The Innovation Train
Innovation never stops; it is an ever-spinning wheel. Think it’s done? Think again. The cycle continues without faltering, like a toy train on a circular track, passing through the stations along the way. There’s no last stop, just the station before the next one. When done right, the trip around the train track is fun. The stations will become as familiar as old friends, but the journey is always different. Who-oo whooooooo! Here’s our track.
Each station along the way represents one of the eight key stages of innovation. Starting at the top:
- Questioning What can be improved upon? What is it about a product or service or situation that isn’t quite right? Why would anyone be interested?
- Exploring What can we find out about it? What information is there about the thing we’re trying to improve?
- Crafting What’s the best way to describe the problem we’re trying to solve? How can we capture it in its simplest, clearest form?
- Playing How can we solve the problem in a creative way? What creative techniques can we use to look at the problem in new ways and come up with innovative solutions to solve it?
- Cutting What ideas should we focus on and which ones should we discard? Which are the ones that have the greatest potential for success?
- Planning How do we put the idea into practice? What steps do we need to take, and who should we involve to help us?
- Sharing What do other people think of the idea? How can we improve it so they are as committed to it as we are?
- Doing Now we’ve answered all the questions, let’s put the idea into practice.
And so it continues, on to the first station on the innovation journey again without stopping. Back to ...
Questioning What can be improved upon? What is it about a product or service or situation that isn’t quite right? Why would anyone be interested?
In this book we’re going to take a stroll around some of these stations in a little more detail and introduce techniques to help make the journey go smoothly. Sandwiches and Thermos packed? Settled in a comfortable seat with a good view of the passing scenery? Let’s go!