Tag Archives: innovation and continuous improvement

4 Pre-Requisites to Creative Problem Solving

Creatively Achieving Breakthroughs

Recent posts have focused on the value of creative thinking when seeking to solve problems or achieve improvements.

While research has consistently shown that creativity can be developed, there are 4 requirements to harnessing it to solve problems and achieve breakthrough results:

  • We must have an audacious goal — one that cannot be achieved through standard procedures no matter how smart and hard we work
  • We must clearly and convincingly make the case for achieving this audacious goal
  • The goal must be measurable and timely, clearly laying out the degree of improvement and the deadline: “from x to y by when”
  • The people involved must be trained in methods for achieving breakthroughs and given the leeway (and amnesty) to challenge the status quo and to test outrageous ideas that just might work.

Are the Same Old Problems Impacting Your Innovation Level?

innovationIn a recent post we shared some thoughts on the relationship between quality and innovation.

Everyone wants to be innovative — the best returns and greater profits come to those who who can create a management system or culture that constantly is clicking on all cylinders, or those who can be the first to introduce “new or improved” products to the market.

Innovations such as these create powerful competitive advantages.

But how often do they happen?

Innovation is challenging for both large and small organizations. In our experience and research, we find that innovation is truly enigmatic:

  • Large organizations have more wherewithal to invest in systematic innovation, but smaller organizations seem more capable of capitalizing on innovative ideas. Why?
  • Most innovations come not from visionaries at the top but from people closest to the work. Yet paradoxically, strong leadership and vision at the top of the organization are required to create an environment that fosters innovation and risk taking. Without strong leadership, organizations become bureaucratic and risk-averse.
  • Outsiders often have the most innovative ideas, but insiders’ know-how and buy-in are required to get them implemented.

Our next few posts will discuss some of the barriers to innovation and some ways to overcome these barriers.