Innovation posts of the week: Organizational Innovation

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Insights first, ideas second

By Jorge Barba, an Innovation Insurgent |

Insights, they’re the seeds of new groundbreaking ideas.

A more strategic way of generating ideas is to focus on building ideas on top of insights. Don’t get me wrong, thinking stuff up is fun. You let your imagination run wild, think of the impossible and think all kinds of stuff only you can imagine. It’s your own dream world! Mostly all these ideas will be way ahead of their time or not even doable. That’s why we need to combine our imagination with our intellect. Our intellect drives our capability to discover insights and our imagination helps put the pieces together in a new way.

So how do you discover new insights? Seguir leyendo “Insights first, ideas second”

Innovation. What gives? | By Jorge Barba

By Jorge Barba, an Innovation Insurgent

innovation what gives

Spotted this  tweet a few minutes ago: #Innovation is rare. Proof: millions of cookbooks sold and read all with practically the same recipes. What gives?

What gives? Human nature.

Innovation is about people and whatever beliefs, habits and attitudes people have are the limiting factors that prevent them from adopting new viewpoints or ideas. Yes, but as  Jose Briones says: it requires that people have an open mind and that is an incredibly scarce resource.

My amigo Jonathan Amm from  @ThinkTank_ probably said it best when he described the work we do as psychology work because those of us who are innovation insurgents are really in the business of opening people’s minds, . As far as all the recipes in books go, I wouldn’t be surprised that 10 years from now we’re still be talking about because human nature is one itch most don’t like to scratch. Most don’t and can’t think for themselves and resort to copycatting, which is essential to human evolution but detrimental to an organizations ability to be innovative. Seguir leyendo “Innovation. What gives? | By Jorge Barba”

Prepare for the unexpected

A smiley by Pumbaa, drawn using a text editor.

Imagine that you are a pilot and you have to fly through a 5 mile canyon upside down. It’s actually kind of hard to imagine because it’s not something you’re trained to do but it’s something that could happen in a real life situation. It’s a scenario that’s outside your direct experience, you find it hard to accept it as possible and even worse adapting to it.

Now think about it this way:

What if businesses were judged on their ability to create ‘happiness for customers’? What if all those like buttons had less to do with becoming a fan and more to do with specific actions an organization took to actually make a customer happy? What if you hired people based on how happy they’ll make your customers? What  if there were a ‘customer happiness index’ dashboard (Tweetdeck) and we’d all have access to it just like the stock market? What if businesses were penalized for wasting people’s time?

Imagine how every business would behave. Seguir leyendo “Prepare for the unexpected”

Remove the associative barriers that hinder new ideas

Image via Wikipedia

Model of hydogen bonds in water in English.

Last week I mentioned that the is the ability to free associate, to make connections between dissimilar things. I just stumbled into  Ellen Di Resta’s post on the where she probes further into the concept to which I left a comment:

I think it comes down to people’s ‘associative barriers’, or the ability to make new connection between dissimilar things.

For example if I say ‘car’ someone might say ‘tire’ because our minds make that connection automatically because we know it exists. But how about if I say ‘granola’ and someone else says ‘water’, which makes no sense to some of us but if you put the two together that person might see ‘river’.

So in other words when someone sees something different out of the unknown it’s because that person has very low associative barriers.

One of the reasons why most of us can’t make insightful new connections between dissimilar things is because we have ‘high associative barriers’. A person with high associative barriers will quickly arrive at conclusions when confronted with a problem since their thinking is more focused. He or she will recall how the problem has been handled in the past or how others in similar situations solved it. A person with low associative barriers, on the other hand, may think to connect ideas or concepts that have very little basis in past experience, or that cannot easily be traced logically.

The question then is how do we remove these barriers? Seguir leyendo “Remove the associative barriers that hinder new ideas”

From noticing to insight

There are a lot of ways to have insights, from quieting your mind to cultivating happiness all around you. Yet it doesn’t stop there, these are conditions that contribute to having insights. But what about active insight recognition?

That’s where observation comes in. Engaging one’s attention, not just seeing, contributes to the ability to make distinctions and then wondering why those distinctions exist.

For example have you noticed that some people, especially women, sit very close to the wheel of the car as if almost driving with their teeth? This can be attributed to many things such as their height, but that’s not entirely true. Elderly people come to mind when thinking about this but they have  some physical limitations such as strength, shortsightedness and height. So why do some people drive almost with their teeth? Seguir leyendo “From noticing to insight”

It’s not going to happen here?

‘That’s not going to happen here’. This is one of the claims I hear a lot here in Mexico, whatever trends are happening elsewhere are not going to happen here anytime soon.

They talks as if Mexico were isolated from the rest of the trends of society. First of all if you’re in a country where there’s internet access, you’re going to be affected sooner than later. Saying ‘that’s not going to happen’ here is a clear signal that you or your organization has no point of view whatsoever about the future, you have a no-sight trap. You merely react to what happens, and by that time you’re way behind the times. Also by design, all your strategies will be copycats of others because your point of view stands for nothing more of the same. That’s why it’s important to have your own point of view instead of participating in mindless copycatting and doing what the guy next door does. Seguir leyendo “It’s not going to happen here?”

Innovating your business model

Competition in industries is essentially competition between business models. A recent  tweet by @TimKastelle which led to a post about the reminded me of a great creative exercise to help you look at your and other industries dominant business model as a lego kit, which when broken apart can be reconnected like building blocks to create new types of business concepts. Seguir leyendo “Innovating your business model”