Innovation and Brainstorming

February 10, 2010

I was reading a book which had a chapter on the science behind creativity and innovation. Henry ford had said, If I would have listened to my customers , I would have given them a faster horse. That line pretty much summarizes what is not needed for innovation. If we look at the example of Apple , It has been posted on various blogs and articles about how creative Apple has been once Steve Jobs took over as the CEO. I would assume, with very clearly defined objectives * read simplicity of use and the wow factor* they have created a niche market and captured a big part of the smart phone market share. Alright , I’m not going to digress any more .

How to brainstorm
– Ask a group of individuals to gather up and show them the problem
– Tell them to quickly suggest whatever comes to their mind, they don’t need to analyze the solution and think it through.
– Many of the ideas which come up will be dumb ,but don’t shoot them out just yet, because we need just one good idea. On the contrary, if the room tends to shoot down the idea, other people will carefully think their idea through and try to come up with a logical solution. This destroys the purpose of the exercise.
– At the end of it , do the needful , sort the ideas and dive deeper.

– This is something which has been more of an art. Maybe because it hasn’t been studied too much or maybe it’s really an art. But we know one thing for sure, that an innovative idea is not something for which a problem has been defined, that’s what makes it hard to ‘engineer’ solutions for such a problem with no definition.More on this later…