Creative Thinking for Managers - Free eBook in PDF Format

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Business Strategy eBook  

Book Description - ISBN 965-1-63324-741-3 (37 Pages)
This free eBook describes five popular creative thinking techniques that can help managers to encourage creativity within their team and to be more creative themselves.

Chapter 1 - Doblin’s 10 Types of Innovation
It is essential that organizations innovate otherwise how can they thrive in their market sector. There are many different ways to innovate and selecting the one best suited to your organization and the resources it has is key. The Ten Types of Innovation presented in the Doblin Group framework encourages an organization to think in broader terms. The methodology has three elements that the ten types fit into: Configuration – an organization’s structure. Offering – the product or service. Experience – all customer interactions.

Chapter 2 - The Four-Step Innovation Process
Innovation is not something that will just happen it needs to be nurtured. Organizations need to put in place a process that enables innovative ideas and thoughts to be generated and assessed. Many successful organizations use basis of the Four-step innovation process to create their own in-house procedure. Its first step is to observe problems, then develop the solutions, next to ‘try it out’ and the fourth step implementation.

Chapter 3 - The Charette Procedure
Many organizations have to address problems that need to have a large number of individuals included in solving it. This means that traditional brainstorming which is only effective in small groups cannot be used. The Charette Procedure is the ideal methodology in such situations but does need more advanced tools to deal with the additional complexity these situations present.

Chapter 4 - Crawford’s Slip Writing Method
This simple method of gathering creative ideas to resolve issues and problems ensures everyone in your team is able to make a contribution. Crawford’s Slip Writing method needs to be conducted in and open and encouraging environment. Each person is given post-it notes or slips of paper to write their ideas on. These are then all collected and sorted, duplicates removed so that management can then review the remaining ideas and narrow them down to one or two ideas that offer real potential.

Chapter 5 - SCAMPER Technique
This is an excellent creativity tool for generating new products and services by assessing how an organization’s product offering fits into their market sector. The SCAMPER Technique uses the seven words that make up this acronym to review and analyze its current products or services. SCAMPER stands for – Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to another use, Eliminate and Reverse.

You will learn:
  • That there are many different ways to innovate and selecting the one best suited to your organization and its resources is key.
  • How to use the Four Step Innovation Process to create an own in-house procedure for promoting innovation and creative thinking.
  • How the Charette Procedure can be used to address problems that need to have a large number of individuals involved.
  • How to use Crawford’s Slip Writing Method to create an open and encouraging environment for creative thinking and innovation.
  • How to use the SCAMPER Technique to generate ideas for new products and services.

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What is Doblin’s 10 Types of Innovation?

  • The Ten Types of Innovation framework provides a way to identify new opportunities beyond products and develop viable innovations.
  • All great innovations comprise some combination of these ten basic types and you can use them to help your innovation efforts. They are:
  • Innovative profit models often challenge an industry’s assumptions about what to offer, what to charge, or how to collect revenues.
  • Network innovations provide a way for firms to take advantage of other companies’ processes, technologies, offerings, channels, and brands.
  • Structure innovations are focused on organizing company assets in unique ways that create value.
  • Process innovations often form the core competency of an enterprise, and may include patented or proprietary approaches.
  • Product performance innovation involves both entirely new products as well as updates and line extensions that add value.
  • Product System innovations are rooted in how individual products and services connect or bundle together to create a robust and scalable system.
  • Service innovations enhance the utility, performance, and apparent value of an offering by making a product easier to use.
  • Channel innovations encompass all the ways that you connect your company’s offerings with your customers and users including electronically and via traditional channels such as physical stores.
  • Brand innovations help to ensure that customers and users recognize, remember, and prefer your offerings to those of competitors or substitutes.
  • Customer Engagement innovations are all about understanding the deep-seated aspirations of customers and users, and using those insights to develop meaningful connections between them and your company.


What is the Four Step Innovation Process?

  • Innovation is a process that can be planned and strategically implemented using a four-step process based on observing your customer’s problems and developing solutions to them which you then test and refine.
  • The four-step process assumes that rather than having to break into a new market, it is usually easier to develop something new that can be sold to your existing market.
  • When considering which of their problems to try to solve it is important to do so in a way which will be profitable.
  • Through testing and refinement, you can move from an initial offering which is rough around the edges to something that is perfected by the time it is seen by the market as a whole.
  • Every product and service you offer can always be improved, and this process can lead to constant low-risk innovation within your existing market.


What is the Charette Procedure?

  • The Charette Procedure is a form of brainstorming which is designed to help you keep the process on track and headed toward a successful outcome.
  • It can be used when you need to include a significant number of people in the brainstorming process, you have more than one problem to solve and you want everyone to have a voice.
  • The first step is to split people into groups of four or five, give each group a single issue to focus on, and appoint someone to act as a recorder for each group.
  • With the groups established, the topics selected, and the recorders chosen, allow around 10 or 15 minutes for the groups to discuss the topic they have been assigned.
  • After the time for the first round has expired, the recorders are going to move from one group to the next and introduce their new group to the ideas of the first group.
  • This process continues until a full rotation has been completed and each recorder has sat with each group.
  • The Charette Procedure is a great option when you have a large number of people to include and multiple problems to solve as it can generate a large number of ideas quickly whilst ensuring they everyone has a voice.


What is Crawford’s Slip Writing Method?

  • Crawford’s Slip Writing Method involves handing out slips of paper which are used by participants to write down their ideas.
  • At the start of the meeting, you will need to highlight in detail the problems or topics that are going to be addressed and the time limit that you are join to allocate to each one.
  • For example, if you are going to be addressing three specific questions, you could allow 10 minutes for each one giving a total meeting length of 30 minutes.
  • When the process is finished, those slips of paper are collected and the ideas are reviewed by management.
  • Crawford’s Slip Writing Method is a system that is intended to help you pull a lot of ideas from large groups of people.
  • The advantages of this system are that: everyone will have an equal chance to be heard, it can address both general and specific problems, and it is very time efficient.


What is the SCAMPER Technique?

  • The SCAMPER Technique is designed to help you find new ideas from within those products and services that you already offer, rather than trying to innovate from scratch.
  • SCAMPER is a acronym which stands for: substitute, combine, adapt, modify, put to another use, eliminate, and reverse.
  • Though one simple substitution, it is often possible to make a product or service into something completely different.
  • Think about combining two or more parts of your product or process or to enhance synergy.
  • By adapting your offerings specifically to the market that you have found in the real world, you may be able to find a whole new audience without actually having to innovate anything that is truly new.
  • Think about which parts of the product or process could be modified to change it in some important way.
  • Take a look at the current markets that you serve and think about the possibility of taking your current offerings to new markets in another form.
  • Eliminating a frustrating feature could make the item more attractive on the market, or eliminating a given material could make it less expensive to produce.
  • Reverse means thinking about turning the product on its head in order to find better performance.
  • When thinking about your existing product line through the lens of those seven points, you just may be able to think of new products that could serve your market.


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