Tag Archives: problem solving

Alas, Poor Henry and the Problem

According to legend, Henry Ford scoffed at market research and what we now call Consumer Insights, proclaiming, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” While there is a certain degree of wisdom in this statement, it has been misquoted to justify bad, hubris-inspired product failures by too many corporate egos. Yes, to Ford’s ...

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Innovation Is Never One Thing (Actually It’s 3 Things)

What is the Foundation of Innovation?

Every entrepreneur dreams of having that single moment of epiphany where everything falls into place. Many search for their entire careers for that one big idea that will make the difference between incredible success and frustrating mediocrity. Few ever find it and many that do end up crashing and burning along the way. The truth is that innovation is never ...

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How to find the IDEAL problem

The 12 steps to biomedical innovation starts with being a problem seeker, not a problem solver. Eventually, to be successful, customer problems and solutions need to meld around a VAST business model i.e. one that is not just profitable, but that demonstrates: 1. Validity Regardless or which elements of your model you choose, they have to be valid. In other words, the dogs have to ...

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Solving Wicked Problems

Premise: DW Akademie recently reported that Germany would like to experiment with making public transportation free in 5 of its cities to explore if this can help it meet the pollution norms of European Union. The question is if this is the approach that will produce the results that it is expecting to achieve. This in addition to the policy to ban ...

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Pruning Your Root Cause

Process improvers the world over rally around root cause analysis as if it were the Holy Grail of all things organizational. But is it? Understanding the root cause of a problem certainly makes sense in the context of a present day situation carrying the potential for a correct answer or solution. In the process improvement world, problems center on reducing ...

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Don’t Look For A Great Idea, Look For A Good Problem

At the center of every significant innovation is always an idea. Clarence Birdseye’s idea about freezing fish revolutionized the food industry and American diets. Charles Schwab’s idea about flat commissions changed investing forever. Steve Jobs idea about creating a device that could hold 1000 songs in your pocket turned around Apple’s fortunes. Yet we shouldn’t confuse a great idea with ...

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4 Things You Need to Build an Innovative Culture

In the late 1960’s, Gary Starkweather had a serious spat with his boss.  As an engineer in Xerox’s long-range xerography unit, he saw that laser printing could be a huge business opportunity. His manager, however, was focused on improving the efficiency of the current product line, not looking to start another one. The argument got so heated that Starkweather’s job ...

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Embedding Innovation into Your Organization

It takes two factors to make innovation real at an organization: concepts and culture. Work on both at the same time and the rest will emerge as a by-product of the process. If you outsource your innovation efforts, you will end up with concepts that will not be accepted by your existing culture. Some concepts might be potent enough to ...

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