Before investing in your company’s innovation development, it’s important to develop a strategy for collecting and evaluating ideas. Having guidelines in place to thoroughly vet ideas, value diverse opinions, prioritize scalable and sustainable results, and other areas of innovation management can set you up for success over the long term.
Lack of diversity among employees hurts a company’s ability to innovate and remain competitive. Diversity – both inherent and acquired – naturally drives innovation through team members’ different abilities to spot gaps, solutions, and opportunities; to avoid groupthink; and to reach clients and customers who were inaccessible before.
It’s awesome when everyone agrees, isn’t it? Yes—and no. Most of us have, at some point, fallen into the trap of groupthink to avoid conflict and promote harmony in a group, whether at school, work, or on a committee. Groupthink has its perks: everyone feels comfortable, and there’s no risk of tension among members. It’s safe. Easy. Unfortunately, it can also kills creativity and innovation.
It’s follow my leader time for the world’s stock markets. Concerns over the state of the Chinese economy have seen markets plunge into freefall, only for some to bounce upwards again a few hours later. At the time of writing, markets are still in flux with analysts divided on the eventual outcome.
In the disciplined and structured process of innovation we search for unmet needs and unfulfilled desires, and when we think we find them we have to construct a sort of a mental map that defines why our proposed solution will be better than whatever currently exists. We may use the business model map to show how we’re using this innovation to move up and to the right, or we may use the customer value ladder to show how this innovation provides differentiated value. And once we’re convinced that our idea is a really good one, the next step is often prototyping.
How might you foment authentic breakthroughs through collaborative innovation? The fuzzy front end, by name and nature, fails to lend itself to foregone conclusions. Yet, as the innovation practitioner, you can take certain steps that increase the likelihood of achieving breakthroughs. In this article innovation architect Doug Collins explores the most critical steps for people who see the practice as a means of transforming the organization.
Group brainstorming has gotten a bad rap lately from a number of authors this year, who have dismissed it as a pointless exercise in groupthink that doesn’t unleash the creative power of the team, but actually stifles it. Vijay Govindarajan and Jay Terwilliger dare to disagree. They are strong advocates of collaboration in innovation, and believe that the proper use of brainstorming techniques is a powerful tool in the collaborative approach.
What do attending a business lunch or going to Catholic Mass have to do with groupthink? Susanna Bill discusses the notion of groupthink and how experiencing something for the first time helps you snap out of it.