Distilling genius: 3 steps to enhance your innovation process

We look at some strategies that will help your business consistently arrive at the innovation you seek

Innovation is often thought of as being a Eureka moment that is hard to come by. Brainstorming sessions are chaotic where the stroke of genius is often elusive.  However, it is surprising to learn that innovation in most cases can be part of a meticulous, deliberate, and synchronous process that requires discipline to achieve results.  There is undoubtedly a lot of hard work that goes into innovation.

If your organization is among those that endeavour to break the glass ceiling of innovation, then we have highlighted some strategies that could work for you based on insights from Forbes. Let’s take a closer look at what these strategies entail.

Understand user pain-points

It’s simpler to pinpoint exactly what their problems are and what solutions they desire, need, and will really utilise when you know who you’re creating for.

The most effective approach to get to know your customers? Go out and strike up a conversation with them. If you have the time and means, you may perform large-scale research of your consumer base. If not, you might find this Nielsen Norman Group research reassuring. This study found that when collecting information from users, you hit the point of diminishing returns after speaking with only five people. To leverage patterns to impel ideation, it makes sense to take your answers from the first five. Most paint points are related to the buyer’s journey, some are financial, whereas others are about productivity, value, and convenience.

Ostensibly, the brands that successfully resolve key pain points to offer a holistic customer experience quickly can make it to the top of the preferred brand ladder.

Narrow the brainstorming funnel

Even if you were to have a group of profound thinkers, the plethora of possibilities and conjectures could be overwhelming at an initial glance. Installing guardrails that constrict the funnel in which your team brainstorms can better impel the process of ideation in the right direction. For instance, right now, try to think of as many green things as you can in 30 seconds. Now, in the same time span, list all of the green stuff in your kitchen. Isn’t it true that the kitchen version went faster? Because guardrails allow you to describe the problem more precisely, you may go deeper into solutions and identify more relevant innovative ways.

Too much information might make people feel overwhelmed, no matter how creative or talented they may be. When you narrow the focus a little, your team can dig a little deeper.  Dividing ideas into smaller and more digestible pieces and restricting the focus helps garner better results. If the scope is too broad then a cognitive overload may occur owing to too much information.

Build a repeatable process

The best part about an effective innovation process is that one can focus on tried and tested methodologies. While this may sound counterproductive, there are so many wonderful innovation approaches out there that reinventing the wheel is a waste of important creative energy. It’s a more efficient use of time and money to employ an existing process. To give your innovation project structure, start with an established framework, then iterate and evolve as you go. When you utilise the same process again and over, your team will create a form of “mental muscle memory,” making it simpler to come up with even larger and bolder ideas.

Finally, it is about having a keen grasp about the problem to arrive at holistic and innovative solutions. For businesses, it is as simple as building consistency in their value-engineering efforts to spark organic innovation.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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