Innovation Strategy Power Tools

innovationPowerToolsv1Challenge Mapping & IdeaKeg

Do you want to cut through the clutter when it comes to innovation strategy?

Are you sorting through plans for year-end strategy and ideation sessions? Are you at the very front end of innovation and not sure where to go, where to start?

Are you asking questions like these (you should be!):

  • What projects might we get started before the end of the year?
  • What might be our innovation focus for 2017?
  • How might we leverage those research insights we’ve developed?
  • What trends and ideas outside our industry might we adapt to innovate?

These questions can be tough to sort out.

I’m suggesting here two bits of “sorting out” technology. Consider using two powerful innovation and strategy tools. They are both advanced practice leading to breakthrough thinking. Challenge Mapping is an analysis tool to explore situations. It creates a hierarchy of focused questions from highly conceptual to distinctly tactical. Make no mistake, creating a comprehensive challenge map is not trivial. It takes time, imaginative thought and expert faciltation. But it’s spade work you absolutely need to do. Once a challenge map is created, your choices become easier to converge upon. You’ll know what to do, where to go. If carefully done, there is no better tool for creating action plans, or platform questions for innovation.

KILN’s IdeaKeg is a tool I’ve mentioned here before, but most of you have probably not heard of unless you’ve read the recently published book, “Trend Driven Innovation”. IdeaKeg is a process that leverages trends to lead teams towards braver, bolder, more imaginative questions. The process* is kinesthetic and uses carefully curated trend-objects — you “think-with-your-hands.” IdeaKeg encourages fresh new connections and it invokes intuition. Unilever, General Mills, Sargento, and Whirlpool use IdeaKeg. IdeaKeg is also useful in ideation itself, it’s a great stimulus tool. Doing Mash-Ups with creative consumers leads to interesting, and yes, out-of-the-box ideas.

Using these two tools separately, or even better, together, might be the best innovation strategy decision you make this year.I’m in the business of teaching and facilitating these tools. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss how you might bring them into your organizations thinking process. I guarantee you’ll get good results.

Stay Tuned: I’m putting together plans for a September public workshop where I’ll be teaching facilitators how to up their game. These two tools will feature prominently in the agenda.
* The IdeaKeg process, fully implemented can be more than just a one meeting system. FuseTrail is KILN’s Front-End-Of-Innovation design that starts with exploring challenges and ends with story-based management pitches. If your organziation wants a complete template for it’s FEI process, KILN has one. 

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