Innovation Infrastructure A facilitated thinking approach to building an innovation organization. November 7, 2008 Dennis Heindl [email_address]
Mission: D evelop Facilitated Thinking technology that improves knowledge-worker’s in-the-moment thinking effectiveness. Agenda 1. Bottom Line: Need for Facilitated Thinking Environment (FTEs). 2. Impacts of hyper-change on knowledge workers. 3. Innovative thinking embraces change. 4. Roadblocks to innovative thinking. 5. Building an Innovation Infrastructure with FTEs. 6. Turning theory into practice - Demo. N th Degree Software, Inc.
Today, a huge mind shift requires workers to think
innovatively and master the process of changing the
routine to meet emerging opportunities.
● Innovation: Invention systemized (FTEs)
Innovation and Creativity Defined (#1 key to effective thinking is understanding the meaning of words) Classic Definitions: Creativity: The generation of ideas, images and/or solutions. Innovation: The act of introducing something new. Creativity is a thinking “skill” used to develop new ideas, concepts and solutions. Innovation is a thinking “process” used to turn creative ideas into innovative products and services of value and profit.
14% of companies listed innovation as their top priority.
40% within their top three, 35% within their top ten.
However, success from innovation remains elusive
Innovation Tracker reports just a 42% success rate.
Conclusion – Companies talk a good game, but really don’t
know how to innovate.
Facilitated Thinking Environments (FTEs) As the Assembly Line improved Industrial worker “labor” productivity, Facilitated Thinking Environments improve Knowledge worker “thinking” productivity.
Facilitated Thinking Environment Vision: Improve in-the-moment thinking effectiveness by using cognitive tools that function as if a human consultant, coach or teacher were providing intellectual guidance.
Innovation Infrastructure An innovation infrastrucutre is an organizational process that requires specific procedures and tools needed for generating, considering, and bring creative insights to the marketplace.
Change The rapid increase in change is outpacing our ability to handle it and is becoming the #1 challenge facing our workforce. Less than a century ago, a student graduating from High School/College was taught 75% of all the knowledge they needed for a LIFETIME. Moreover, when students entered the workplace they were trained to do routine manual tasks that sometimes lasted for a lifetime. Today, students graduate from High School/College without even knowing what kinds of work will exist during their Lifetime. So if we cannot predict the kinds of jobs students will be doing, how can we predict what knowledge students need to be taught? The answer is in understanding how work has evolved from a world of much certainty and little change to today’s world where the only certainty seems to be change.
Drivers of Change The first step to mastering change … is to understand it. Driver 1: Information the raw material of change
Driver 2: A Global workforce of Innovative Thinkers So, if we thought change in the past was fast, the Information worker is going to need to deal with accelerating change … maybe even an era of hyper-change has begun. Tom Friedman, The World is Flat, may have said it best “ When I was growing up, my parents used to say to me, “Tom, finish your dinner -- people in China are starving.” But after sailing to the edges of the flat world for a year, I am now telling my own daughters, “Girls, finish your homework -- people in China and India are starving for your jobs.”
The Evolution of Change 2000 - future 1650-2000 8000 BC – 1650 Time Frame Facilitated Thinking Environments Assembly Lines Animal powered tools Productivity Cognitive tools / Brain power Mechanical tools / Machine power Hand tools / Physical power Tools / Success Drivers Everyone thinks Management thinks, Workers do routines. Aristocracy thinks, Workers Do Thinking On-demand Formal Informal Education Electronic speed Global relationships Motorized speed Regional relationships Walking speed Local relationships Collaboration Internet/Connectivity (Digital repositories) Printing Press (Books) Word of mouth (Stories) Technology / Information Information / Changeable Factory / Repetitive Farmer / Fixed Worker /Work Too fast to handle Manageably slow Hardly noticeable Change Knowledge Industrial Agrarian Era
We may say we like change … but most of us hate it!
Information Overload: The quantity of information to perform work is increasing and changing faster than people can remember.
Information Validity: Factual (truthful) information is harder to identify due to easy data manipulation.
Complexity Overload: Work is getting more complex. What worked and
was successful yesterday, may not work today.
Knowledge and Skills Obsolescence: Accelerating change causes the
lifespan of knowledge and human skills to grow shorter.
Training: Training programs can’t keep pace with change plus workers
don’t have time to take training.
So … what’s the Solution
Solution: A Change-adept workforce (x) Knowledge workers need self-development and on-demand cognitive tools to “Think” through change instead of continuous training to “Learn” their way through change .
But … What does it really mean “To Think” Dictionary: To form or have in the mind, The action of using one's mind to produce thoughts. Most common responses: Creative thinking and “ When you think you learn, and … When you learn you think .” Learning: Is about acquiring content (data, information, knowledge, wisdom) that provides the mental mass or raw material required for effective thinking to occur. Thinking: Is about applying cognitive tools (thinklets) upon learned content to produce an action , create new ideas, develop solutions, etc.
Autopilot (Scripted) Thinking: The mind follows commonly used routine thinking paths leading to a deterministic or fixed outcomes. Used for performing repetitive work tasks.
Change-adept (Innovative) Thinking: The mind follows not commonly used thinking paths leading to new ideas and thoughts that would not have otherwise occurred. Used for performing work tasks of a changing nature.
Characteristics of Thinking Types (And/Both … not …. Either/Or) Is Question oriented Is Answer oriented Based on finding content on-demand. Based on memorizing content Futures, Systems, Critical thinking. Analytical, Rational, Logical thinking. Thinking is based on studying the future and data that does not yet exist. Thinking is based on studying the past and data that already exists. Innovation oriented. Problem solving oriented. Innovative thinking that supports varying work. Scripted (memorized) thinking that supports routine work. Change-adept Thinking Autopilot Thinking
Questioning Mindset "The key to thinking is never to stop questioning." … Albert Einstein
Has questioning stopped?
Many of us have became fearful to ask questions because is implies a lack of understanding or ignorance … we don’t have the answer!
Why questioning is important.
Asking the right questions gives your mind the best chance to find the right answers, ideas and solutions.
Being a good questioner means you are ok with ambiguity. Being ok with ambiguity means you are open to change.
Grant yourself permission to make questioning a strong part of your life.
Consider this Chinese proverb: ‘ He who asks a question may appear a fool for a minute … but he who does not ask a question remains a fool for life.’
Innovative Thinking Skill Sets Collaboration overcomes autopilot “scripted” thinking and failed memory by facilitating group memory and a group intelligence. Collaborative Thinking Improves your ability to find new ways (ideas, solutions) to deal with change. Creative Thinking Helps you take actions today to manage change instead of reacting to change. Futures Thinking Understanding complexity enables you to think and act in ways that produce desired results, without causing harmful side effects. Systems Thinking Improves your ability to acquire valid information and think about it in an unbiased way. If you are not aware of how you think, there is little chance of correcting or making it better. Critical Thinking Challenges of Change Innovative Thinking Skills
What is Critical Thinking? In its purist sense, Critical thinking is “Thinking about your own thinking.” It is about consciously evaluating your in-the-moment thinking to better guide taking appropriate actions.”
What is my viewpoint about this problem/situation?
How do others viewpoints differ from mine?
Do I have all the rights facts? If not, what questions do I ask to obtain the right information /data?
What is my expected outcome or goal about this problem or situation?
Do I have any biases that would distort my thinking?
How might my actions affect me or others?
If I could change one thing to make this situation better, what would it be?
The Seven Primary Critical Thinking Questions
Innovative Thinking Process 12. Obtain feedback for continuous improvement. 6. Plan for implementation. 11. Plan and implement innovation. 10. Design and test (prototype) innovation. 5. Decide on best solution. 9. Evaluate innovation portfolio and decide what to implement. 8. Turn creative ideas into valuable innovations. 4. Generate solutions. 7. Ideate and generate lots of creative ideas. 3. Clarify the real problem. 6. Experiment on opportunities to find ones for continued work. 5. Identify radical/breakthrough innovation opportunities. 4. Identify incremental innovation opportunities. 3. Observe trends, predict data, understand customer behaviors. 2. Define the problem. 2. Understand current processes, value chains, strengths. 1. Identify goals/objectives.
Alex Osborn’s CPS process Full Spectrum Innovation Process
Summary of Roadblocks to Innovative Thinking Most of us don’t have time for innovative thinking. Too busy for innovation. Continuous training to update skills is costly and time consuming. Knowledge/skills obsolescence. Innovative thinking need valid and relevant information to think upon. Information overload, spin and complexity. Autopilot thinking prevents innovative thinking. Autopilot “scripted” thinking Does not exist, problem solving process is used. Innovation process Skill sets are used to understand the past, but not the future. Innovative skills There is no formal “school solution” for innovative thinking, none was needed until now. Innovative thinking lacks education. But many of us don’t like to think. Innovative thinking is hard. But many of use don’t like to change. Innovative thinking embraces change.
While information needed to do our jobs is growing, our
capacity to remember more has not grown much, if at all.
Training and education “PUSH” learning, but on average
only 2-4% of what is taught is remembered.
So, when the time comes to apply learning, much may have
So …What’s the Solution? In-the-moment “Pull” approach to thinking … Facilitated Thinking Environment (FTE) FTE Objective: The objective of the FTE software is to guide the User’s innovative thinking, as if an expert human coach were directly working with the individual. FTE Development Premise: Choosing the right cognitive tool (thinklet) for knowledge-workers follows the same principle for selecting the right physical tool for manual-workers: “choose the tool appropriate for the task at hand”
Thinklets (Tools for the mind) Thinklets are mental stimuli or “ thought switches ” that activate thinking patterns not commonly used and which leads the mind to developing new thoughts. Enhances clarity of thinking by providing better meanings, and understandings that are central for effective thinking. Tutors Activates fresh thinking patterns to make new connections that yield better ideas and new resolutions. Thinking Techniques Forms, worksheets or models with embedded questions that facilitates thinking as if a human were present. Templates A simple question empowers the thinker and gives the mind the best chance to find the right answer/solution. Trigger Questions Description Tool Types
Trigger Question Set – Systems Thinking example What system surrounds the problem/opportunity? What other problems/opportunities are linked to this one? What if, I keep making the problem/opportunity LARGER, what will it look like? What if, I keep making the problem/opportunity smaller, what will it look like? How might solving this problem/opportunity create other problems/opportunities? How does the problem/opportunity interact with each system component or part? What is the purpose of the system and its components? What are all the key system components or parts? What system surrounds the problem/opportunity? What other problems/opportunities are linked to this one? What will it look like if I keep making the problem/opportunity smaller, making it LARGER? Answers Systems Questions
Eye-of-the-Beholder Viewpoints – Template Final Problem Statement Others Eyes Unbiased Eyes Restate it from an unbiased perspective. Opposite Eyes State the situation from the ‘eyes’ of a person who holds the opposite viewpoint. Fresh Eyes Speculate how people not close or involved with the situation might see it. Empathy Eyes Restate the problem from the ‘eyes’ of other people involved with it. Owner’s Eyes Restate the problem from the ‘eyes’ of the person responsible for resolving it. Restate the Original Problem or Opportunity Different Viewpoints Original Problem/Opportunity Statement
After the coin flip, intuitively feel what the result is telling you.
If you have no reservation about the outcome of the coin flip, your
intuition is telling you that the coin landed correctly and gave you the
If, however, you find yourself feeling that you need to do a ‘2 out-of 3’ or ‘3 out-of 5’coin flip, then your intuition is saying that it did not like the way the coin landed.
4 Flip the coin. Example: The coin lands (correct decision) 3 Assign heads to one choice and tails to the other. Example: Heads the decision was correct, Tails the decision was wrong. 2 Narrow your choices down to two (heads or tails). Example: Validate if your decision was right or wrong? 1 Action Steps
Establish a High Performance Environment - Tutor Etc. 4 Clear information and immediate feedback … Provide clear and immediate feedback 3 Personal skills must be well suited to … Match skills with challenges 2 Focusing attention on … Set clear goals 1 Description Activity Step
Innovation Infrastructure Each type of innovation requires its own specific set of processes, tools, and teams who are engaged in developing innovations. So instead of relying on acts of creative genius to foster innovation, an Innovation Infrastructure provides a way to systematically bring a steady pipeline of innovations to the marketplace. Types of Innovation (Innovation Portfolio) Business Model Technology Existing New Existing New Substantial (Derivative change -Crossover cars) Incremental (Small change - GPS added to cars) Radical (Breakthrough change - Air powered cars) Substantial (Technological change -Hybrid cars)
Innovation Infrastructure Personal Innovation FTE: Provides the mindset and skill-set that empowers workers to tap into their creative talents and make incremental performance improvements in their own jobs. Funcions like Toyota’s TPS system. Collaborative Innovation FTE: Provides a means to leverage people’s collective knowledge, ideas, and wisdom through self-organizing teams that lead to development of innovations that no one person alone could produce. Similar to Google's “Time Off" innovation policy. Enterprise Innovation FTE: Successful innovation is focused and directly aligns with all organizational goals This FTE guides formal project teams to align cross-functional and corporate innovation work objectives to best utilize resources. Much like GE's workout sessions.