Your newsletter on applied creativity, imagination, ideas and innovation in business.
Tuesday, 6 February 2007
Hello and welcome to another issue of Report 103, your fortnightly newsletter on creativity, imagination, ideas and innovation in business.
As always, if you have news about creativity, imagination, ideas, or innovation please feel free to forward it to me for potential inclusion in Report103. Your comments and feedback are also always welcome.
Information on unsubscribing, archives, reprinting articles, etc can be found at the end of this newsletter.
An html version of this newsletter can be found on-line at http://www.creativejeffrey.com/report103/archive.php?issue_no=20070206 – but note that it may take up to an hour after e-mailing Report 103 before this issue is put on-line. If you don't see it now, try again in an hour.
10 INNOVATIVE WAYS TO USE IDEA MANAGEMENT
Recently, we have looked at the various ways clients, business partners and others have applied idea management – in particular Jenni idea management software service, of course – in their organisations. Based on what we have seen, and with a couple ideas of our own, we have compiled a list of 10 innovative ways organisations can use Jenni idea management software service – or other idea management processes based on the ideas campaign approach to idea management - in order to generate innovative ideas for for those organisations.
Here they are...
1. Solicit ideas from your employees. This is the traditional approach to idea management and the most widely used. It is also effective. Use Jenni to solicit from your employees:
- process ideas to improve operational efficiency and save money
- new product and service ideas that give more value to your clients
- marketing ideas that sell your products more effectively
2. Pre-merger innovation. If your company is about to merge with another company, implement Jenni and allow employees in both organisations to participate in ideas campaigns to solicit innovative approaches to collaboration. Empower your employees to find the most effective, innovative means of working successfully with their soon to be colleagues. By involving all employees in the joint venture to work together to integrate two corporate cultures, you will significantly ease the stress that a merger typically causes.
3. Solicit product ideas from your customers. Most idea management focuses on soliciting ideas from employees. But when you want innovative new product ideas, tapping into the creative minds of your customers is an extremely effective approach to new product innovation. Moreover, using Jenni to solicit ideas from your customers can be a powerful marketing exercise, generating publicity and new customer data.
4. Solicit product usage ideas from the public. If you produce a commonly used product, ask your customers for innovative ways to use your product. Not only will you probably be surprised by the range of uses for your product (some of which, admittedly, may be completely inappropriate), but you will gain valuable insight into potential new markets and marketing approaches for your product.
5. Improve your community. If you are in local, regional or national government, use Jenni idea management to solicit ideas from your constituency: ideas about how to improve local services, ideas about using budget, ideas about activities and ideas about solving community problems. Asking your consistency for ideas about making their community a better place to live and work is sure to be welcomed by the community - and Jenni makes participation remarkably easy for everyone.
6. Collaborate with your business partners. Businesses today are more and more integrated with their business partners. Why not take it one step further and get your business partners involved in your innovation process? Business partners can often offer a fresh perspective and new opportunities that you and your employees may not see.
7. Solicit ideas from your suppliers. Your suppliers have great ideas about serving you better and more efficiently. That saves them and you money. Better still, you can share suppliers' ideas across the supply chain, ensuring everyone benefits from innovative ideas.
8. Invite ideas from your audience. If you are in the media, why not use Jenni as a collaborative means of soliciting ideas and feedback from the audience? Invite viewers to suggest activities for reality TV shows, invite ideas to solve problems presented on air and more. Jenni makes it easy for your audience to collaboratively develop and share creative ideas with you.
9. Brainstorm risks and threats. An ideas campaign need not be limited to seeking opportunities. You can also run ideas campaigns soliciting ideas about risks or threats to your organisation, community or country. Asking "In what way could terrorists attack our community?" or "What threats might affect our new business in China?"can help you discover and evaluate potential threats. You can then run follow-up ideas campaigns to devise and develop solutions to those threats.
10. Competitions open to the general public. Running open ideas campaigns that solicit ideas from everyone not only generate interesting new ideas for your company, but also help you build up mailing lists of customers and prospective customers who care enough about your organisation to share ideas with you. Offering small gifts, such as coupons for every idea, can ensure more participation - and build up your mailing lists.
11. Bonus suggestion: use Jenni idea management in order to generate innovative ideas about how to use Jenni in your firm!
A copy of this article is also available on line at http://www.creativejeffrey.com/jenni/uses.php
For more information about how you could use Jenni idea management software service in your firm, contact one of our representatives or me. For more information about Jenni Idea Management Software Service in general, please visit http://www.creativejeffrey.com/jenni/
I am delighted to introduce another guest contributor to Report 103: Graham Douglas. Graham's article below is an introduction to Integrative Thinking. After the article is a link to a white paper, also by Graham, that gives a detailed application of integrative thinking to the problem of achieving sustainable development.
Graham Douglas is a pioneer of Applied Mind Science with a wealth of experience in innovative projects in government, in business and in civil society organisations and in international development. Contact: www.integrative-thinking.com.
If you would like to contribute an article to Report 103, I'd like to hear about it. Expert articles from professionals, students and researchers make Report 103 a richer information source for all of our readers.
If you have an article idea, please e-mail me first before writing the article. If you believe an article or paper you have already written would be of interest to your fellow readers, feel free to e-mail it to me.
INTRODUCTION TO INTEGRATIVE THINKING ™
Why do attempts at innovation flounder? Why are improvements in performance
so slow? Why do we have difficulty building sustainable organisations and relationships?
Could it be because success in all these areas requires people to think integratively
rather than in the way they have been trained to think?
Generally, we are trained in critical thinking. That is, we are trained to break problems into parts and to reason in a disembodied way about those parts as though our minds were symbol manipulators like computers, unconnected with the remainder of our bodies and our environment. This sort of thinking has produced much knowledge of parts of the world around us but it is inconsistent with the integrative way in which nature, our bodies, brains and minds function.
Innovation, improvements in performance, building sustainable organisations and relationships require new connections to be made. This is unlikely to happen if all involved think only about the parts that directly affect them. In the light of our current scientific knowledge of the world and human behaviour should we not also be trained specifically in something like NEW Integrative Thinking ™ (NEW IT) which is consistent with the integrative way nature, our bodies, brains and minds function?
In contrast to critical thinking, NEW IT is a process of habitually and almost automatically making connections to create a whole new picture rather than habitually and almost automatically breaking down an old picture into its parts as critical thinking requires. It is a NEW way of thinking which helps us think “outside” and “inside the box” and integrate the two as we plan and act. NEW IT can be learned in less time than it takes to learn to drive a car and is easily memorised.
Extensive research in brain and mind sciences in recent years has shown:-
* Our mind and reasoning are inherently embodied, that is, shaped by our bodily
interaction within itself and with its physical, social and cultural environment.
* Most thought is unconscious and much of our reasoning is done when we are not conscious of its being done.
* Over a lifetime of experiences we develop a number of prototypes in our minds that are reflected in patterns in our brains.
* It is difficult to change these prototypes so solving novel and complex problems in a creative way usually involves redeploying prototypes from another domain to the novel domain.
NEW IT draws on this and other recent research and starts from the basis that we are NEW - Wonderers, Narrative creators and Experience managers not mere manipulators of symbols as critical thinking implies.
Learning NEW IT involves understanding and learning what our basic human needs and aspects of our human will are, what guides us in balancing those needs and will, clarifying what we have and what we want to set our goal, exploring possible connections when relaxed, arriving at a strategy to negotiate the change from what we have to what we want, devising tactics to advance the strategy, taking bold, assertive and timely action to achieve our goal, reviewing and evaluating our performance. An organisation in which all have learned NEW IT gains an essential ingredient for success in all areas – a common basis for communication.
Low-cost modules for self or guided learning of Integrative Thinking™ are available at www.integrative-thinking.com .
© Copyright, Graham Douglas, 2007
All rights reserved
ACHIEVEING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: THE INTEGRATIVE IMPROVEMENT INSTITUTES PROJECT
To see integrative thinking in action, download "Achieving Sustainable
Development: The Integrative Improvement
Institutes™ Project" from http://www.creativejeffrey.com/creative/ACE_Douglas20070206.pdf (PDF document: 252 KB) which was presented at the Inaugural All China Economics International Conference in Hong Kong on 19 December 2006.
INNOCENTIVE: A MARKETPLACE FOR SCIENTIFIC IDEAS
If you are an innovative thinker with a scientific background, check out InnoCentive (www.innocentive.com). InnoCentive is a web based community in which companies can publish scientific challenges together with rewards. Scientists can browse challenges and submit their innovative solutions.
If a scientist can supply an innovative solution, she wins the reward. Most rewards are in the US$10,000-US$100,000 range. At least one challenge is offering a reward of US$1 million.
InnoCentive focuses on scientific challenges, particularly in biology and chemistry and requires not only a creative mind, but scientific training. Nevertheless, InnoCentive is one of the more interesting idea marketplaces I have come across in some time. Even if you are not a scientist, I suggest you take a look. http://www.innocentive.com/
INDIA AND CHINA WISE UP TO INNOVATION
In the west, we like to think of China and India as place to subcontract work that does not require a lot of creative thinking: manufacturing low value added products, off-shoring business processes and that kind of thing.
China and India, on the other hand see their countries as becoming global leaders in the next generation. Both countries have long-term innovation plans and both pose serious threats to the west.
Considering the large number of Report 103 subscribers based in India and her neighbours, there is a lot of interest in creativity and innovation in the subcontinent.
The article “India and China Wise Up to Innovation” looks at innovation plans in both countries and is worth reading at http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/jan2007/gb20070130_742264.htm.
GOOGLE PATENT SEARCH
Inventors and anyone interested in patents will be interested to know that Google, as part of their apparent effort to patent every piece of information on the planet, have put the entire corpus of the US patent database on-line. It is an amazing collection of information. Moreover, it is an extremely useful tool for inventors as it allows you to search quickly for patents relevant to your ideas.
You can visit the Google Patent Search tool at http://www.google.com/patents
LATEST IN BUSINESS INNOVATION
If you want to keep up with the latest news in business innovation, I recommend Chuck Frey's INNOVATIONweek (http://www.innovationtools.com/News/subscribe.asp). It's the only e-newsletter that keeps you up-to-date on all of the latest innovation news, research, trends, case histories of leading companies and more. And it's the perfect complement to Report 103!
Report 103 is a complimentary weekly electronic newsletter from Bwiti bvba of Belgium (a jpb.com company: http://www.creativejeffrey.com). Archives and subscription information can be found at http://www.creativejeffrey.com/report103/
Report 103 is edited by Jeffrey Baumgartner and is published on the first and third Tuesday of every month.
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