Innovation Tautogram — A Simple and Powerful Innovation Tool

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The human vocabulary with millions of words is adequate to explain all of our expectations and experiences, even those which are imagined. Why not harness the power of language to discover new products and services? Author Shanta R Yapa shares the Innovation Tautogram technique, which can be used as an individual or a group exercise.

Humans around the world use millions of words in thousands of languages to explain and communicate their attitudes, emotions, anxiety, aspirations, etc. Experiences, irrespective of whether they are actual or desired, are already in the vocabulary of different languages but not available to us as actual products, features and processes. We have words to describe any unidentified flying object if seen suddenly, a creature not seen hitherto on the earth, an out of the world feeling a product can offer, a need felt, etc. Use this powerful brainstorming technique to mine your vocabulary database in a random way to bridge the gap between what is real and what is imagined.

Tendency to think rationally

Most of us spend many years learning things pertaining to our own disciplines. Therefore, our minds are trained and framed to think logically or rationally within those domains. Coming out of the box makes us feel uncomfortable. We are afraid, or simply not bothered to challenge the concepts, principles or theories we learn at the beginning of our professions.

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Taking a Leaf Out of Your Childhood in Your Professional Life

The way we develop as children can greatly impact the way in which we conduct ourselves as adults. Our early experiences and discoveries have a significant influence on the growth of various personality traits, such as leadership, the ability to work as part of a team and communication, which can have a big impact on our professional lives.

In certain situations, perhaps if we’re struggling with a particular aspect of our job, it can be worth adopting the same sort of approaches we did when we were children. It can show us a new, potentially better way of doing our jobs and have a real impact on our professional lives and, as a knock-on, the growth of our businesses.

Imagination

Our imagination knows no limits when we’re children – whether it’s something as simple as imagining that the floor is actually red-hot lava or a fully imagined re-enactment of battles from Peter Pan or Robin Hood, we can imagine anything, exercising our creativity and having fun at the same time.

Although you might not be in the sort of job that requires you to be overly creative on a regular basis, even the most repetitive tasks can be made more fun and improved in terms of their effectiveness when you use your imagination.

Communication

While you might not remember it, your parents probably have a few well-worn anecdotes about the time you innocently told Grandma that you thought her new shoes were really ugly, or the time you told your little brother Father Christmas didn’t exist and made him cry.

To read full blog visit >> Taking a Leaf Out of Your Childhood in Your Professional Life

Also read about Online Learning Innovation Programs and its related Innovation Preocess

Four Tools to Support Creativity and Innovation

There are four different types of innovation tools that we’ll describe here, including the design of the work place itself, practices that encourage and even enable effective collaboration, open innovation approach to connect inside innovation teams with outside partners and experts, and online learning tools that constitute the virtual work place. Separately and especially together, these can make a tremendous enhancement in the performance and the satisfaction of individuals, teams, and your entire organization.

The last element of the innovation formula is the tools that enable you, or support you, to produce better innovation outcomes more quickly. This is often a sensitive topic for small businesses, which generally don’t have the resources to provide innovation teams with big work spaces, generous travel budgets, and fancy prototyping tools.

As we were wrapping up the tour, however, one of the facilities leaders who had been our tour guide, and who had been with the company for decades, mentioned that while the new labs were certainly lovely, he noticed that something had been lost over the years. He remembered the early days of the company, which was started in left over Quonset huts from World War II.

The work place

The qualities and characteristics that make Quonset huts and skunkworks so useful is that they’re open, flexible, and no one is inhibited about messing around in them and trying something new.

Unfortunately, the architecture profession and office furniture manufacturers have standardized on this utterly drab and uninspiring concept of what “the physical space” ought to be.

Tom Allen and Gunter Henn address this issue in their lively book about the design of offices: “Most managers will likely acknowledge the critical role played by organizational structure in the innovation process, but few understand that physical space is equally important. It has tremendous influence on how and where communication takes place, on the quality of that communication, and on the movements – and hence, all interactions – of people within an organization. In fact, some of the most prevalent design elements of buildings nearly shut down the opportunities for the organizations that work within their walls to thrive and innovate.

Effective collaboration

To create innovation requires that people engage in exploring new topics, understanding, diagnosing, analyzing, modeling, creating, inventing, solving, communicating, and implementing concepts, ideas, insights, and projects. These attributes are all facets of “learning,” and any organization that thrives in a rapidly changing environment has surely encouraged its members to learn and to apply active learning results to keep up with external changes. Read more at >>

To Focus Employees on Innovation, Align Their Goals and Compensation

The ability to deliver new value requires systemic evolution in business strategy, culture, organizational design, and customer awareness. Employees can and will deliver new customer value, but the way they are paid and directed must change first and then the results will follow.

People perform the way they are compensated to perform. If an enterprise is structured and compensates its people to be creative, it receives creativity from them. If the company preaches that creativity and innovation are valued but don’t align their compensation and employee goal setting with these objectives, not surprisingly, very little innovation happens.

With all of the downsizing, offshoring, and Six Sigma/Lean that people have been living through for the past 20 years, they have learned to, “keep their eyes inside the boat” and not to stray too far from their defined goals and objectives.

People who are engaged in profit-orientated businesses are, for the most part, employed to perform specific types of tasks. Whether the task is on a production line or producing invoices, people develop a set of skills and sell those skills to an employer. So it should come as no surprise that the employees of a company are focused on what they are compensated to produce. If people are not compensated or rewarded in some way to be creative, to produce changes that delight a customer, and to find new opportunity areas, why would anyone expect them to do so?

A variety of tools have emerged over the years to assist managers in directing their employees’ efforts. Key performance indicators, 360 degree performance, management by objectives. Do any of these ring a bell? Performance management should be focused on setting goals that are aligned with business strategy, extending a person’s skill set, and aligning resources to achieve business strategy.

Most people are compensated based on their ability to achieve a predetermined set of goals and objectives. Managers review employee performance based on their ability to meet the goals. Many, many words are being written currently about organizations delivering innovation . Executives are refocusing their attention on delivering new value to their customers, but how many executives are looking at the way they compensate their people? It doesn’t make much sense to tell people to be creative, to discover opportunities, to increase customer value when these same people are being paid to deliver completely different things.

If business strategy requires new products, services, or business models to extend its competitive advantage, it also requires new ways to focus and reward the people who work for the enterprise. If people are compensated based on their ability to complete tasks, it isn’t logical to also expect them to create new things unless they are rewarded and recognized for this ability.

The ability to deliver new value to the customer (i.e., innovation Management) requires systemic evolution in business strategy, culture, organizational design, and customer awareness. Employees can and will deliver new customer value, but the way they are paid and directed must change first and then the results will follow.