- Foster an understanding of the different types of creativity in your organization and use this to stimulate a constant flow of ideas.
- Encourage staff to recognize the importance of actively collecting ideas from outside sources.
- Take active steps to establish and maintain a ‘culture of innovation’ that supports idea generation.
- Promote the exchange of knowledge within and between innovation project teams. Recognize and protect knowledge that is vital to the organization.
- Employ an appropriate combination of market research techniques to identify your customers’ hidden needs.
- Identify suitable ways to protect innovative ideas from competitors.
This chapter covered the second element of the Pentathlon – managing ideas. It explained how creativity is often misunderstood and managers need to look for effective ways to stimulate constant creativity through the exchange of information and knowledge. One of the key areas of knowledge is capturing the elusive voice of the customer. Here, traditional market research has serious limitations and, therefore, companies need to understand and adopt appropriate enhanced approaches. Overall, this chapter explained
- The nature of individual and team creativity with ideas on how to stimulate creativity levels.
- Some of the most useful techniques to invigorate the process of generating ideas for new products and new services.
- The main types of knowledge and how they can be best utilized and, as necessary, protected.
- The most appropriate ways to conduct market research into customers’ and users’ needs, so that radical innovations can be developed.
- If the strategic goals of the organization focus on achieving product and technology breakthroughs, then creative links need to be made between the strategy and the generation of ideas. This is the subject of the main case study for this chapter, which looks at Texas Instruments.
1. Squires, S. and Byrne, B. (eds) Creating Breakthrough Ideas: The Collaboration of Anthropologists and Designers in the Product Development Industry (Bergin and Garvey: Westport, CT, USA, 2002). [Interesting perspectives on how product design studies can be improved through ethnographic methods.]
2. Couger, J. D. Creative Problem Solving and Opportunity Finding (Danvers, MA: Boyd and Fraser, 1995). [Comprehensive coverage of many creativity techniques and their applications. Unfortunately, gives little information on empirical research into creativity.]
- To cover the fundamentals of creativity theory and knowledge management.
- To explain the concept of hidden needs and describe the leading-edge approaches for understanding customer requirements.
- To understand the best ways to protect innovative ideas.
- The Deep Dive video of IDEO developing the concept for a new shopping trolley is powerful. It is available from http://www.abcnewsstore.com/store.
- Also available from IDEO is The Deep Dive: Transforming Care at the Bedside, a video which shows healthcare professionals in the US brainstorming improvements. Available from http://www.ihi.org/IHI/Topics/MedicalSurgicalCare/
- See www.viscog.com for examples of the difficulty of observing behaviour accurately and the dangers of becoming blinkered by one task.
- Everyday Lives ethnographic market research http://www.edlgobal.net/clips_video1html has some interesting video clips (e.g. child feeding a cat at home), which can be used to discuss potential new products.
- More as background for teachers, http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=193285 has a useful presentation by Professor Ely Dahan of MIT on new approaches to market research.
- Roger Von Oech (1992). Creative Whack Pack. ISBN 0-88079-358-9 is a useful pack of ‘creativity cards’.
- Best Buy Co, Inc (A): An Innovators Journey is a useful Harvard DVD, reference 605703, 2005