A powerful technique that we use with companies to help them get more value out of their existing intellectual property, products, or services is called 40 New Opportunities. It’s based on a technique called TRIZ, which is a Russian acronym that stands for “the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving.” 40 New Opportunities takes 40 new ways that you can look at your product, service, or business, and come up with new ideas you hadn’t thought of before.
Let me give an example. Let’s pretend you’re the owner of a movie theater business. You might be having a hard time right now with new entertainment options, on-demand video, and things that are taking people places other than your theater. What do you do? Using 40 New Opportunities, you can analyze your business in new ways.
Maybe one of the things you look at … Read More »
An effective technique that we use with organizations to stretch their thinking further is called Assumption Reversal. Too often, when we brainstorm we make assumptions around how something has to work or what has to be included in it for it to be a success. Those assumptions can often be wrong. Assumption Reversal allows you to take your assumptions and turn them on their head to create something totally new and different. Here’s how it works:
Let’s assume you’re coming up with new ideas for a restaurant. First, list all the things you assume have to go into a restaurant. You’ll say things like “it has to have food,” “it has to have a chef,” “it has to have a menu,” “it has to have tables.” The key to success is taking those assumptions and turning them on their head—maybe you … Read More »
One technique that we use with companies when they’re running out of new ideas in brainstorms is called Forced Connections. It helps you come up with more new and novel ideas around products, services, or a challenge that you have. Here’s how it works:
Let’s say you’re brainstorming ideas for a table and you’ve run out of steam. What we ask you to do is to find a stimulus in the room. Maybe it’s a marker, the exit sign or, in this instance, we’ll use popcorn.
Think of the characteristics that popcorn puts in your head. I’ll come up with 3 right now: let’s say popcorn is fun, it’s light, and it’s natural. What does that make you think of, related back to the table? Well, I can make a table more fun by giving it legs that stretch to outrageous lengths. … Read More »
Ask yourself this question: are you open to big ideas? Most people I ask, whether it’s in executive settings or in large conferences with hundreds of people, tend to say yes.
You might be surprised that you’re more resistant to new and novel ideas than you think. It’s a natural reaction, but we use a technique called PPCO with organizations to help them get in the mindset of possibilities versus being professional skeptics. PPCO is a technique that allows you to open your mind to something that’s new and different. Here’s how it works:
“P” is Pluses: what’s good about the idea that you’re evaluating?
The next “P” is Potential: what future benefits might result if we actually did something like this?
“C” is Concerns, ideally expressed as an open-ended question: how might we solve this problem? How might we think about overcoming the … Read More »