The Innovation Blog

Two models for evaluating early innovation: SNIFF and NOMMAR

Posted by Jay Terwilliger on April 5, 2011

Last week on this blog I posted "The "SNIFF" test - criteria for early innovation decision making".  This is a simple, but effective five criteria model for evaluating concepts early in the innovation process. Recently I had the pleasure of attending a workshop led by Jay Paap.  Dr. Paap is the founder of Paap Associates, Inc (PAI), and has been consulting to major companies in the field of innovation for 40 years. In his work, he has also dealt with the issue of client companies seeking to apply metrics or find some other useful criteria for making early stage decisions in innovation, and has a slightly different, but intriguingly similar model to offer.

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Topics: Innovation criteria, Innovation, Innovation Metrics, criteria for innovation, decision-making, technical innovation, criteria, innovation decision-making

Innovation Ad-Libs

Posted by Creative Realities on April 4, 2011

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Topics: creativity, Ideas, Amanda Hines, divergent thinking, DIY, Innovation

Happy April Fools' Day

Posted by Creative Realities on April 1, 2011

Here's a quote we would like to share with you on this one day of the year when we are all allowed to have some fun and be a little "foolish:"

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Topics: Chris Dolan, Clay Maxwell, Jay Terwilliger, Amanda Hines, David Culton, Absurdity, Tamara Wickramasinghe, April Fools', Innovation

HBR Blog: Today's Innovation Can Rise from Yesterday's Failure

Posted by Creative Realities on March 29, 2011

In this HBR Blog, created by Jay F. Terwilliger with partner Mark H. Sebell and Vijay Govindarajan, this simple framework is used to determine the success of an innovative effort. It takes corporate will, a marketplace, and strategic competencies to succeed. In other words, successful innovation requires motive, means, and opportunity. Innovation efforts fail anytime they fail to deliver on all three of these domains strongly enough.

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Topics: Mark Sebell, Jay Terwilliger, Vijay Govindarajan, Learning From Failure, Innovation, Cross Functional Teams, Pursuit of Ideas, strategic innovation, growth, new product development

The 'SNIFF' test - criteria for early-innovation decision-making

Posted by Creative Realities on March 28, 2011

Innovation clients frequently ask us how to make better decisions when pursuing breakthrough innovation.  Decision making in pursuit of breakthrough and transformational innovation is significantly different that which is for sustaining or incremental innovation (where frames of reference, past benchmarks, etc. exist).  There are five key decision points along the journey.  At each point, beliefs, assumptions, SWAGS, etc. will get tighter, and more useful.  

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Topics: Jay Terwilliger, SNIFF test, Innovation criteria, selecting, selection, evaluating ideas, evaluating innovation, Innovation, Innovation Strategy, criteria for innovation

When cars poop #2 and Innovation skills & Tools

Posted by Creative Realities on March 23, 2011

Continuing the conversation about “When Cars Poop” from last week, my goal is to help people think differently, more innovatively, and to have some fun.  Along the way, we’ll introduce some innovation tools and skills.

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Topics: critical ideation skills, creative thinking, Innovation, strategic innovation, creative problem solving skills, brainstorming, creative thinking skills, approximate thinking, sustainability, technical innovation

Managing (Someone Else's) Process - Facilitation Trepidation?

Posted by Creative Realities on March 22, 2011

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Topics: creativity, facilitation, Clay Maxwell, Innovation, Collaboration

The Humorous Bazooka

Posted by Creative Realities on March 18, 2011

Hu-mor-ous ba-zoo-ka (hew’mer-us be-zoo’ka), n. 1. a funny, witty comment that, intentionally or unintentionally, shoots down another person’s idea.  2. innovation killer
Think back to the last brainstorming session in which you participated, where the goal was to come up with innovative ideas for your business.  How many creative ideas were put forth for the group’s consideration?  How many of those really new ones survives the barrage of negativity and doubt that usually greets new concepts?  And, of the ideas that did survive, how many have been implemented for are still moving in that direction?  Very likely, few made it into development and fewer still—if any—actually are on their way to market.  You’ve got the creativity part down; you just haven’t learned how to be innovative!
If your company is typical, I’ll wager that plenty of good ideas surfaces during the brainstorming but few, if any, of the truly breakthrough ones made it out of the room alive.  Most of the truly new ideas were probably shot down with a barrage of humorous bazookas—the act of shooting down another’s idea with a witty barb.
This tendency to lob verbal grenades at new ideas has been and still remains so pervasive that I coined the term The Bazooka Syndrome in 1982, when I first began my career as a creative problem-solving facilitator.  Every time I have described this behavior to a new group of people, it has hit a responsive chord.  Everyone instantly identifies with The Bazooka Syndrome because we have all been hit by these verbal missiles.  And most people will also admit, with shamed faces, that they have been guilty of using bazookas on the ideas of others (colleagues, spouses, kids, family, and friends).
The Bazooka Syndrome captures what we unintentionally, but instinctively, do to new ideas.  We make fun of them.  We point out every single problem.  We end up annihilating them.  We point out every single problem.  We end up annihilating them, all in the spirit of constructive flaw-finding and, allegedly, idea improvement.
For creative people who are good at generating fresh ideas, being hit by a bazooka blast is enormously discouraging.  Frustration abounds in organizations that are skilled at dreaming up new ideas yet ineffective at protecting them from the bazooka wielders that exist everywhere.
It’s very discouraging to watch competitors successfully launch innovations based on ideas you tossed around but failed to pursue because you were gunned down by a bazooka.  Are the phrases “Gee, we thought of that months (or years!) ago” and “we tried that but couldn’t make it work” commonly heard within the walls of your organization?  If so, your company is undoubtedly populated by bazooka experts and, as a result, is short on innovation.

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Topics: Mark Sebell, Innovation, creative problem solving, humorous bazooka

When cars poop. A new Techonomy.

Posted by Creative Realities on March 16, 2011

What if Henry Ford got it wrong?

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Topics: Jay Terwilliger, creative, Innovation, breakthrough innovation

TOP 10 Innovation Retweets from February 2011

Posted by Creative Realities on March 15, 2011

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Topics: creativity, Clay Maxwell, trends, Innovation, Collaboration