Today's hyper-competitive, global marketplace demands organizations continually play their A game, whether it's their customers, products or services operations. New, viable ideas are key to reinventing and capturing your competitive advantage. Yet, generating ideas may seem like a chaotic process.
Phil McKinney is the author of the new book, Beyond The Evidential: Killer Questions That Spark Game-Changing Innovation. McKinney advocates using his Killer Questions and FIRE method (Focus, Ideation, Ranking, etc.). He is an innovation expert who has served as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for major technology companies and also leads innovation boot camps. Execution) to produce a strategic order to the innovation process.
He says that knowledge is becoming a commodity. Today, your competitive advantage is borne by your desire to continually access and use your creative abilities to help your organization address its challenges. He also admits that creativity is hard work.
McKinney's FIRE method is simply structured and applicable to any size business. It's flexible enough to handle the challenges of generating ideas.
The FIRE method works because it tackles the innovation gap and delay that all organizations face. It is the only way to help them improve their chances of translating those ideas into successful killer innovations. The innovation gap is the difference between the need for great ideas and the actual supply of them. "All organizations can use a supply of more and better ideas," says McKinney. FIRE gives you a system that improves the quality and quantity of ideas. The innovation delay is the time lag of choosing an idea for execution to get a product to market.
Both the innovation gap and delay are caused by several factors: corporate antibodies (naysayers); Assumptions about how your organization should operate; Viable ideas; And who your customers are.
FOCUS. It is not about limiting the idea search, but using a systematic approach to ensuring that all relevant areas are covered.
Any innovation effort needs to explore three areas to cover all the bases:
- Who is the person or organization you sell your product or service to?
- What is the product or service?
- How does your organization create, deliver, and support your product or service for the customer?
McKinney finds that most companies focus on the customer (who), and the product (what). They tend to ignore everything else the organization does in order to function (how). Examine all three areas and you'll capture your competitive advantage. Examine them individually, but cover all three areas eventually to eliminate potential blind spots. Focus should be a never-ending process of cycling through all three areas.
IDEATION . McKinney's Killer Questions are used in the Ideation phase of FIRE. The Killer Questions keep you focused on a specific area of your business, whether it's your customers, products or operations. They also keep you looking for expansive ideas within that area. The Killer Questions help you view problems from perspectives you have not previously considered. They also keep you enlightened to potential answers that fall outside of your existing assumptions about how and why you do the things you do.
McKinney negates the assumption that ideas can only come from a certain person or department within your organization . It's critical to believe that a great idea will come from a seemingly random place.
RANKING. The innovation process typically leaves decisions to senior-level managers. But they're not always involved in the process of creating and selecting the best ideas. Ideas they like may be heavily influenced by personal preferences and biases. The chance of their ideas being chosen at becoming killer innovations will be low. This is a myth that the ranking process for best ideas needs to be a complex set of analytics.
McKinney says that it is a myth that the ranking process for best ideas needs to be a complex set of analytics. His system uses questions to determine which ideas will have significant results, and align with your core capabilities and expertise.
When designing a ranking system, realize how important it is to eliminate biases and influence in the voting phase. "Anonymity significantly changes the group dynamics, so it's critical to keep people unaware of how the other people are voting," says McKinney.
EXECUTION. McKinney's motto is "Ideas without execution are a hobby, and I'm not in the hobby business." Execution is a risk. It requires commitment, money and manpower.
The execution phase of FIRE uses a "gated funding" model.
The execution phase of FIRE uses a "gated funding" model. It ensures good ideas get a chance to prove themselves, while guaranteeing your organization is not overexposed to risk if an idea does not work.
McKinney believes that innovation requires a disciplined, methodical approach. It starts by addressing your industry and company assumptions, managing the inevitable jolts and neutralizing your corporate antibodies. Master these three preliminary steps; And incorporate the FIRE method and gated funding model to advance toward true innovation.
For a list of the World's 50 Most Innovative Companies, ranked by Fast Company, visit: http: //www.fastcompany .com /-most-innovative companies / 2012 / full-list .
Source by Timothy Zaun