Rick Boersma

Juice Innovation - Identification
As I’ve discussed in previous blog articles, the Juice i5 Process is a strategic five-stage process and toolkit that fuels innovative thinking.

That process begins with the first “i” – the Identification of problems and needs, reframing them as opportunities to achieve maximum potential.

But wait! Before your group gets excited coming up with ideas, it is critical that everyone agrees on something first:  what will eventually constitute the “best” innovation possible. (or, “how will we know which idea is the best?”)

And that is where filter criteria come in.

Happy housing hunting

Think of it this way: if you and your spouse are buying a house, you must be on the same page as to what makes the best house—or, the home that will make you most happy.

For example, your top criteria may be cost, acreage, and whether there is a finished basement.

But to ensure all parties are content with the eventual purchase decision, everyone needs to be applying the same filter criteria. Why? Because:

  • Doing so helps to narrow your focus in the search for a home (or coming up with an idea); and
  • When faced with several options, agreed-upon criteria will help evaluate the better ones...and, eventually, the best one.

Innovation criteria

The same philosophy applies to innovation. Before your organization begins coming up with ideas, you need to ensure everyone is doing so based on the same agreed-upon criteria.

Such standards may include:

  • Cost—to build a prototype and/or implement an idea
  • Originality—of an idea to help distinguish from the competition
  • Ease of execution
  • Scope
  • Customer centricity
  • Impact
  • Ability to build and/or implement the innovation internally; and/or
  • Alignment with strategic priorities

Establishing and agreeing upon criteria from the very beginning has two very important business benefits:

Getting started: prioritizing criteria

Bear in mind that some people may place more importance on certain criteria than others. For example, one person may perceive “cost” as more critical than “impact” in determining a successful innovation.

This is where prioritization and open discussion come in.

Bring all parties together and give them five Post-it notes each. Ask every person to individually write down one criterion on
each piece of paper (totalling five criteria). Then, ask them to stick their ideas on a wall.

Each criterion serves as a discussion point for establishing your top criteria. Talk candidly with your team about what is most important in determining a successful innovation. Then, arrange your top three (or more) in order of priority.

Congratulations! You’ve now got a list of criteria to work from—and revisit, again and again throughout the entire innovation process.

Happy innovating!

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Brady Wilson

Brady Wilson

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Alex Somos

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Rick Boersma

Rick Boersma

Co-Founder Floworks Training, Design & Innovation