Innovation, two ways to solve problems. Part 1
At Tisel Technics, we understand and welcome free creativity, but at the same time we understand that the most innovative ideas are born in conditions of limitations. Project managers usually place two types of constraints on innovation teams: budget and risk. Such prohibitions often lead to unintended negative consequences, reducing innovations to tried and tested solutions and preventing a radical rethinking of the problem. As a result, teams from the very beginning face obstacles that do not allow them to come to new solutions.
But the urgent need to solve problems has led to the fact that the traditional constraints related to budget and risk have been replaced by two others that support true innovation:
- limitation on the result, for example, “the new reach truck must have such and such functionality” and then, in the context of the new specified result:
- time limit, for example, “we need a new reach truck model by the second quarter.” Or: “the new prototype of the reach truck should be ready in a month.” And today in this article we will talk about the restriction “by result”.
Three vectors in solving the problem
The focus on the result determines “what good” the solution gives to users, buyers or investors, only the result, and not the process or rules by which it should be obtained. And there are three approaches that effective managers use.
A big limitation
First, an organization can set one big new constraint that forces employees to think about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Making components that would be 90% cheaper than existing ones is an example of such a limitation.
Of course, projects where the result should be 10 times better, not 10%, will not always be successful. But even if not all ideas take off, these projects will become a source of completely new developments. And since bold, ambitious goals create an environment where ideas should also be bold and new, it is precisely such ideas that arise in it.
The second and third solutions
The second approach is to set conflicting constraints. In this case, two or more seemingly conflicting results — which, as it seems, cannot be achieved simultaneously — force a fundamental re-evaluation of the scope of the search for solutions.
The third approach is to determine what is not allowed. This approach is especially useful when there are many possible solutions. By identifying an unacceptable option, you can narrow down the scope of the problem and create a more focused and thus faster process.
In the next article we will talk about time limits. Thank you for developing your companies together with us in an innovative way.