Let’s boost the creativity for product innovation
Good ideas are vital for any business, and often you just have to grab them. Organizations that know how, are in the lead.
The life cycle of products is under considerable pressure. In less than half a century, the life cycle has been reduced by a factor of four! Therefore, organizations are forced to break new ground.
The most successful ones, use the inventiveness of their clients, the fresh eyes of young people, and high ceilings!
Classic is the example of Toyota. Because they know how to implement a flow of new ideas. Every year Toyota implements about 20 per employee! This generates approximately $ 4,000 per employee per year. Easy money if you employ 50,000 employees worldwide.
At Toyota, new employees have to take a seat in a circle near a production line. They are instructed to find thirty improvements in thirty minutes. The next thirty minutes, the group has to improve one of those points. The employees learn to look at the production process with different eyes. The result: persons are looking much better and initiate a lot of valuable ideas, each year.
Lubrizol manufactures semi-finished products from PVC, which are used for the production of siding, plastic pipes and credit cards. Brilliantly, the company is able to withstand the competition from cheap Chinese enterprises.
How? By cutting costs? Or by imposing revenue targets from above on? No.
The management encourages the participation of people on the floors. With their ideas, the production process has been continuously improved. Result: with the same amount of people, they have doubled their production within a few years.
Idea management requires a solid foundation
With little effort, there are plenty of opportunities to generate a lot of ideas . Art can inspire to improve operating results. Customers are great for product innovations. Or … use the fresh ideas from young people and choose the right space to brainstorm.
The police needs to look different in order to solve difficult cases. Keen observation is crucial to the work of many policeman. Crimes investigators are able to pay attention to relevant details without losing sight of the bigger picture. Except for research, a great appeal to the creativity of the constables is needed to work out the puzzle to a successful conclusion.
Therefore, the police management in New York wanted the help from a number of museums. Together they developed special viewing assignments for a group of investigators with the aim to improve powers of observation.
During keyhole surgery, which lasts several weeks, one learns to look with a trained eye to several different paintings.
The result: participants say that not only their perception has been improved, they also improved their capabilities to solve difficult crimes.
Procter & Gamble, wanted to develop a new floor cleaner. Through mapping the daily cleaning ritual from housewives, they developed the Swiffer.
Nowadays this electrostatic tissue is available at any supermarket.
Consumers are a goldmine for new products. Often their heads are packed with good ideas.
Use it and publish an ideas contest with the KISS principle: ‘Keep it short and simple’.
Formulate a simple question and ensure that the submissions are easy to send.
Several years ago a manufacturer of chips launched a competition. Consumers were asked to send their favorite chips flavor. Within two months, nearly 700,000 entries did come in. The idea of the winner has been produced and 6 million chips bag have been sold within a year. The entire campaign was an unprecedented success and did cost little money.
Inspire young people
Heerema intends to establish itself into the world of transport infrastructure. The company wanted to develop innovative tunneling technology and asked the creative minds of primary school kids.
Children are not afraid to make mistakes and have a rich imagination. They are nimble thinkers, who often come up with creative solutions. During a project, which lasted about six months, eventually 58 new concepts have been developed, from which eight patents have emerged!
Young people often have an open mind. And that is desperately needed to turn new concepts into the market.
Students opted for a pragmatic approach to improving the KMP business class. They just went up into the air and did come with many new ideas which resulted in an entirely new concept using social media to improve the services for business travelers.
Brainstorming under a high ceiling
If you faced a persistent problem, what do you do? Organize a brainstorming session in a room with a high ceiling. Automatically, participants will think more freely. They will be able to make new associations much better.
To work out the ideas you have to move to a room with a low ceiling. The mind will be more focused by the perception of this space.
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