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Aug
25
Rick Boersma

 

Q: How do you go through the innovation process as a group when you have people in the different quadrants?

A: Ideas:

To paraphrase Jim Collins, your best bet is to have the right people on the bus, what IDEO calls "t-shaped individuals". The issue isn’t so much quadrants, as OPENness, i.e. we can think differently, but we need to be capable of dialogue.

However, in most cases cherry-picking a dream team isn’t an option. Even when it is, I start with the assumption that you are going to have people in different quadrants, which is okay, and that you’re going to have people who are less than fully open, which is not really Ok.

So I’m going to answer two questions:

  • The one you asked - four quadrants
  • The one you didn’t ask - i.e. about Openness

Four Quadrants

  • Assume that you’ll have folks from each quadrant
  • Play a simulation that we use called Brain Poker (For more information, contact us) to make the point - talk about the implications
  • Demonstrate the importance of each type of thinking.
    • "Ideally we would have the right people at the right time…" but if our group is responsible for all four stages, that’s okay, we just need to stay conscious of the implications.
  • Each stage has a suite of tools, which tend to provide more or less structure. Most people will prefer more structure and we’ll start by using those. Think of it as climbing a ladder, the lower rungs are easier to wrap our heads around. As you move UP the ladder there is more ambiguity, which ties to Openness…

Openness

  • Tie it to the Torrance Test (another simulation we use), and the need for Openness. Be frank, some people are more open than others. That’s just the way it is.
  • Tie to the advantages of breakthroughs (i.e. Cooper), but breakthroughs are equal to higher risk.
  • Facilitate to keep people open, which can be rapidly shut down by hijacking.
  • By teaching folks about the importance of staying open.
  • By using a deliberate approach that moves folks from left to right on the structure spectrum - also on the related-random stimulus spectrum.
    • e.g. Value Chain Analysis
    • By using "Openness" exercises to keep it fun and upfront. These are similar to icebreakers, although I prefer to refer to them as brainwarmers.

If you would like to view the Innovation in a Box webinar, click here.

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