Generating Innovative Solutions


Often the hardest part of generating new innovative solutions is knowing where and how to begin looking for them. Whether you are wanting to inspire your staff or facilitate an idea-generation session, you’ll benefit greatly by knowing which techniques belong to which Innovation Style. You can better select the techniques that will work for a particular mix of people, or which tools to introduce first and last. For example, a group of people who strongly prefer Modifying will not start well with Exploring techniques, but could use them well if they were introduced later.

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Modifying and Experimenting idea-generation techniques begin by gathering facts, details and other data. Modifying builds on what is known, while Experimenting combines the components in new ways. These techniques are more linear than intuitive in their approach to generating ideas. They take advantage of different ways of organizing known information so as to approach problems from new and more comprehensive angles. Using a logical pattern or a sequence of steps, they help focus the attention on where to look for innovations.


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Visioning and Exploring idea-generation techniques start with an intuitive insight, hunch or hypothesis; then they gather information to confirm and fill out the intuition. The difference between these two techniques is that Visioning searches for a clear mental picture of the future, while Exploring often employs symbols to sense what is metaphorically possible. These techniques take advantage of the right-brain capability to perceive whole solutions in sudden leaps of logic.

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