10 Tips to successfully generate innovative ideas

Innovation starts with having good ideas and ideally a lot of them. Organizations cannot just sit around and wait for a stroke of luck to happen. They need to actively, continuously and systematically generate ideas to fill their innovation pipeline. Getting started is actually much easier than you’d think. Here are 10 tips to start building your pipeline of innovative ideas today.

#1 – Take time – People schedule time for things that they find important: for meetings, for having dinner with friends or for their favorite hobbies. Strangely enough, they hardly ever free up time for thinking. Schedule thinking time in your agenda: this is as much an activity as having a business meeting. And maybe even more important.

#2 – Change location – Business creativity and innovative thinking are all about new perspectives and breaking away from what we think we know. In this case it means very literally to change your physical location. Leave your office or your place of work and go somewhere else where you are freed from everyday (work)life and will not be disturbed. Doing things the same way as we have done them before will not lead to a different outcome.


#3 – Have focus – In most cases, thinking without direction will not lead to anything. Either your thoughts will be all over the place, or you will experience a form of mental paralysis facing a blank sheet. It is bound to become a disappointing experience. You must scope the domain that you want to work on; box it in, fence it off. Is it a specific product or one of the product’s components? Will you be working on your channels or your customer relationships? It doesn’t matter how you scope it, as long as you constrain your thinking by having a specific focus.

#4 – Think big – People tend to be modest in their thinking which results in equally modest ideas. Innovation is about creating value for your business. Don’t think too small: stretch your imagination and think big. Don’t be shy. And even if your big idea isn’t right, the chance of finding a valuable small idea hidden inside it is much bigger than the other way around. Plus, it’s much easier to scale down a big idea than to scale up a small idea.

#5 – Collaborate – How different are the ideas you […]

By |November 1st, 2016|2016, Blog|1 Comment

The 2nd of 5 Dominant Patterns in Innovation – Task Unification

Defy the Voice of the Customer, the traditional cornerstone of Marketing and Innovation, and consider the power of the Voice of the Product instead.

In Systematic Inventive Thinking (SIT) we turn traditional customer-centric thinking upside down and we focus on the existing product. We center our thinking around the existing situation and systematically manipulate it to generate new ideas. Only after we have found an idea, we look for potential customer demand. With a possible solution in hand, we research patterns of customer behavior, tension points or unmet needs. We start with a solution and then identify the problem.

When we talk about the existing situation, we not only consider products, but also services, processes and business models. For simplicity sake, we will use the term “product” in our examples.

The existing situation is considered in its immediate environment, the imaginary box, or, as the founders of the method call it, the Closed World. A product only becomes meaningful and adds value in the context in which it is used. To illustrate this, imagine a simple product: a screwdriver. In the immediate environment of the screwdriver we could find a picture frame that needs hanging, a wall, screws, a toolbox with other tools, and a person. This is what we consider the Closed World of the screwdriver. We will talk more about this in upcoming posts, but the basic concept will suffice for now.

The pattern that we will discuss today is called Task Unification. In this approach, an existing resource of a product gets an additional task that was previously carried out by something else. Let’s have a look at a few examples.


Have you ever noticed how much waste is left behind in the park after a picnic? This makes parks look unattractive, it can cause health issues and it is a general concern for park management. CleanPicnic has created a picnic blanket that people can pick up for free at the entrance of the park. It not only serves as a nice picnic blanket, but it is designed in such a way that it can also be used as a waste bag to collect all waste after the picnic. The picnic blanket has been given the additional task of collecting waste.


Another great example of Task Unification is the Defender 24/7. This is a new personal protection system that not only takes down the attacker with […]

By |October 21st, 2016|2016, Blog|0 Comments