become the starting point for many people to then pursue their creative ideas and champion them into innovations.

How are you challenging assumptions? How are you spurring people’s creativity? How are you institutionalizing systems to harness such creativity to create a sustainable innovative culture?

Share with us!

* This is the follow-up to our workshop on how to “Lead the Innovative Organizationâ€, which focuses leaders on techniques and models they can use develop a culture of innovation with employees, clients and strategic partners. We’ll be doing a webinar on this topic as part of the Better Way fall series of webinars.)