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May 30, 2009


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Terrance Boult

Many of these are really focused on the ideation stage, not full innovation which has many steps and requires follow through from ideas to implementation.

Also I completely disagree with scoring one answer as innovative/not-innovative for questions1, 2, 4,5,8,9 as the "innovation" answer for these is a function of the problem being address and the stage of innovation.

I'd say if you had problems choosing only 1 answer for the above list because you saw different answers at different stages of innovation, then you are better at the multi-perspective thinking often needed for good innovation, and give your self both the points for those questions and a bonus 2 for multi-perspective thinking.

The ambiguity of 1 is obvious, while simpler is better (b), there are projects where adding features to a product to enable new functions may be the innovaiton, e.g. adding texting to a phone.

Second example, #9 may be a bad example of ideation, or directed innovation. But it is a good example of culture and follow through on undirected innovation via an innovation culture. Its an example of seeing the potential in a initially crazy idea and following though at 3M to take an idea into an innovation. Many companies could learn from it how to listen for ideas and have a process to capitalize on them. If its a good example or bad depends on the point of view being used.


Thanks, Terry. As you will see from my work in this blog, I place a great deal of importance on ideation methods. For me, that is the engine of innovation. The rest is implementation. My sense is companies struggle far more with ideation than implementation. I also make a clear distinction between ideation and several other activities that are often wrapped up in the term innovation (such as problem solving, design, development, and commercialization). This little self test is focused around one particular structured ideation method, and for that, I think it does a pretty good job. But I also agree with you overall point that this may be oversimplified to address the more broad concept of innovation as you see it. I appreciate your comments - always welcomed.

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