Design Studio Website
Wednesday, June 23, 2004
Innovation and IDEO
For the complete original article on The Independent go here. An edited excerpt follows:

All businesses need fresh ideas to stay competitive.
by Gareth Chadwick

Ideas and innovation are fundamental to a successful economy.
They provide growth and the dynamism to keep the commercial engine racing onwards and upwards.
They are regarded as the cornerstone of economic development.

Businesses now have to:
--innovate more quickly,
--generate ideas more regularly and
--commercialize them more effectively.

Teaching people how to use their brains in order to generate more ideas is a question for philosophers and psychologists, not business people. But just because the mental process of creating an idea can't be taught, it doesn't mean that the whole process of innovation has to be left in the lap of gods.

Alan South, European head at innovation consultants IDEO in London, highlights three stages in the process of generating ideas and turning them into viable projects. By managing the different stages, he suggests that enterprises can better stimulate and encourage new ideas and create a commercial climate in which innovation can flourish.

Insights: the fuel for innovation as they spark off the creative process and form the context out of which ideas are generated.

Using that insight to actually generate ideas: thinking creatively about what you want to achieve and coming up with all sorts of different ways of trying to achieve it, most of which will be discarded at a later stage, but some of which will work.

Getting an idea through an organisation: through various investment gateways and successfully out into the market.

Observe and empathise with the customers and end-users.
Where are the problems that need solving.
Where is the creative energy best applied.
Not just coming up with the solutions, but working out what needs to be addressed.

Here, smaller business have an advantage:
--closer to their customers,
--have fewer cutomers and
--less complex in terms of internal organisation.
But on the other hand, they have less room for risk.

Creating the right environment for innovation is a means of stimulating the flow of ideas. It could literally be changing the physical office environment in order to stimulate more innovative thinking, or it could be changing the cultural environment in which people work to encourage them to be more creative.

Dedicated project rooms: one method of stimulating creativity. Rather than having project material in binders and boxes, filed away by people's desks, by creating an environment where people can come and work on the project with all the information and pictures and ideas relating to it all around them, they will be more easily inspired to come up with new thinking.

However, the idea is only a small part of the innovation process. Equally crucial is the ability to commercialise the idea.

Most business failures are not due to a lack of ideas, but due to a failure in the commercialisation and implementation of those ideas. Knowing how to commercialise an idea means:
--researching the market,
--the right pricing strategy,
--the right team and
--thorough testing and prototyping of the idea before it ever gets to market.

This is one of the main focuses of all IDEO projects. It is an incredibly important part of the process of getting ideas out of the door. By visualising and prototyping a project, it comes to life and helps people buy into it. A second issue is that the final quality of a product or service is directly proportional to the quality of the approach to prototyping.

Getting the right team involved can also make or break the commercialisation of an idea. There needs to be a level of awareness that once it has been developed to a certain stage, a project may be best commercialised by a different team to the one which initiated it.

Above all, it is about being prepared to fail. Encouraging creativity means accepting that not all the ideas will work, but criticising them if they don't is a sure way of discouraging future innovation.

The article further goes on to mention the successful business launch of Kitchen Gurus.
posted by Naina @ Permalink 6/23/2004 10:21:00 AM   0 comments  --- Google It! ---
Post a Comment

blog navigation
recent entries
monthly archive
innovation links
changethis manifestos
design links
other links
RSS and XML Feed Subscribe to Innovation with Bloglines
Listed on BlogShares I'm on orkut
My profile on LinkedIn My profile on Ecademy
Skype Me! Blogger Profile
Innovation Challenge Judge Blogstreet Profile

directions for using the blog
all links are in green: when you take your mouse-pointer over a link, it turns blue with a dashed gray underline. links in the post-body are also dash-underlined.

all links to useful information within the blog are under the *blog navigation* sidebar on the top-right.

the topmost right-corner advertises the yellow pages service provided by my parent organization, InnovationNetwork.

the ASIDE Innovation Blog does not advertise for third-parties and there are no pop-ups associated with the blog.

for any complaints kindly e-mail me at asideblog [at] gmail [dot] com.

Naina Redhu has no liability for the contents on the pages of the weblinks under the *innovation*, *design* and *other* categories.

the *ideas@aside* logo is the sole-property of ASIDE and Naina Redhu and is copyrighted under the Creative Commons like the rest of the graphics and writing existing on the ASIDE Innovation Blog.

the blog has been optimized for Internet Explorer and uses websafe colors. the color scheme has been extensively researched for eye-safety for on-screen viewing as well as for the impact of colors on the brain. the colors on this weblog are suitable for a stress-free read and will relax all five senses.

comments relating to subject-matter under innovation / creativity and design / colors are welcome.
All comments, ideas and thoughts on the ASIDE Innovation Blog
are property of their authors unless otherwise stated
Copyright Naina Redhu, 2004
ASIDE is powered by Blogger