Are you one of those employees always looking for a new way of doing things? When companies create innovative products and services, do you become jealous? If this is you, chances are you’re probably never satisfied with the status quo because it makes your hair curl, teeth clench and hot air comes out your ears. I have to admit, I am one of those people. I prefer to look ahead, not behind. I want to try something new to see if the idea will help to better accomplish our goals. That’s just me. Are you one of those people too? If so, read on. You just may learn a new way to inspire innovation.
What Problems Do You Need To Solve?
Before you begin this exercise, think about the potential breakdowns or problems your company is currently having. You don’t need to perform brain surgery, just think about this from a high level. Once you have an idea of what it could be, it will help you define and create a potential solution.
Back to the basics of mankind: Drawing
Drawing is man’s earliest form of communication. Before languages were officially thought of, pictures on rocks, trees and in sand were used. The use of Drawing and imagery has proven to be highly effective in communicating complex messages. Even Today pictures and drawings are more effective because our brain translates pictures 60,000 times faster than words.
Look at what other companies are doing
I like to take a analyze businesses that are not in the same industry as I work in. This provides me with fresh ideas that most likely have not been tried yet in the industry I work in. This can be exciting because all you need to do is go onto the app store and take a look at the millions of apps that are businesses. Within minutes you will see something that peaks your interest.
Look at new apps and technology
There are companies out there that have revolutionized the way consumers connect, and convert. We want to leverage the power of innovation and technology that companies have already spent lots of time and money on and make it work for our own innovation process. There’s no reason to re-create something when there are tens of thousands of technology based apps right at our fingertips. Nearly every one can be used so that we can begin to create our own innovation model research.
If you are inclined to take a taxi when you travel, you may never do it again once you experience what Uber has accomplished. I actually had an Uber experience recently and I was hesitant at first, I must admit. Once I downloaded the app, registered and scanned my data, selected my Uber vehicle, within 11 minutes I had a car at the door waiting for me. Now that’s creativity and innovation all in one app. Take advantage of the innovation that is already happening around you and begin to think illogically. Yes, I do mean that. What I really like about Uber is that they crafted a business model that figured out a way to use existing automobiles as part of their business. Then, Uber attached a brilliant connection and conversion app that completes the full transaction seamlessly.
“They invest significant effort into developing the capabilities required to support a simple, real-time, user-friendly mobile service that seamlessly brings together both buyers and sellers” – strategy+business
Draw the business model
Now that you’ve done some research, make sure you find a business idea that can potentially adapt to your existing business model. What may appear to be way off base may in fact integrate seamlessly with a little creative thinking. However, it takes more than just thinking about it. What I like to do is go to a whiteboard and actually draw the business model and how it works. Here are a few things to think about when you draw. The overview of what the app is doing, how it connects and interacts with the customer and how the customer transaction occurs. You also want to draw what the potential breakdown points could be. In this phase you will want to draw how the potential problem is being alleviated.
Formulate your idea
Once you’ve drawn the business model, your next step is to swap out the company with your company, your customer, the customer transaction with how your company could formulate a transaction. Don’t forget to think about the areas where breakdowns may occur. This may not look right at first. However, if you have a few people helping you look at the drawing, you will begin to get some insight from different perspectives. This fresh insight is very important. What I like to do is find several app-based business models and draw them all out just like I explained above. Draw 3-5 models and place them in front of you so you can see how they function, you will soon be able to have a better idea of how to create something new for your company.
I am a big fan of teams. The brainpower and creative energies can be electric. My suggestion is to draft a brief that explains what you want the team members to do, then provide a deadline for them to complete the exercise. Ask each member to find one business model to draw and then redraw with your company information in it. They will be asked to explain their drawing to the entire team when you meet as a group. Soon you will have multiple models to post on the wall. Then have each member one at a time draw their model on a large sheet of poster paper or whiteboard. Do this for every member. After all have been drawn out and explained, study them as a group and look for potential candidates that could be adapted to your business.
After an assessment and review time of all the drawings, begin to draw a model that you think could workforce your company. Remember, your new drawing doesn’t have to look exactly like any of the ones you currently see. Your new model may be a hybrid of several. You have now begun the creative thinking process that just may be the next innovative set of ideas for your company.
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