Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Innovation Year-In-Review

C. Engdahl
The Big E of Big E Toys

Before the clock hits midnight, I want to take a quick look back on 2010.

Do You Know Who You Are?
In my May 11, 2010 post entitled “Know Who You Are And Act Like It” I ruminated on seeing Life Is Good CEO Bert Jacobs at the then recent Front End of Innovation Conference in Boston. In looking over some of the inspirational letters received by the company and posted as part of its FUEL page, it’s evident to me that Life Is Good understands who they are and what they mean to others.


Still Culturally Significant
Despite not taking home the Oscar for Best Picture or Best Director (which was the right call, the award having gone to The Hurt Locker and Kathryn Bigelow), Avatar did pull down three Academy Awards including Best Cinematography, Art Direction, and Visual Effects. Having not won the Best Picture honor doesn’t diminish its cultural significance. Although his film watching repertoire is still limited at his pre-teen age, my eldest son considers Avatar the best movie ever made. Looking forward to seeing what James Cameron has in the works for the sequel.

More Talk About Girl Talk
About a month after I posted “Innovation Is Girl Talk” on October 19, 2010, musical impresario Girl Talk (a.k.a. Gregg Gillis) dropped his new album – “All Day” - on the Illegal Art website for any and everyone to download for free. Once word was out, people downloaded in droves. So many in fact that the internet began to break (not really but it makes for a good story). Check out the track “This Is the Remix”.

Other Random Jottings
1. I still haven’t gotten my $25 back. Not really expecting to.
2. Seth Godin’s workbook ShipIt might help you practice.
3. What becomes of corporate mythology when a story – like the founding of Facebook - becomes so public so early?

In Memoriam
C.K. Prahalad (Aug 8, 1941 – Apr 16, 2010) – with co-author Gary Hamel, University of Michigan professor C.K. Prahalad introduced the concept of “core competency” in 1990. In addition to other writings, Professor Prahalad co-authored the influential books “Competing For The Future” (1994, with Gary Hamel), and “The Future of Competition” (2004, with Venkat Ramaswamy). (I personally found both books to be excellent.) The Times of London, in conjunction with Thinkers 50, a system of rating the world's top business strategists, called Dr. Prahalad "the No. 1 most influential management thinker in the world" in its two most recent rankings. He was a true giant among strategic thinkers. For additional info.

John Wooden (Oct 13, 1910 – Jun 4, 2010) – despite his advanced age when I included a mention of coach Wooden in my March 15, 2010 post entitled “March To Madness”, I didn’t really expect him to pass just a few months later. John Wooden’s accomplishments as a player and especially a coach are legendary. His 10 national championships while the coach at UCLA will never be equaled. His mixture of basketball with life lessons is what made him innovative. His ideas on leadership and inspiration have been used throughout the corporate world for decades.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays from Front End of Innovation!

We're taking some time off from our coverage of innovation to celebrate the season with our loved ones. We want to sincerely thank you for your readership, your comments and your participation. We look forward to returning to the world of innovation in 2011!

Here are our top Front End of Innovation posts from 2010:
The idea management wars
Innovation Management At FEI Conference 2010
Best of Breed Idea Management Software has 10 Key Elements: A Check List For Your Demonstrations.

We wish you Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Innovate Your Business To Make It Grow (a song)

C. Engdahl
The Big E of Big E Toys

For anyone in the U.S. that watched Monday Night Football last night, you know the weather in Minneapolis was a bit cold and blustery with plenty of snow over the last couple days. We got about six inches where I live, which is on top of the foot or so from last week (that made the Metrodome collapse). And it’s actually started to snow again. Another four to eight inches are on the way. Winter wonderland indeed!

Last year I served up “The Twelve Days Of Innovation”. And this year in the spirit of snow, to the tune of “Let It Snow” I give you “Innovate Your Business To Make It Grow”. Feel free to go caroling from cubicle to cubicle around the office.

Innovate Your Business To Make It Grow

Oh the recession outside is frightful
But Innovation is so delightful
And since stagnation is your number one foe
Innovate your business to make it grow!

The competition doesn’t show signs of stopping
But it’s the floor with their butts we’ll be mopping
To avoid getting a tag on your toe
Innovate your business to make it grow!

When you finally see the light
And realize extraordinary should be the norm
You’ll put greatness in your sights
And a new innovation you’ll form

Don’t make your customers start crying
Don’t let your investors start sighing
If you’re hoping for a successful IPO
Innovate your business to make it grow!

Happy Holidays. Merry Innovation!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Inception Of An Idea

C. Engdahl
The Big E of Big E Toys

"Ideas fly through the air, but they are conditioned by laws which we cannot understand. Ideas are infectious, and an idea which might be thought the prerogative of a highly cultured person can suddenly alight in the mind of a simple, carefree being and take possession of him." - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Ever wonder if your really good idea was really your good idea?

Perhaps it was someone else’s. Perhaps someone planted it. Perhaps you unknowingly stole it.

I finally saw the movie Inception last week. I was glad I was able to see it before its run in theaters had ended. It was brilliant. Simply brilliant. I actually saw it again a few days later. I just needed to. I likened it to a little bit The Matrix, with some Shutter Island, and a hint of What Dreams May Come all rolled up into one. Totally brilliant. I think writer-director Christopher Nolan is phenomenal as well. His movie Memento, along with The Usual Suspects, are the two movies that made me realize the way in which a story is told is as important as the story itself.

Inception was intriguing to me on so many different levels. And not that I need any extra help doing so, but thinking about the movie makes me wonder more about the origin of ideas and how they grow. My mind races at the thought.

Have you ever subtly planted an idea in someone’s head?

Have you ever inadvertently co-opeted an idea and claimed it as your own?

It happens all the time. Whether we know it or not.

What is the most resilient parasite? Bacteria? A virus? An intestinal worm? An idea. Resilient... highly contagious. Once an idea has taken hold of the brain it's almost impossible to eradicate. An idea that is fully formed - fully understood - that sticks; right in there somewhere.” – Dom Cobb (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) from the movie Inception

If you haven’t already done so, see the movie Inception.

Monday, December 13, 2010

How do you pick the right people to work on the idea process?

One of the most vexing hurdles for an idea management system deployment is deciding which people should contribute ideas on any given challenge. Then there’s the decision of picking a group of people to work on embellishing an idea once it has been submitted.

There is certainly value to tapping into the “wisdom of the crowd” but sometimes an organization wants certain people to work on certain idea streams. You want to consider which people make up a group when you consider:

  • · The initial group of people who are invited to join the idea management system
  • · The people who join the idea system as the collaborative system experiences organic growth.
  • · The groups of people who work on unsolicited ideas as they come into the system.
  • · The groups of people who submit ideas solicited by challenges the organization poses.
  • · The groups of people who work on ideas initially promoted when ideas require further analysis and enhancement before ideas leave the idea management system to get elected for development.
  • · How to identify and invite the organization partners into the idea generation process.
  • · How to identify and invite the organization’s customers into the idea generation process.
  • · How to identify members of the public and encourage them to participate in the idea process.

Your first ideators

It is certainly an art form to select the first group of people invited to participate in a new idea management system project. You probably know who they are intuitively. You know who you can rely on when you have a new exiting project, those types of people who you think of as “early adopters” or “innovators”. The types of people who embrace new technologies readily. Some of our clients refer to these types of people as “the usual suspects”. The usual suspects are easy to encourage joining. In fact, a simple goal for growth might be to merely double the number of people you consider “the usual suspects”.

Organic growth

Organic growth is easier than you might think. The trick is to kick off the system with an engaging “first challenge”. With the right first challenge people will respond because they find the topic of interest. The early adopters working on the idea management system project can think about who else they know within the organization and invite them into the process (hopefully your idea management system has a function that facilitates this).

When people find out the action is happening on the new idea management system, they’ll want to join in. They will ask if they can be part of the project and the system will achieve organic growth.

Groups working on Unsolicited Ideas

Unsolicited ideas require different attention than contributions to breakthrough ideas. These types of ideas are typically thoughts on how to gain incremental innovation. For instance, “if we just did ‘this’ on the production line, we’ll save money” or “if we did ‘that’ in the following way, we’ll be more productive” or “make money”.

When you launch the idea management system there will likely be pent up demand with lots of people always wondering when they would finally have an opportunity to share their thoughts. The thrill of watching other people pay attention to their submitted ideas will be motivation enough for people to contribute these ideas (versus submitting the idea and that’s the last time they ever hear about it).

Unsolicited ideas need a fast track to delivery. When these ideas come in, you need a group of people who can assess the worth of the submission rapidly, people who are open to new ideas, of course, and people who are enabled to act on the new ideas.

Responders to Challenges

When the organization opens up the new idea management system it is difficult to determine who the most likely source will be for new ideas. The best bet is to open the challenge to everyone. This way the system can tap into the “wisdom of the crowd”.

You can also have groups of specialists involved in the process at different times. You can divide the organization by discipline (all the engineers, all the marketing folks) or by division, geography or even by the language they speak (if your organization has a division in Mexico you can invite them into the English speaking larger group or make a special space for them to speak their native tongue).

Maybe a particular idea process should be sent to a certain group right from the get-go. The organization can identify certain “SWAT” teams for certain challenges. These groups can stay in a “ready" state, poised to assess ideas or even poised to submit ideas.

Enhancing an idea

Although all types of ideas can come from any type of person, once the idea is posed it should likely be vetted by a team who knows something about the topic. This expert group can decide what the strengths and weaknesses are and also can provide input into a feasibility study. The idea system should be able to direct the workflow of a promoted idea to this group of. And the idea management system should be able to suggest who the best experts are to join in (based on everyone’s biography or system behavior).

Partners and Customers

Your partners and customers will be flattered when they’re asked to submit ideas. They will feel part of the process and become invested in the outcomes. They’ll get to know each other during the process and, most importantly, they’ll appreciate that your organization believes in innovation.

Plus your partners and customers (like your sales teams) will provide input your organization never considered. They’ll know what they need and maybe know it in a way your organization finds enlightening. This may be the best source of ideas. To get them to contribute you should plan on a marketing campaign and perhaps a contest.

The public

Of course to truly tap into the wisdom of the crowd, you need a “crowd” and this usually means the general public. Hopefully your idea management system has an integrated module for “listening” to what’s being spoken on the internet. Ideally you’re monitoring what is being said about your company and your products. You’re monitoring Facebook and Twitter and chat rooms and web sites for mentions of topics that interest you. Once you identify the people who are talking about you, you can invite them into the dialog. Or you can take the subjects they’re discussing and bring them internally for discussion.

But ultimately you can just open up to the public, maybe running a contest, and asking them for their ideas. It can be for a specific challenge like “how do we make our organization greener” or “what should our company’s next product be”. Or even “what color should we offer our new product in” so your company can buy enough materials in the right color without making a disastrous mistake.

Marketing

One key element to managing the groups who work on the ideation process is to have a plan for marketing the idea management system to the user community whether they’re the company’s employee base, your expert operators, your partners, your customers or the public. Launching an idea contest internally or externally is one marketing method.

A more thorough, ongoing method to market the idea management system is integration with the places people spend their time. This means your company’s Facebook fan page for instance. More powerfully integration with Twitter can aid the process. You ask communities to subscribe to a certain Twitter account so they can be made aware of certain challenges or news about existing ideation processes. For instance “Please help us with the XYZ challenge” or “A discussion of how solar energy can make the company more efficient has new contributions”. The key is a link to the challenge or discussion in question so that your audience can click on it and go directly to the environment to which they’ve been invited.

Taking that one step further, most of us spend a certain amount of time checking our email. Some of us do it from our computers and others of us check on our smart phones. Invitations can go out via email to specific topics with links for people to click on and dive in. A marketing news letter can go out via email (every day, week or month) telling everyone what’s happening on the idea system. Again, “click here to join this discussion”.

Conclusion

To pull all this off your idea management system has to enable you to pose challenges to a certain group. And the system has to be able to enable you to control the workflow that goes along with an idea’s promotion process on any given challenge.

There is a bottom line here. Thought has to be given to what the optimal group is for any given ideation task. Controls must exist in your idea management system to enable you to direct the workflow of the ideation process to certain people at certain times.

It takes more than an idea management system to succeed. You need to nurture a culture of innovation; to pick the right first groups, the right growth groups. You need to invite partners, customers and the public at the right time and in the right way. And you need to pick the right challenge for each step.

The software company who offers the idea management system you select has likely deployed many other systems. They have insights into how to deploy. They should also have a partner community who can contribute to the launch and ongoing care and feeding. A consulting engagement focused on selecting the right groups should be part of the deployment of your system.

Ron Shulkin is Vice President of the Americas for CogniStreamer®, an innovation management system. You can learn more about CogniStreamer here http://bit.ly/ac3x60

Ron manages The Idea Management Group on LinkedIn (Join Here) http://bit.ly/dvsYWD . He has written extensively on Idea Management (Read Here) http://bit.ly/b2ZEgU .

CogniStreamer® is an idea management software tool. It is an open innovation and collaboration platform where internal colleagues and external partner companies or knowledge centers join forces to create, develop and assess innovative ideas within strategically selected areas. The CogniStreamer® portal is an ideal collaborative platform that invites users to actively build a strong innovation portfolio. In addition it provides a powerful resource for internal and external knowledge sharing. The CogniStreamer® framework is used by industry leaders such as Atlas Copco, Bekaert, Case New Holland, Cytec, Imec, Picanol and ThyssenKrupp. CogniStreamer® represents the best use of adaptive collaborative technology such to harness human skill, ingenuity and intelligence.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Idea Management Systems must be Flexible, Customizable and Connected with Social Media



The environment of the front end of innovation requires two things more than any other: Flexibility and the ability to Communicate with its user community.

1. This means the user interface must be able to change for different types of users.

2. It means the promotion scheme for ideas must be customizable for any given challenge if a challenge requires it.

3. It means that some challenges require the input of everyone and some challenges require a very specific work group to participate.

4. And it means the user community needs to be alerted when certain things happen so they can be sure to participate in discussions important to them.

Incremental Innovation Enabled. Idea management systems should be able to offer a front end divergence of screens to host both unsolicited ideas (for incremental innovation and quick revenue wins) as well as hosting input on breakthrough innovation, solicited as a result of using Challenges. The process, the workflow, the promotion criteria, the people involved is very different when dealing with unsolicited ideas. The process should be quick, the workflow should direct assessment to experts and the ideas should be shoved toward deliverability rapidly in order to grab the quick revenue win.

Meanwhile Breakthrough Innovation requires a different approach, perhaps tapping into the wisdom of the crowd (meaning everyone should be participating) and a promotion scheme based on calculating the wisdom of the crowd (perhaps a social science algorithm measuring participation i.e. views, votes, comments, votes on comments, bookmarks, “follows”, alerts, etc.).

Flexible Workflows. For some challenges you might want to tap into the wisdom of a large crowd (everyone) followed up by assessment and reviews by specific discipline experts (a group of engineers for instance). For other challenges you might want a certain group of 25 people you trust to go through the idea assessment. For still other challenges you might want just three internal people to review then open it up to the company’s partners then back to a group of experts. The point is: a good idea management system enables flexible workflows for each challenge. And this means the end users can set these up without going back to the software vendor.

Flexible Idea Promotion Schemes. A good idea management system enables different promotion schemes for different challenges. Again, the user should be able to select which promotion scheme is best for judging each group of ideas. A library of promotion schemes can be accumulated. Some challenges might have the best ideas promoted as soon as they have had a certain number of “views”. In a different scenario the best ideas are promoted using reputation ranking and scoring (the most active people in the user community have their votes weighted as more important than occasional collaborative users). Still another challenge might use a promotion scheme that determines the best idea when it merely gets the most votes. Maybe the idea gets promoted when it gets twelve comments. The challenges themselves will present the criteria for the right reasons to automatically select the best ideas and the end users should be able to guide this without going back to their vendor.

A new idea (or any inspiration) should be able to be assigned to one or more challenges (or to no challenge at all). People collaborating should be able to start a discussion without having to associate with a challenge or have to post it as an idea. And yet, an Innovation Manager on the system should be able to eyeball a comment or a discussion and decide to promote it to an idea if they deem it appropriate. The idea management system should allow people to post ideas where they most logically apply.

Flexible alerts. To keep adoption rates up and to keep the collaborative community involved, alerts need to be thoroughly integrated with the company email system and to be issued upon reaching virtually any criteria. This means we may decide to send an alert to a certain group of people every time a new idea is posted; or when a new comment appears. Perhaps everyone gets an alert when a new challenge is posted. And users should be able to opt into an alert when they “follow” a certain topic or idea or challenge (checking once a day, or a week or every 15 minutes).

These alerts allow users to stay up to speed on something that interests them even when they are not logged on. And when they get the alerts they should be able to click on a link and go directly to that part of the idea management system. And all this is because even if end users don’t routinely check on the idea management system, they do routinely check their email. And whether from their desktop computer or from their smart phone, they can get an email alert, click on a link; have a browser open and jump into these discussions.

Flexible participant management. The people who work on any given challenge can vary. For this reason, when you have an idea management system, it should be easy to assemble different people into different groups. That way when a challenge is posted, the creator can pick the right group of people to work on it. Some challenges will include everyone. It should be easy for a user administrator to manage Application roles assigning someone to Groups, or creating new Users or new Workspace roles. This means it is easy to add a person or a list of people; to assign them to a group; to specify what groups (or individuals) can work on any given campaign or challenge.

Integrated social media connectivity. A good idea management system takes advantage of all the venues of communication the social media world has to offer. So not just communication within the collaborative tool itself and not just communication with email, but a good idea management system should enable connectivity with Twitter, as well. So when you look at some one on the idea system’s profile, you see what they Tweet. And with the clever use of hash tags, you can have those Tweets show up in a germane fashion. Those that Tweet can, for instance, include a #idea hash tag periodically. And those specific Tweets can now be sought out and appear on the collaborative tool where they belong. Or the #engineering tag or the #marketing tag can make sure those Tweets appear in the correct challenges within the system. Stronger integration and functionality with Twitter should be a mandatory part of a flexible, customizable and communication-ready idea management system.

Customizable User Interface taking advantage of Persuasive Design. On the idea management system, users should be enabled to easily customize screens. If they think a ranking of the best ideas in real time should appear on the dashboard, then they should be able to rapidly compose that ranking report and tell the system where it should appear. Once again, they should be able to do this without going to the vendor.

They should be able to administer different dashboards for different types of users. Maybe all the engineers have one dashboard and all the marketing people another. Maybe everyone in the XYZ division has a type of dashboard and the headquarter people have another. By developing the idea management system in a way where it is easy to modify the different “zones” on a screen the software vendor truly enables the end user community to be productive. Users will benefit by being able to easily add a new KPI and have it displayed where desired (e.g. number of new log ins, new ideas year to date, number of comments within the last month, etc.).

Users should be able to manage how reputations are calculated. If the user community believes reputation scores are earned in a certain way they should be able to define how reputation scores are calculated (e.g. 1 point for a comment; 10 points for an idea submission; 3 points for a vote, etc.).

So, in conclusion, the best of breed idea management system empowers the end user community to modify the system in order to address the company’s needs without running back to the software vendor every time (and incurring the consulting fees associated with those changes.

A truly great idea management system is flexible enough to assign different workflows when required; different groups of collaborators when required; different promotion schemes when required. And a truly great idea management system is capable of being thoroughly integrated with the best of social media communications tools and that includes email, Twitter accounts and much more.

Ron Shulkin is Vice President of the Americas for CogniStreamer®, an innovation management system. You can learn more about CogniStreamer here http://bit.ly/ac3x60

Ron manages The Idea Management Group on LinkedIn (Join Here) http://bit.ly/dvsYWD . He has written extensively on Idea Management (Read Here) http://bit.ly/b2ZEgU .

CogniStreamer® is an idea management software tool. It is an open innovation and collaboration platform where internal colleagues and external partner companies or knowledge centers join forces to create, develop and assess innovative ideas within strategically selected areas. The CogniStreamer® portal is an ideal collaborative platform that invites users to actively build a strong innovation portfolio. In addition it provides a powerful resource for internal and external knowledge sharing. The CogniStreamer® framework is used by industry leaders such as Atlas Copco, Bekaert, Case New Holland, Cytec, Imec, Picanol and ThyssenKrupp. CogniStreamer® represents the best use of adaptive collaborative technology such to harness human skill, ingenuity and intelligence.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Iconoculture Introduces Mindful Matters

C. Engdahl
The Big E of Big E Toys

A blog post by a former colleague of mine, Josh Kimball – the Executive Editor at consumer trends research company Iconoculture – caught my eye this morning. Instead of my own ruminations today, I thought I’d share this one. Looks like Iconoculture has introduced a new macrotrend called Mindful Matters. As Josh Kimball indicates “the idea underpinning this macrotrend is that people are mindfully re-prioritizing what they buy, who they do business with and even how they live.” Might affect the way you do innovation and what you do with innovation. Take a look at the entire post for yourself.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Nine Windows

Dr. Phil Samuel

Nine Windows is a technique that helps you examine the innovation opportunity across the dimensions of time (past, current, future) and space (super-system, system, sub-system). For instance, say you’re designing metal utensils that can be used on an airplane to eat, but not to use as a weapon. Instead of innovating the utensils themselves, you could focus your efforts on the raw materials that make up the utensils (sub-system), or even on the surrounding environment (super-system).

The core of Nine Windows is a simple grid consisting of nine boxes, or windows. Filling in the boxes provides eight additional perspectives on the problem you’ve identified, and helps you decide how and at what level to apply innovation. As such, you should leverage Nine Windows early in your project to better scope the innovation opportunity.

Steps

Scenario: To illustrate Nine Windows, let’s say we want to grow Pitaya, a plant that produces the unusual-looking, but tasty and highly nutritious “dragon fruit.” Pitaya is fond of tropical, semi-dry environments, but we want to farm it in Colorado. So, our goal is to determine a way to cultivate the Pitaya plant in a colder climate.

The dragon fruit and its antioxidant properties are beginning to capture the attention of mainstream companies including Snapple, Tropicana and Sobe.

1. Prepare grid. On a white board or flip chart, draw nine boxes arranged in a 3x3 matrix. Label the bottom row of boxes (from left to right): Past, Present, Future. Label the far left boxes (from top to bottom): Super-system, System, Sub-system.

2. Fill in center box. In the center box, put a brief description or a picture related to the innovation opportunity or Job To Be Done (JTBD). In our example, the distinctive dragon fruit may be the first thing that comes to mind. However, since we want to make the Pitaya plant more tolerant to colder climates, we’ll put that in the center box instead of the fruit.

You can use words or images, or a combination of both, in the Nine Windows.


3. Identify super-system and sub-system. In the present dimension (middle column), fill in the super-system and sub-system boxes above and below the center box. You can write (or draw) more than one item in each box.
• The super-system relates to how the system or object interacts with the surrounding environment. To complete this box ask, “What larger system encompasses the system or object?” For the Pitaya plant, the super-system consists of the soil, the climate and surrounding trees, which the plant often uses as support.
• The sub-system breaks the present system or object down into the components and characteristics that constitute it. To complete this box ask, “What makes up the object in its present form?” The Pitaya sub-system includes the plant’s fruit, leaves and roots.

Nine Windows is also known as system operator because it enables you to see how a system operates at both the macro (super-system) and micro (sub-system) levels.

4. Determine past and future. For the system (center row), fill in the past and future boxes to the left and right of the center box. Don’t limit yourself to just the immediate past or future. Instead, experiment with defining this temporal dimension in more than one way by asking:

• What did the system or object look like before its current incarnation, and what will it look like in the future?
• Where was the system or object before its present state, and where will it be in the future? The answer can range from a few seconds to years into the past or future.
• What happened to the system or object from its creation to its present form or function? What will happen after it ceases to function in the present?
• Before the present system or object existed, what was the previous solution for the JTBD, and what future solution could be developed to address the same JTBD?
• How can the system’s inputs be modified to eliminate, reduce or prevent a harmful function, event or condition from impacting the output? Or, how can the system’s output be modified in a corrective or reactive way?

In addition to enabling you to better scope the innovation opportunity, Nine Windows can be used to generate solution ideas, to determine what resources are available at each level, or to review contradictions inherent in the particular dimensions that could affect the system.

5. Complete grid. Last, fill in the four corners – the past and future states of the super-system and the sub-system. You can complete these four boxes in any order. Although you don’t have to fill in all the corners, it’s worth it to spend a few minutes trying. If you get stuck, take a short break and return to the problem with fresh eyes. The answers will depend on the specifics of the super-system and sub-system you defined in step 3, as well as the approach you took to the temporal dimension in step 4.

6. Reassess opportunity. After filling in the Nine Windows, reassess the innovation opportunity to determine if you should focus your efforts at the system, sub-system or super-system level, and in which temporal dimension.


Dr. Phil Samuel is the Chief Innovation Officer (CIO) for BMGI, a management-consulting firm specializing in performance excellence and innovation. An integral part of BMGI’s management team since 2005, Phil brings more than a decade of experience to his role as CIO, helping clients in-source creativity and increase organic growth potential. Phil is a dynamic speaker and published author, whose most recent credits include the books, “Design for Lean Six Sigma: A Holistic Approach to Design and Innovation” and “The Innovator’s Toolkit: 50+ Techniques for Predictable and Sustainable Organic Growth.”

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