To drive innovative thinking, there’s real value in having both insider and outsider perspectives collaborating. Insiders likely have a deep understanding of their consumer, category, and competencies. But that expertise can become self-limiting, as their ideas are colored by their shared filters. Blending that expertise with forward thinkers who aren’t constrained by preconceived notions is a winning combination when it comes to driving innovative and actionable thinking.
What do a Marketing Professor, Advertising Creative and Serial Entrepreneur have in common?
They were among two dozen Brain Trust experts in one of SpencerHall’s recent cloud-based Transforum ideation sessions.
In SpencerHall’s 20+ years of experience driving innovative thinking, we’ve seen the power that comes from having a diverse a mix of outsideperspectives collaborate with project teams to push them beyond conventional thinking, challenging assumptions and finding truly innovative new product and service ideas.
Think differently; rethink; reimagine! Despite all these exhortations, most project teams fall short when they try to brainstorm new business ideas. Why? Often, it’s because they lack the breadth of perspectives to push them beyond conventional wisdom and consensus thinking, and into new territories and new ways of thinking.
Has this happened to you: you’re out with a group of friends, and one makes a good-natured wisecrack about you. You try to come back with some snappy repartee but caught by surprise, your response isn’t quite as clever as you hoped. Hours later, you think of the perfect comeback. If only you could go back in time!
Topics: culture of innovation
With all the recent emphasis around process engineering, it’s easy for companies to fall in the trap of streamlining development efforts without having a compelling idea to rally around. While the focus on process optimization is appropriate, no development effort succeeds if the ideas being developed aren’t compelling to begin with. As Peter Drucker noted, “There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all.”
Topics: culture of innovation
Recently, Fast Company published “Brainstorming is Dumb,” asserting that brainwriting – an alternate method to brainstorming that encourages broader collaboration within a group – is a more productive approach to ideation. In fact, the article introduces how psychologists undertook studies of the approaches and their empirical results came down in favor of brainwriting.
Many financial services companies have to rely on business professionals to be the gatekeepers for their brands, with the power to determine if consumers even have access to their products/services. Finding a way to really understand what's important to them and how to break through their inertia is a huge challenge we see with many of our financial clients and other business professionals. Their time is what they sell, for the most part, and getting two hours of that for a focus group is extremely difficult. Even when they agree to participate, they can easily be sidetracked by their own clients' demands, which will always take priority.
In the previous blogs in this series, we defined creativity and also defined people within the context of creativity. What we haven’t considered, however, is how the term “creativity” plays in the business world.
In our last blog, “Where Does Creativity Come From,” we examined how creative people were able to come up with new ideas, as well as the different factors that influence their idea generation. In a study to see how the brain functions when trying to think of new ideas, researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to monitor the brain activity of freestyle rappers when trying to think of new lyrics on the spot. What they discovered was their brains’ ability to “deactivate” normally busy areas of the brain when trying to think of new lyrics, and instead focus its energy on other areas that assist with idea generation and creativity.