Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Why won’t Joe solve my problem?

You might assign the problem to someone, but chances of you asking Joe is real slim.

You may have estimated the effort this solution might require, some of that already used up, but you may not know when you will get a solution or if you will get a solution.  You have a bad problem in hand, but worse is Joe who has a solution for your problem won’t solve it for you.

Here is why - Joe works for a different division!  Joe won’t solve it for you because you won’t ask him, and sure enough Joe won’t get to know that you have such a problem.

Is it possible to find how much an elastic band will stretch without actually stretching it?  Probably yes, a good guess could get you close enough.

Is it possible to find out by how much harder an employee can work for you? May be yes, at least you would know the limitations & boundaries.

But is it possible to find out what your people can solve for you in addition to the work you pay them for? Bit tough, may be you can’t.

In an attempt to leverage this untapped potential - enterprises are now creating a two way specialized pipe within the enterprise, for example a pipe for collaborative innovation. You broadcast your problem to all including Joe via this pipe. All, including Joe tune into this pipe for the challenges the enterprise is seeking solutions for.

Joe is happy to share the solution, provided someone asks for it, a reward of fully paid two nights vacation only makes him happier! 

So is this the end of all innovation challenges enterprise face? maybe not. But if Joe exists somewhere out there, then you will surely not miss out on Joe’s solution.

ideaken enables enterprises when they need to collaborate to innovate, with employees, customers, research vendors, academia or with global pool of talent.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"Good" & "Bad" of being "Part-Time" creative

Parallelism – is the “in” thing, enabled by the technology, connectivity and the evolution of human brain which has progressively learned how to switch off from the previous task and focus on the next.  Over the years this switch-overs has sped up, so much that it has attained parallelism. The best of the parallelism is applied in being creative. Never under estimate the idea you end up getting in a shower! 

If you love chocolate ice-cream the most, and if you are thinking of trying a new flavor today, ‘you are being creative’ even if you end up having a chocolate one in the end. Creativity is all about thinking differently, only criteria is being truthfully spontaneous!, no point thinking of a strawberry  flavor for the sake of it.

You either know that you are creative or you do not know it yet, there is no such thing as not being creative.  You either have the right audience who appreciates your creativity or you do not have it yet, it is not possible that such an audience does not exist. 

You may not be creative, between two of your creative spells. ‘Part-time creative’ - that’s how most of us are.

If you are wondering what could be the “Bad” of being part-time creative, then you are wondering for the right, there isn’t any “Bad” in being part-time creative, as long as you are capitalizing on it.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Eureka moments, now smaller, incremental and widespread

Path breaking innovations are few and getting relegated to a once in a decade phenomenon. What we see all around us are small and incremental innovations. The benefits delivered or dollars saved from these small and incremental innovations are turning out to be worth taking a note of.

Water tanks provided a quick solution to personal water storage problem, but putting wheels on it provided a solution for century old water transport challenge in remote villages of Africa.

Today, a solution for your challenge or your need, might already be getting discussed, sought, worked on - in another part of the world, in just another corner of your enterprise, or sitting idle in somebody’s mind. You need to collaborate with these sparks, which most probably are eager to collaborate with you as well. What you need is - a mechanism to connect.

In the past, innovations came out of eureka moments, then came people with fancy titles who would innovate for you, now we are back to where we started – it has become increasingly acceptable for anybody to have a solution which solves a given challenge.

Today, enterprises are adding up these small solutions, ideas and innovations rather than waiting for one big bang.