Thursday, September 15, 2011

Innovation is ... [Insert Phrase Here]

... asking what if.

Scientists for many ages have used thought experiments to prove or disprove a theory. Just the phrase itself requires you to keep an open mind about something until it is debunked or moved forward. Try it in a group. Ask a question with something farther out than expected.

Let's go through one to get your brain wired right for this line of thinking.

What if...

... Walmart launched an upcycled product?

It removes barriers to our standard thinking and puts us in a future perfect place. Our minds attempt to work out that perfect place by either proving it could never exist or providing ways it could.

So, let's get back to Walmart getting into up-cycling.

You know the concept? Taking something aged or thrown out and turning it into something new again and valuable enough to have someone purchase.

Here are two possible products. Lights made from recycled wine bottles.






First: Is there a demand for lights made from repurposed wine bottles? I'd buy, would you?

Second: How would we get enough wine bottles? There's a whole blueberries story about McDonald's that we could discuss here. Ask if you've never heard that one.

Third, fourth and more: Who would clean them? How would we ship them? Would we create more waste with the packaging or could that also be sustainable? Could we sustain this business model? Are there other upcycled products we could launch in Walmart? What would this do for our nation's landfills?

The questions or roadblocks start to show up, but if you keep answering them you might just find it a worthy endeavor. Innovation doesn't come from saying no, or that it can't be done. It comes from conversations where people see the possibilities.

How often do you ask this question in your organization?

Select either image if you'd like to find out more.

Enjoy,


Managing Principal
akeller@capsule.us



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