Inspirational Business Plan: Successful Innovation
Milestones Completed and Future Plans:
rid ourselves of
traditional thinking we can get on with creating the future."
Lateral Thinking Defined
Lateral thinking is concerned with generation
of new ideas. It is also concerned with "breaking out of the concept prisons
of old ideas."1
Vertical vs. Lateral Thinking
Lateral thinking is not a substitute for
vertical thinking. Both are required – they are complementary: lateral
thinking is generative, vertical thinking is selective. For instance, during
brainstorming meetings, you
encourage lateral thinking during the first session to generate as much
creative solutions as possible, and vertical thinking during the second
session to select the feasible ideas.
In traditional vertical type of thinking (logic
or mathematic), you move forward by sequential steps each of which must be
You select out only what is relevant. You must be right at each
stage in order to achieve a correct solution.
In lateral thinking, you may deliberately seek
out irrelevant information - you use information not for its own sake but
for its effect. You may have to be wrong at some stage in order to achieve
an innovative and correct solution.
6 Barriers To Creative Thinking and
Negative Attitude: The tendency to
focus on the negative aspects of problems and expend energy on worry...
Ask Searching Questions
Don't ask one or two questions and then rush straight towards a solution.
With an incomplete understanding of the problem it is very easy to jump to
Ask open-ended questions that elicit a wide rage of answers:
Effective Innovation: How to Stay
Ahead of the Competition, John Adair
The Bicycles and
Two boys on bicycles, 20 miles
apart, began racing straight towards each other. The instant they started, a
fly on the handlebar of one bicycle started flying straight towards the
other cyclist. As soon as it reached the other bicycle, it turned and
started back. The fly flew back and forth in this way, from handlebar to
handlebar, until the bicycles met.
If each bicycle had a constant
speed of 10 miles and hour, and the fly flew at a constant speed of 15 miles
an hour, how far did the fly flew? (See
Critical Thinking: Socratic Questions
Socratic questioning is at the heart of critical thinking
they enhance your critical thinking skills.
Socratic questions challenge
accuracy and completeness of thinking in a way that acts to move
people towards their ultimate goal...
New Systemic Approach to Innovation
Until recently innovation has been seen
principally as the means to turn research results into commercially
successful products, but not all
research leads to innovation and not all
innovation is research-based.
It arises from complex interactions between many individuals,
organizations and their operating environment. Firms which are successful in
realizing the full returns from their technologies and innovations are able
to match their technological developments with complementary expertise in
other areas of their business, such as manufacturing, distribution, human
If you build broad
cross-functional expertise, no idea will be wasted!
mind can accept only those ideas that have a frame of reference with
your existing knowledge. It rejects everything else.
If your knowledge is
functionally focused, you'll be open to new ideas related to your functional
expertise only and will miss all other learning and innovation
opportunities. If you develop a broad cross-functional expertise, no new
idea will be wasted. It will immediately connect with the existing knowledge
and will inspire you, energize you, and encourage your
The broader your net, the more fish you catch.
Case in Point
Encouragement of Lateral Thinking at
GE Work-Out, participants are made fell the urgency to change and begin
to see the whole picture of the situation.
Then, they are
ready to focus on new ideas.
How can the process be improved? What can be done differently to achieve the
"Using the process map as a starting point,
Work-Out asks participants to
brainstorm ways of achieving the goal, and then provides a structure for
quickly sorting through the ideas, selecting the best ones, and developing
them into recommendations for change. As with any brainstorming process,
Work-Out encourages people to toss out any idea, no matter how minor, how
crazy, how seemingly impossible. And the process helps people learn how to
build on each other's ideas, combine ideas, and
think "out-of-the-box." In fact,
when the old Aetna Insurance
Company implemented its version of Work-Out,
the program's sponsors called it "Out of the Box."3
Be the Best Possible
10 Tips by
Ten3 NZ Ltd.
Every member of an organisation can
be creative. The key towards discovering and maximising
your creativity is to be a member of an organisation that offers a work
environment that encourages individual and team creativity. These
organisations understand that
creativity are the very source of excellence and quality when
customer service, delivery, distribution, sales and marketing and
employee productivity, etc...