There are many techniques for developing new ideas. For some businesses like 3M, IDEO and Frog, these techniques are ingrained into the very DNA of the company culture and structure. But what about the business that knows it needs to change, how do they do it? The World is filled with great companies, endowed with great technical experience in their respective fields. Yet despite their successes they are without the technique to realise their future aspirations? May great ideas wither on the vine through an inability to harvest them efficiently.
Often an organisation is not really aware of the true creative capability of its workforce. This is particularly the case for large organisations with physically demanding tasks – such as a manufacturing plant for automotive. In this type of environment you have highly dexterous workforce engaged in a semi autonomous process. Whilst being engaged fully in the repetitive tasks it is possible for the highly motivated employee to have exceptional moments of divergent thinking. It is as if the body in autopilot enables the operative to hand over a portion of their creative mind to musings on any number of technical or social scenarios. So how can a business capitalise on this untapped human resource?
Is idea creation best encouraged through brainstorming, idea competitions, idea factories, open sourcing?