Two of the biggest danger points for innovation in an organisation are the start and the end - no surprises there. The problem at the start of the innovation process is making sure you have solved the right problem or tackling the right opportunity. These will be the ones of the most breadth, and the longest time frame (write to me, if you’d like a copy of my matrix for innovating strategically).
You’ll only be able to tackle the right problem/opportunity if you have framed it the right way. This is where something with the Innovation Diamond(c) comes in very handy. Now available on Amazon.
Framing it the right way is all around how you frame your question. The great example of where this was done poorly was the “solution” of more roads to resolve traffic congestion. In the 70s, the problem of traffic congestion was framed as too many cars not enough roads - clearly this is your framed in more roads were solved the problem. However, consider these other frames for the same problem:
- if the problem is too many cars on the road during peak hour - the solution to this might be staggered starting and finishing times
- if the problem is getting people from home to work - the solution might include additional bicycle tracks, and better public transport
- if the problem is framed as peoples workplaces and homes being apart - the solution might be building our cities differently.
I’ve chosen a very obvious example – but there are plenty of others. Whether thinking around the solution was too small in breadth, or in too short a time frame - have a look around your organisation and I’m sure you’ll see some.
So in starting an innovation – focus in on the first stage of the innovation diamond, and make sure you get that right.
If you’d like help to think strategically around your innovations, or a copy of the Innovation Diamond© - or some help to make your organisation more innovative, please get in touch on +61 (0)438 545 607 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.