Don’t expect new results from old behavior

Generating ideas that go beyond the currently available products and services isn’t all that hard in theory. In practice however, many companies still fail as they keep employing the same old methods and processes to “innovate”.

2-day brainstorm sessions with the R&D department, business developers, sales and management - sound familiar? What do they usually amount to? You’ll be the judge of that. This approach pretty much boils down to management demanding from their staff: “Do innovate, now!”

 

Move in-sight what is too far out

In order to really gain new insights, generating new ideas needs to bring new perspectives in sight. Meaning: bring perspectives into the ideation process that are normally too far out.

And those perspectives need to include the original experience and emotions of the entire value chain. Including:

  • Customers
  • End users
  • Analysts
  • Technology and market partners
  • The raw material side
  • Market gurus
  • Regulatory
  • Staff
  • Investors
  • Disruption experts
  • Management
  • A devil’s advocate

And while we are at it (making a difference and doing things differently): you need the most passionate, most outspoken, most knowledgable and most excited actors in the room.

No, not anyone who might find the time or who should be rewarded with additional exposure to management because of a well executed project. And not the intern who might be a future talent but has not accumulated enough insight to be of real value for ideation sessions. 

Don’t invite anyone because of their hierarchical position or relationship to someone else in the room! It needs to be managed and communicated well. But this set of people is selected for their very specific impact they can make.

Much like team players on the pitch with their very specific skill and experience.

And not just on one pitch but in a variety of different environments and formats:

  • Idea fairs
  • Dream teams
  • Connecting-the-dot events
  • Board presentations
  • Open source events
  • Reward ceremonies
  • Scenario classes

Or why not leaving some far fetched product ideas with a group of students who can use them in business plan projects as would-be startup entrepreneurs? 

You might want to secure a percentage ownership or board seat up-front though. Just in case.

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Marketing EffectivenessMarketing Mix StrategyMarketing Strategy & PlanningNew Market Offering & InnovationIdeation & Concept Generation