Category: Uncategorized

Common Innovation Myths & Blind Spots

Published on: April 21, 2019 в 2:03 pm

Аuthor:

Categories: Uncategorized

Innovation is a nascent discipline and, as such, very few of its “truths” and tenets have had the opportunity to mature and to brave the test of time. Less diplomatically, one can say that much of what is said about innovation is not worth the flip-chart paper it is written on. Strangely enough, even though the topic is so new, some common views have already attained the status of myths, which makes it a bit difficult to unseat them and thus avoid some of the damage that these beliefs cause in organizations.

This third installment of our series from the Behind the Scenes of Corporate Innovation meetup, co-hosted with 3M, focuses on some of these corporate myths. Why? Because becoming aware of their existence and their effect is an important first step in ridding oneself of their effect.

The myths are divided into buckets, each placed under the relevant element from our 7 Elements Model.

Skills

Myth #1: Artists are creative. Engineers, accountants and bureaucrats are not.

Alternative: Look around you – most innovations you will see were invented and designed by engineers.

It is commonly assumed that some of us have the innovation gift while others simply don’t, rendering them incapable of innovating.

This is incorrect and, in addition to academic research, we have 23 years of experience in the field to prove it. The truth is that skills and processes that lead to innovation can be taught. Everyone can significantly improve their skills, regardless of their baseline.

 

Governance

Myth #2: Innovation cannot be measured

Alternative: ROI – Return on Innovation, absolutely must be measured, otherwise no serious innovation effort will be sustained in the organization.

To many, innovation is amorphous and mysterious and thus can be difficult to measure and monitor. There is even a fear that measurement itself can stifle innovation. This is true, but only if the wrong indicators are used at the wrong time. That’s why it’s important to clearly define what the organization means by innovation. Once there is a clear definition, it is possible and crucial to measure your ROI, although the way to do it is not always straightforward.

 

Outcomes

Myth #3: Innovation is mostly about creating products or services.

Alternative: Innovation can and should be applied to every aspect of your business.

We advocate an innovation mindset, not merely to create new products and services, but to “innovate in what you do”. If applied in a structured way, using appropriate tools, any task or process can be innovated on, to improve results and achieve goals.

 

Resources

Myth #4: Top Management’s only job is to launch the innovation program, and budget it.

Alternative: Without ongoing management commitment, the effort cannot be sustained

Top management very often makes a brave decision to launch an ambitious, company-wide innovation effort, and even budgets it generously. But, very quickly, responsibility is relegated to lower ranks in the corporate hierarchy, and management impatiently adopts the role of demanding quick and tangible results. Instead of supporting the effort for the long haul, management becomes impatient to either celebrate prematurely or move on to the next “management-flavor-of-the-month”.

 

Processes

Myth #5: Brainstorming is the best way to come up with new ideas.

Alternative: It has been proven time and again that BS is not effective in generating truly novel ideas.

Brainstorming has many advantages but, as research and corporate experiences have shown time and again, creating novelty is not one of them. By placing constraints on your thinking and using a structured approach, you can consistently achieve success.

 

Behaviors

Myth #6: Innovation and creativity are always fun.

Alternative: Dabbling in innovation, as enrichment or mental exercises can be lots of fun, but true innovation, in the sense of challenging your deep assumptions and firmly set ways of working, mostly involves hard work and requires discipline. There is much in the process that one can enjoy, but true change of beliefs and habits cannot be all fun and games. That is why very often a facilitated team effort is required to achieve impactful innovation.

 

Communication

Myth #7: Those who oppose innovation programs are wrong. They are simply “resisting”.

Alternative: Very often, those who “resist innovation” have an important point to make.

Resistance to innovation often emerges from the “wrong” motivations: fear of change, turf wars, oversized egos, etc. But, this opposition doesn’t always need to be “overcome”, rather, it is often very useful to listen carefully since those who oppose change often do so for valid and solid reasons. Resistance can also be a sign of the strong potential for novelty, pointing at valuable dig-sites.

These are only several of the common myths and traps that organizations deal with and fall into when embarking on innovation journeys. Talk to us, and we’ll be happy to hear/read your thoughts, and also to acknowledge – when relevant – that we ourselves are as vulnerable as anyone else to being wrong(:

With this post, we finalize the “Behind the Scenes” MeetUp series but continue to share and learn.

 

What to expect?

  • A soon-to-come additional MeetUp in Minnesota. We are discussing potential topics with our colleagues and will update accordingly.
  • A new series based on our ‘learnings’ from our New York city meetup, co-hosted with Kaltura, on Digital Transformation & Innovation.

A Glimpse into SIT’s 7 Elements Model

Published on: March 31, 2019 в 11:32 am

Аuthor:

Categories: Uncategorized

Part two of our series on the insights, content, and learnings gathered before & during our Behind the Scenes of Corporate Innovation meetup, co-hosted with our friends at 3M, focuses on SIT’s 7 Elements Model for Organizational Innovation. This model was briefly introduced at the MeetUp as a framework to address the main challenges voiced by our corporate colleagues.

We would like to take advantage of this platform to share some of the basics of this straightforward yet powerful model with you. In a nutshell, the model allows organizations to analyze their innovation activity or, as it is referred to in our model, take their Innovation Pulse, and plan a focused and customized innovation strategy based on their analysis.

The model was created as an output of 24 years of experience, working with over 1400 companies, identifying patterns and efficient processes that led to useful strategies. Over time, we formulated a set of tools that can transform an organization into an innovative organization that continuously innovates and maintains its competitive advantage.

Working with the 7 Elements Model brings three significant results:

1)     Assesses your current situation in respect to innovation (“the Innovation Pulse”)

2)     Defines your goals and objectives

3)     Draws an initial Road Map for achieving these objectives

How does it work?

 

The first step is to assess and chart, on a diagram, the organization’s current efforts according to 7 distinct—yet extremely interconnected—innovation elements (please refer to diagrams below for both a description of each of the elements and a sample assessment).

 

7 Elements Descriptions

 

 

 

Example of ‘Innovation Pulse diagram’

Desired State & Mapping the Gap

This output allows you to view a clear picture of current innovation activity in the organization and areas that require improvement, thus allowing you to build a second, complementary diagram, an ideal model of your desired state in terms of innovation (see picture below).

 

Defining Your Course of Action

The two diagrams can then be compared to identify the gaps and determine priorities. This allows you to determine a course of action to close the gaps to achieve the desired state. SIT can assist in this task, working in one or several of the following modalities:

a)     Training

b)     Facilitation

c)     Consulting

d)  Outsourcing

This process gradually engages all parts of the organization by creating networks involving continuous learning, challenging assumptions, and systematic monitoring of results.

The valuable task of transforming into an innovative organization is, without a doubt, a demanding journey, yet one that can be made to be simpler, clearer, and well managed using SIT’s experience as expressed in the 7 Elements Model.

4 Most Critical Innovation-Related Challenges

Published on: March 25, 2019 в 5:43 pm

Аuthor:

Categories: Uncategorized

About two weeks ago, we shared a post about our Minneapolis Meetup, co-hosted with 3M: Behind the Scenes of Corporate Innovation.  Since we believe the content, insights, and learnings from this meetup are valuable, we will use the next three weeks to present some of this information to you:

  • Today we will share the 4 most critical innovation challenges, as expressed by our 40+ participants;
  • Next week, we will share with you our new 7 Elements Model with which you can analyze your organization’s innovation pulse and plan your innovation strategy;
  • In our third installment, you can read about some common myths and traps, and how to avoid falling victim to them while establishing a culture and practice of innovation.

Back to the meetup: prior to attending, participants were asked to list their three most critical innovation-related corporate challenges. In brief, there were 24 respondents, who identified 67 challenges, many of them later confirmed by the rest of the attendees.

SIT’s facilitation team analyzed these responses and detected four main buckets, which are arranged below according to frequency of appearance in participants’ responses. Quotes from the survey are also given to further demonstrate and highlight the relevance of these themes.

 

4 Critical Innovation-Related Challenges

 

1. How do we de-risk our innovation efforts

Companies are accelerating their front-end efforts; they are producing more ideas and launching more development projects. However, they feel that this only exacerbates the stress of having to decide where to allocate development resources, how to select those products or services with the highest probability of success, and how to manage their launches.

SIT’s take on this: The shift toward more agile-minded approaches, often through Lean Startup, should in principle alleviate this stress, since LSU dictates that instead of focusing on de-risking a specific “big” idea, one should test numerous MVPs and quickly pivot based on the results of “experiments”. But it

seems to us that although many companies have officially adopted an LSU process, they find it difficult to wean themselves off the habits of testing and seeking a high level of certitude for each specific innovation before launch.

“Lack of external leverage; too many options to choose from makes it even more difficult.”

 

2. How do we change our company’s culture/mindset?

 

The most common task these days goes way beyond launching a product, or even an entire product line. Key words are “culture”, “change” and “transformation”. The desire is to find ways to influence the entire organization, change strategies and business models.

SIT’s take: We’ve seen this process evolve in the past 24 years, from attention to a specific local result such as solving a problem or launching a single product, to the demand to generate an entire pipeline and roadmap, all the way to the current situation, in which CEOs and top management either realize the need or are pressured by their boards or stakeholders to lead transformational changes in their organizations. This can often lead to futile high-profile and costly changes-for-the-sake-of-changing, but, if well managed by a committed management team, can truly transform and invigorate a company.

“Focusing on long-term development, not the “right now”.

“Internal cultural shift necessary to transform our business model.”

 

3. How do we accelerate / acquire speed and agility?

 

Companies are not only pressured to change, but to change faster. This obviously places additional demands on managers, often accompanied by stress.

SIT’s take: a paradox ensues, whereby managers are expected to lead profound transformations, rather than superficial change, which requires time and patience; but, since the environment changes at an ever-accelerating pace– requiring rapid and immediate adaptations–there is less patience and resources for profound long-term change processes to take place.

“Innovation takes time to hatch. How do we innovate with the fast-paced environment?”

 

4. How do we listen and get closer to our customers?

 

After 30+ years of constant effort to get closer to the client, listen to the Voice of the Customer, observe, empathize, research and analyze, companies still feel that true understanding and insights tend to elude them, and therefore are searching for novel approaches.

SIT’s take: although true that innovation is useless unless it addresses a customer need, it is a mistake to believe that true innovation is born just from listening to VoC. We believe that being attuned to your customers is a necessary but not sufficient condition for innovation. Instead, we recommend a combination of: a) breaking the more-of-the-same-VoC mold by engaging with your customers proactively through co-creation exercises; b) using structured innovation methods to come up with initial ideas that are in turn validated with customers.

“Doing adequate research to uncover new problems.”

“Lack of customer interaction for directed innovation.”

To summarize, we found, not surprisingly, a high level of congruence between the most pressing innovation-related issues in a wide variety of organizations and positions. In the next two posts we will relate, respectively, SIT’s approach for dealing with these issues and some common traps and misconceptions when going about it.

From Nano to Mega Sessions: 9 Tips for an Innovation Coach

Published on: February 14, 2019 в 2:31 pm

Аuthor:

Categories: Uncategorized

When SIT started teaching coaches to facilitate internally in their organizations, we taught them to facilitate SESSIONS. But very quickly we realized that this could be– and was –misunderstood, which led us to add the qualifier and coin the expression, still used today, 14 years later: MINI-SESSION. It soon became apparent, though, that even this newly minted term did not solve two opposing but strongly related problems:

 

1. Plenty of coaches did not dare to assume the responsibility of running a SESSION, even if it was only a MINI session.

And, on the other hand;

2. Quite a few coaches took it upon themselves to run what we could only describe as MAXI or MEGA-SESSIONS, involving up to 50-60 participants, for as much as 2 consecutive days.

Both phenomena have a certain charm, but both pose some serious challenges that merit careful consideration.

Type 1: Not daring to jump in.

We respect these coaches very much for their modesty and responsible approach but are obviously worried that they are not utilizing their new knowledge to its full extent. Conversations and observations show that, in most cases, coaches in this group find it difficult to take the first step for the following reasons:

  • They are not sure they possess the skills required to apply the tools successfully;
  • They are wary of encountering resistance among their colleagues;
  • Their bosses think the course was a waste of time, and therefore do not support them in spending more time on this “extracurricular” activity;
  • They are not sure how to translate real-life situations into a script for conducting a mini-session;
  • The Coach Training did not build up their confidence to a sufficient degree.

Type 2: Daring to find a cure for cancer and/or achieve world peace

We are obviously impressed with these coaches’ confidence and ambition. We are concerned, though, that the probability of success in these efforts is fairly low, since the coach obviously lacks sufficient skills, experience, and usually also time and resources to perform the task successfully.

Key reasons for this phenomenon are:

  • Great enthusiasm at the end of the course, combined with an exaggerated sense of one’s power;
  • Pressure from the coach’s boss, who figures if they already invested 3 or 5 days of their associate’s time, they might as well make up for it by getting a huge benefit from their newfound skills;
  • The coach training did not indicate clearly enough what the criteria are for selecting a topic, and how to delineate its scope properly.

Rising to this double challenge, here are some helpful tips and recommendations:

 

1. Remind yourself, your boss, and/or your topic owner that this is a MINI Session, not a maxi-nor mega-session. This means that you do not chew off more than you and the team can swallow (type 2). It also means that you (type 1) can be much more relaxed about taking on the responsibility of facilitating since you are not really facilitating a SESSION, just a MINI session.

2. Very often, we encourage coaches to change the name of the Mini Session and replace it with Micro Session, or even Nano Session. This helps in communicating the correct scope and align expectations.

3. Communication with the coach’s boss is crucial. This can and should be conducted by the SIT trainers, by Corporate Innovation, and by the coach him/herself. Bosses often fail in supporting their coaches by expressing either under- or overwhelming expectations from them. They usually drastically improve in this respect once the situation is pointed out to them.

4. Pay special attention to the exercise of converting a story into a session (read the document as well). Also, we recommend taking full advantage of remote support given to coaches to help them plan sessions.

5. Work both in “pull” and in “push” modes: coaches should be trained to identify opportunities for offering their coaching services and, in parallel, encourage line managers and other stakeholders to turn to coaches and ask for (reasonable) support.

6. Coaches, remember, your first 1-3 or 1-4 or to 5 (depending on your feelings) mini sessions should be

  • conducted with a small number of participants, carefully selected to be supportive and constructive in their participation style;
  • about a topic you can understand without too much preparation;
  • no longer than 3 hours, but also no shorter than 2, so you have time to execute your script properly.

7. Coaches’ supervisors or Innovation Managers: if you want your coach to tackle a relatively large or challenging task, it should definitely not be their first mini session. If you absolutely must challenge them in such a way, make sure you first invent 1-3 small opportunities for them to practice on in order to gain confidence. Don’t hesitate too much – give them whatever small task comes to mind that they can tackle relatively easily.

8. Coaches should work in pairs. A co-coach helps in preparation, offers support during the session, and helps extract learnings after it. The co-coach can and should then also provide hugs, encouragement and – if needed – consolation.

9. A crucial step in preparing a session is defining and sharpening the brief with the topic owner. Special emphasis should be given to the question of scope, so that:

  • It does not require knowledge beyond that of the session’s participants, whose number should not exceed (4-6-8 according to the Coach’s experience);
  • The topic can be explained in no more than 7 minutes, with a corresponding number of slides;
  • The owner can define what kind of results are required, and why they think it is reasonable to achieve them;
  • The session is not used to solve a problem that has been tackled repeatedly over the years without success.

In short…

A motivated coach, with a supportive boss and environment, usually develops his/her skills and capabilities swiftly and consistently. But the first steps are crucial. The key is to start out gradually and raise the bar to always be challenged slightly beyond one’s comfort zone. It is the best way to ensure the coach’s personal development and to create valuable results for their managers and colleagues.

3 SIT Case Studies to Inspire Your Company’s New Product Development

Published on: October 9, 2018 в 3:19 pm

Аuthor:

Categories: Uncategorized

Companies are constantly trying to create something fresh and original, but where do they even start? A common go-to is good ole brainstorming, but as we have repeatedly stressed, this is not an effective way to ideate.  That’s when SIT steps in– making ideation more efficient and creative through proven, structured strategies and methods. By beginning with a thorough analysis of a company’s existing products or services and then jointly applying our methodology, SIT’s project outcomes are novel variations of existing products or services. Here are some new product development case studies that have resulted from SIT’s ideation efforts and exemplify SIT’s methodology in practice.

Not Just a Summer Drink

On a scorching summer day, nothing is more refreshing than a nice, cold cup of iced tea. But what about in the winter time? How can a company that sells such summer treats like Nestea also boost sales during the colder months and gain an edge on competing companies such as Lipton, the leader in the industry?

Nestea’s® usual approach of using market trends to develop new products was not generating enough revenue. Moreover, non-compete restrictions from a joint venture of their parent company, Coca-Cola/Nestle, put further pressure on Nestea® to steer clear of soft drinks and hot beverages. Thus, Nestea® aimed to develop a new product that was unique in their own domain. They called in SIT to help innovate under these constraints.

Applying SIT’s attribute dependency tool, which creates and dissolves dependencies between variables of a product, SIT was able to help Nestea reevaluate the relationship between changing seasons and beverages offered. Nestea’s® team challenged the expectation that iced tea is only for the summer and launched a line of iced tea for the winter. The team applied their existing strength in flavor innovation to ensure the development of a product that could accompany consumers’ winter drinking habits–a tea that can be consumed at room temperature or heated. Here, even though the product was not completely altered per say (after all, tea is still tea), the fixed idea of bottled tea only being served cold was shattered and replaced with a dynamic, interesting alternative that created a whole new “ready-to-drink tea” product line.

Achieve Naturally Soft & Radiant Skin

As any beauty consumer will tell you, diligent skincare is the key to radiant confidence and glowing skin. AHAVA Laboratories is a world leader in mineral-based

cosmetics—their unique formulas, made of elements found only in the Dead Sea, are the foundation of millions of skincare routines. In a two-year partnership with SIT, AHAVA sought to further their enterprise by developing several new products. Even though AHAVA had the power of the Dead Sea on their side, in a market saturated with hundreds of different creams and washes—all claiming one secret ingredient or another—AHAVA was looking to create something with a different “wow” factor.

Using SIT’s thinking tool task unification—a way to assign an additional task to an existing resource—AHAVA discovered a way to use the body’s own moisture to melt active ingredients in the product upon application to the skin.  Usually, this process is achieved using water during the manufacturing process, which requires many resources and carries a heavy cost. However, using SIT’s creative process led to the invention of the Gentle Body Exfoliator, which requires only the body’s natural moisture. Because the Gentle Body Exfoliator is untreated, it has the additional benefit of a rough texture, which removes dead skin cells. As the product interacts with the body’s own moisture, it dissolves into the skin, nourishing it with Dead Sea minerals. Naturally soft, smooth, and radiant skin has never been achieved like this before.

Which Scents Define Your Home?

We’re all familiar with Febreze’s air fresheners—one spray and you’ve eliminated that stinky odor from your home or car. But how do you excite your customers when they’ve grown accustomed to your product’s smell and instead want something new and different?

SIT was brought in to create new products for the Febreze brand. Specifically, SIT focused on an already existing product, the Febreze wall plug-in, a product that plugs into the wall, emits an aroma, and whose influence can be so vast that it defines your home’s scent.

By applying SIT’s multiplication tool, which adds an additional component of a product and then alters it in some way, a novel idea emerged; why not have a plug-in device with not one tank but two separate tanks to hold the liquid perfume? In each of these tanks, there would be a separate scent. The benefits of this product were many—the plug-in could switch between scents; it would be a novelty for users, and it could pulse out different smells at different time intervals. The outcome of SIT’s project was an entirely new product, the Febreze pluggable that had two alternating scents. This product led P&G to nearly double their market share in the air freshener category.

Turning Constraints into Advantages

 

Through the stories of Nestea, AHAVA, and Febreze, we see three examples of successful innovation that not only changed the game but revolutionized their industries. Instead of brainstorming or simply following the trends of others, each company applied SIT methodology to turn their constraints into advantages, innovating and creating something unique in the process.

Visit the case studies section of our website to learn about more ways that SIT has helped companies with new product development and various challenges.

A Systematic Approach to Process Efficiency

Published on: July 24, 2018 в 11:08 am

Аuthor:

Categories: Uncategorized

SIT’s Approach to Process Efficiency

There are quite a few methods to enhance productivity and increase process efficiency. Some notable examples are 6-Sigma, Kaizen and Lean. Most of these methods are highly effective at identifying waste and redundancy, and pointing out where you need to cut, focus, or streamline. This leads very often to substantial savings and gains in efficiency. Unfortunately, as much as these methods excel at identifying where to save, they are seldom helpful in prescribing how to do so. When it comes to leading their users to ideate about potential alternatives or solutions to current wasteful practices, practically all productivity methods resort to… Brainstorming.

But, as research and practice has repeatedly and consistently established, Brainstorming is not an effective means for generating truly novel yet viable solutions.

In other posts, like Busting the Brainstorming Myth and How Effective is DT as an Innovation Methodology?, we have described some of the major faults of the BS method for ideation. Here, we will just briefly mention that BS tends to produce either unexciting ideas that are not new, or exciting ideas that are not viable. This is the point SIT – Systematic Inventive Thinking comes into play. As opposed to BrainStorming, SIT is a structured process calling for disciplined ideation within well-defined constraints. By changing the problem solver’s mindset, this process consistently leads to novel and effective approaches to problems and challenges.

Paradoxically, SIT requires that you focus on existing resources and capabilities (which is why the method is also referred to as “Innovating Inside the Box”), learning to use them in novel ways by breaking your so-called “Mental Fixednesses.” The method is therefore especially apt for constrained environments or systems defined by strict engineering requirements.

Here are some brief case studies that highlight how relatively small shifts in perspective, achieved through a structured process, can lead to substantially increased process efficiency.

HAVI –  Opening a Bottleneck with No Additional Resources

 

HAVI is one of Asia Pacific’s largest logistics companies. At their depots in China, HAVI faced a consistent problem: delivery truck arrival times were frustratingly unpredictable, causing a slew of issues. For example, sometimes multiple trucks would arrive at the same time. And, since Havi had a limited number of truck unloaders, truck drivers spent unnecessary time waiting for their trucks to be unloaded. To avoid this process bottleneck, HAVI needed to find a way to streamline the unloading process.

HAVI considered various solutions, but none were cost-effective. They considered, for example, extending the warehouse to add docking space for extra trucks, but realized this renovation project would be prohibitively expensive and not necessarily tackle the workforce aspect of the problem. They also considered hiring a temporary workforce during busy periods. However, since the busy periods were often unpredictable, it would be impossible to foresee when the workers would be needed.

The Right Incentive

Using SIT’s thinking tool, Task Unification, which assigns a new and additional task to an existing resource, HAVI came up with a creative idea to improve their warehouse’s process efficiency: truck drivers arriving to the warehouse were offered the option of unloading the trucks themselves. Initially, this idea seemed totally untenable, as the drivers, it was believed, would certainly refuse to take on an additional and arduous task. But, after giving the option some thought, the Problem Solving Team realized that, given the right framework, the drivers would actually be more than happy to comply. With less downtime on the job, additional pay for the extra task, and more control over their schedule, the drivers had everything to gain.

 

By incentivizing drivers to unload the trucks and paying them for the time they spent unloading, HAVI utilized its existing workforce to solve its problem. Since drivers no longer needed to wait for unloaders, they could unload their trucks immediately, resulting in reduced time and quick turnover. By using SIT’s structured thinking process, HAVI managed to save time and money, while eliminating a problematic bottleneck.

Teva Pharmaceuticals – Doubling Production Capacity – Now!

Teva, an Israeli pharmaceutical company, experienced a surge in demand for a specific drug, to which we will refer here as Drug A, when a rival company went bankrupt and could no longer deliver it to market. As new clients approached Teva for Drug A, the company realized that they had an incredible opportunity to grow their business quickly. However, to do so, and ensure retained interest from the new clients, Teva had to double capacity in two weeks’ time. The issue, however, was that the manufacturing line for Drug A was already working at full capacity. While prior attempts to increase capacity had resulted in a 15% production increase, Teva needed a more drastic change.

Drug Cocktail?

 

In order to double production quickly without significantly changing their process, Teva turned to SIT and its systematic methodology. Using SIT’s Closed World Principle, which states that solutions to a problem can be generated focusing on existing resources, the Problem Solving Team collectively listed all the elements within the production line and its vicinity (the production line’s “Closed World”).

Through a mapping process, the Teva team first identified that the greatest challenge in dramatically increasing production with the current production line (let’s call it PL-A) was one of the stages of the process, Stage 7. At the same time, the team also came to an initially counter-intuitive concept: that they could consider as part of the Closed World, another, adjacent line: PL-B, in which a different drug was being produced.

By analyzing each of these production lines and their processes, the Teva team arrived at a novel idea. It appeared that PL-B had a stage that was very similar to PL-A’s Stage 7 (the bottleneck). But, as opposed to the situation in PL-A, this stage in PL-B was actually working at only half its capacity! The ensuing solution was as simple as it was surprising: the team redesigned the PL-A process so that immediately after Stage 6, half of the ‘material’ on the Production Line was diverted to the neighboring PL-B, taking advantage of PL-B’s excess capacity in the relevant stage. After finishing Stage 7, the material was immediately rediverted back to PL-A to continue the regular Production Line A process to its conclusion (see diagram below). By using the adjacent Production Line’s (PL-B) capacity, Teva was able to double production with a minimal investment. This occurred almost immediately, giving Teva exactly what the company needed to match market demand for its drug.

 

Complement your Toolbox with a Counter-Intuitive Approach to Productivity and Process Efficiency

Most companies strive to improve process efficiency and enhance productivity. There is always some way to function faster, use fewer resources, or produce less waste. Traditional methods are effective in leading you to do so – but only to a certain extent. These methods usually point out where you need to act but fall short in helping you come up with novel ideas of how to do so. Using specific thinking tools and principles, SIT can do just that, helping you take full advantage of existing resources in surprising and innovative ways, ultimately leading to Productivity Through Innovation

5 Top Workshop Icebreakers

Published on: July 16, 2018 в 12:39 pm

Аuthor:

Categories: Uncategorized

Leading a workshop, and participating in one, can be a rewarding experience for both the facilitator and the participants. It is no secret that knowing who your audience is, and catering your icebreaker or energizer to your audience, can make the workshop/facilitation that much more engaging and meaningful. Creative workshop icebreakers are a great way to engage with your group and break the ice at the beginning of a session. Energizers can also help increase the energy of the group after lunch or in the middle of the day. SIT has over 22 years of experience leading and hosting workshops, using a variety of icebreakers and energizers during sessions.

These 5 workshop icebreakers will surely help you break the ice in your next workshop, facilitation, or meeting.

Top 5 Creative Workshop Icebreakers

Workshop Icebreaker #1. One Truth, Two Lies

Workshop Icebreakers

Each participant must introduce themselves with three statements, one statement must be true and the two others must be a lie. The rest of the participants must guess which statements are which.

Which stage is it used: To open a workshop/icebreaker

 

Workshop Icebreaker #2. Five Things in Common

Workshop Icebreakers

Divide the group into partners. Tell the partners that they need to find five things that they have in common with one another. Then have each pair present the things they have in common to the group.

Which stage is it used? To open a workshop/icebreaker

Workshop Icebreaker #3. One Word Relay

Workshop Icebreakers

Begin by getting everyone in a circle and explain that you will collectively construct a story.  This will be done by each choosing one word. The words will string together to form a story. Ideally, each word chosen by participants should grammatically fit the sentence structure and logically fit the story, but also be fairly random. With each pass of the object and new word addition, the story should get more and more interesting. Have someone document the story and send to workshop participants. Everyone can laugh and share!

Which stage it is used?  To increase the energy of a group

Workshop Icebreaker #4. Snowball Fight

 

Workshop Icebreakers

Gather your group in a circle and hand each participant a piece of paper. Ask each participant to write a funny fact about themselves on the piece of paper. After they finish writing, tell participants to crumple up their papers and start throwing their ‘snowballs’. For a whole minute, everyone can continue to throw ‘snowballs’, but when the time is up, everyone should end up with a ‘snowball’. After one minute, everyone recreates the (now surely misshapen) circle, reads the funny facts aloud, and tries to guess who each snowball belongs to.

Which stage is it used: To open a creative workshop or to enliven the energy of a group.

Workshop Icebreaker #5. Doodle Portraits

Workshop Icebreakers

Everyone receives a sheet of paper, sits down and draws someone in the room.  After everyone has completed their drawing or time is up, everyone takes turns showing their picture to the group and the group can vote on who is depicted in the drawing. 

*The weirder/funnier the drawing, the more exciting the icebreaker.

Which stage is it used: Can help increase the energy of the group

 

These workshop icebreakers will help you get a solid start at any event.

Share your experiences using these icebreakers or check out how to better facilitate your next workshop with these useful lessons.

Innovative Ideas in Smart City Culture

Published on: July 10, 2018 в 2:38 pm

Аuthor:

Categories: Uncategorized

Smart Cities on the Rise

The market for smart-city innovative ideas could be worth more than $1.5 trillion by 2020, according to a study by business consulting firm Frost & Sullivan. With such huge growth potential, do you think your city has what it takes to be The World’s Smartest City?

Israel’s cultural center and 2014 World Smart City award winner, Tel Aviv, is making huge strides in Smart City tech and design. This coastal city is breaking ground by thinking inside the box and using Israeli culture to its advantage.

 

But how exactly did Tel Aviv acquire such a status?

As opposed to focusing solely on new technology, Tel Aviv uses its active and tight-knit community. The Tel Aviv municipality’s utilization of internal resources can be likened to SIT’s Closed World Principle—where the focus is not on resources that lay outside, such as new technology, but on the internal resources that can be utilized inside, such as its tight-knit culture.

In addition, with a high population of young people, Tel Avivians are both more open to trying new innovative ideas and incorporating them into their daily lives.  As Claus Tully from the German Institute puts it: “Young people take up modern technology and incorporate it into their everyday lives more rapidly and more unceremoniously than others.”

innovative ideas

Have you heard about SIT’s transformative work in municipalities?

Bat Yam Municipality

Together, SIT and Bat Yam launched The Center for Entrepreneurship in Education.  The center is made up of a community of 400+ entrepreneurs who meet socially and participate in both courses and one-on-one mentoring with SIT and center staff to help them realize their dreams. The Center recently launched an open innovation competition for new ventures, which received 300 entries. Through educational programs and activities for entrepreneurs, the Center seeks to make entrepreneurship a regular part of the daily educational experience.

SIT’s work with Municipalities in Colombia

SIT’s work with Colombia proved it is possible to change the interaction between local government and citizens without spending vast sums of money or engaging in extensive regulatory change. But how was this accomplished?

SIT trained 26 innovation coaches from various treasury positions who then ran 26 innovation projects in various departments. Initially, the focus was in the area of taxes. However, due to the project’s success and the substantial savings incurred, the participants have decided to extend the process to support other government departments in the future.

The Minneapolis Municipality

Before opening Target Field, The City of Minneapolis asked SIT to help find innovative solutions to traffic challenges the new ballpark would create. Specifically, SIT created an ideation project to address traffic, parking, and challenges to accessing events in the new ballpark. During the project, participants learned and applied SIT’s Task Unification thinking tool. They addressed physical elements (e.g. taxies, cars, traffic lights, skyways) alongside non-tangible elements (e.g. various types of data and information). The process generated several concrete ideas based on collecting, sharing, and communicating real-time information from multiple sources to streamline traffic, parking, public transportation, and pedestrian movement.

The question is: Does it take more than just innovative ideas and technology to create a smart city?

 

By examining Tel Aviv, it seems a smart city’s foundation is not only in new technological development but also in its culture. Similar to start-ups, where company founders refer to company culture as being the key to success, the Tel Aviv municipality also believes Israeli culture is key to their smart city success.

Tel Aviv, the 2014 World Smart Cities Award winner, employed the necessary technology, which took time, participation, and a strong culture. Some of the crucial elements of Tel Aviv’s appointment was the cohesiveness of the people, their curiosity, confidence, and their involvement with their communities. To harness this cohesiveness, Tel Aviv made sure to connect people to news, traffic, and other information, but in a way more personalized than radio or television.

     

Tel Aviv Smart City Pillars  

  • Eco: Including composting programs, community gardens, and water conservation methods.
  • Community and entrepreneurship: Tel Aviv created centers for entrepreneurship, youth centers, and affordable municipal housing, etc.
  • Traffic and parking: Bike paths (however, this still needs some work), paying for parking with one’s smartphone.
  • Smart Food Policies: Policies to increase production and sustainable food consumption.
  • Education: Emphasizing practical education, student initiatives are supported if they provide value. 

Revolutionizing Municipal Technology

 

To put itself in front of the pack, the Tel Aviv municipality installed free public WiFi in almost all public areas, including the beach, while simultaneously leading a digital revolution for municipal services and information dispersal. Implementing a digitalized revolution called DigiTel, they gave each resident the ability to register at a checkpoint and create a personalized digital profile. This innovative idea worked wonders by providing Tel Avivians with “customized information and remote city services,” such as city events, information about roadblocks, or recommendations and discounts for restaurants. With this digital database, the municipality is now better able to facilitate communication between residents and leaders.

The Tel Aviv municipality claims that …

“City-making makes the difference between a space and a place – a space is a physical demarcation, while a real place draws people, tells a story, reflects a community’s values, and is embedded with meaning. A smart city strategy which uses technology in the service of people – is, in short, smart city-making.”

Tech developments and the cohesive Israeli start-up culture helped transform Tel Aviv into the smart city hub that it is today. Equipped with this information – what do you think your city can do to get ‘smarter’?

Share your innovative ideas with us in the comments below!

How to Choose an Innovation Consulting Firm

Published on: July 3, 2018 в 10:46 am

Аuthor:

Categories: Uncategorized

The Innovation Consulting Firm Landscape

The innovation consultancy landscape has become immensely complex, dynamic, and varied in the last several years, especially when discussing quantity. There are a variety of methodologies, approaches, as well as consultancies of all sizes. McKinsey and large accounting firms have made acquisitions of innovation consulting firms, which means the distinction between the mega-consultancies and the more boutique consultancies has become blurred.

Since the innovation consulting firm atmosphere is so dense, there are some common sense rules of thumb one must use when choosing an innovation consulting 

dynamic innovation consulting firm

firm. Luckily, our good friend, Drew Boyd, created a list of criteria that you can utilize when choosing an innovation consulting firm.  However, due to the richness of the current marketplace and the dynamic approach, some of this list is no longer relevant. While this may be the case, it still includes a lot of useful advice. The below advice and tools will help you make an informed and educated decision when choosing an innovation consulting firm.

Choosing Innovation Consultants

By: Drew Boyd
Choosing an innovation consulting firm is challenging for two reasons: the client is not always clear what type of innovation they want, or they are not sure what type of innovation a consultant offers.
Here are three factors to consider when choosing an innovation consultant:

1.  TYPE of consultant

2.  METHOD used

3.  ROLE of the consultant.

The innovation space has become so crowded that I group them into four types (I-D-E-A):

INVENTION:  These are consultants that help you create new-to-the-world ideas.  They have particular expertise in creativity methods or idea generation tools.  Their main focus is the generation of many new product or service ideas.

DESIGN:  These are consultants that take an existing product, service, or idea and put some new, innovative form to it.  They have particular expertise in industrial design or human factors design.  Their main focus is transforming the way a product is used or experienced.

ENGINEERING:  These are consultants that help you make the new idea work in practice.  They have particular expertise in technology, science, research, and problem-solving.  Their main focus is building it.

ACTUALIZATION:  These are consultants that help you get the innovation into the marketplace.  They have particular expertise in marketing processes, brand, or commercial launch of a product or service.  Their main focus is selling it.

Step One: The challenge is many consultants claim to be all of these.  While true for some, my sense is that all firms started off as one type and then expanded to cover the others.  The question to ask yourself is: would you be better off matching your need to their original core expertise, or would you be better off going to a one-stop shop…a firm that can do it all even though their core expertise is, say, design.  How do you know what type the firm really is?  Study the biography of their founder.  What was the founder’s education, experience, work background, interests, etc?  The founder is where the core orientation of the firm begins.  The other practice types get bolted on later.

Step Two: Understanding their method.  The first question I ask consultants is, “Do you know how to innovate?”  The second question is, “How?”  I want to understand their method of innovation, and I want to be able to explain it to other people.  I want to know the efficacy.  Has it worked in the past and will it work on my project?  Show me the data.

Step Three: Understanding the role of the innovation consultant.  Is this a DIY (do-it-yourself) approach, where you are given some software or other resources to create innovation on your own?  Is this a DIWY (do-it-with-you) approach where the consultant leads and facilitates groups of your employees to innovate together?  Is this a DIFY (do-it-for-you) approach, where the consultant takes your problem specification and comes back with their recommended solutions?  Or, is this training?  All of these roles are valid depending on your need.

I am impressed with the talent and variety of consultants in the innovation space today.  It becomes even more impressive when you select the right one for the job.

I hope the above will help you in finding the right innovation consultancy. Since we are always on the look-out for the right clients to work with, here is a short questionnaire. Please fill in and, if relevant, we can have a short 20-minute chat to see if we can fit each other’s needs. We look forward to hearing from you.

FIFA World Cup’s Top 5 Innovative Technologies

Published on: June 25, 2018 в 11:02 am

Аuthor:

Categories: Uncategorized

It is safe to say that everyone is excited about the games, but have you heard about the new technological advancements on and off the field?

Each of the following technologies are potential revenue boosters and, with proper implementation, have the potential to revolutionize both the event and the athlete training process.

Below, you will find a full cup worth of world-changing tech for you to marvel at while you watch your favorite teams battle it out on the field!

Did you know SIT has more in common with the World Cup than you might think? In 2010, SIT worked with Davivienda, a large financial leader in South America, on their digital marketing strategy. The project resulted in “The Correspondent Campaign,” which included the invention of a unique character who connected with the public through humor. During the 2010 World Cup, it was the most talked about marketing campaign and increased Davivienda’s revenue by over $3M!

Innovative Technology #1: Adidas miCoach Smartball

Adidas, the sponsoring company for the World Cup, recently made some noise with its newly released smart ball. The innovative smart ball, coined the “Adidas Telestar,” comes preinstalled with an NFC chip that is connected to a mobile application. Connecting to the app allows users to monitor game results, view ball movement, and share with other users. This smart ball also measures kick power, speed, ball height reached, and more.

The battery life is one week or 2,000 kicks. It also comes with its own charging station.

With Adidas constantly exploring new innovative technologies, we can expect further product developments in the athletic department and fan experience in the years to come.

innovative technology

Source credit: Adidas

Innovative Technology #2: Training Apparatus – SKLZ (Skylz) STARKICK

innovative technology

Source credit: Skylz

 

Want to practice your shots but are missing a training partner? Luckily, this training apparatus allows players to practice all shot types, including passes, free kicks, corner shots, and penalty kicks. The elastic band and rope can be attached to sandbags for longer range kicks, or to the player’s body for ball-control practice. This device can also improve creative dribbling and juggling skills.

 

Innovative Technology #3: ZEPP Play Soccer

The ZEPP Play System measures player data during gameplay to generate statistics. This tiny 7-gram sensor is attached to the player’s shoe or shin guard and connects to a mobile app. The innovative sensor measures distance, speed, sprints, and success rate in scoring goals (as opposed to attempts). After completing the activity, you can review all your past and current stats in an organized database on the app.

innovative technology

Source credit: Zepp

Innovative Technology #4: PlayerTek Soccer Tracker – Vest / GPS

Source credit: Playertek

A new gadget stemming from an Indiegogo campaign and very similar to the ZEPP Play Sensor is the PlayerTek Vest.

This product works in a similar fashion to the ZEPP, but in a comfortable vest form! It can collect maximum speeds and location data, but it does not yet measure a player’s cardiovascular rate.

For easy review post-training or post game, the app includes training tips and organized data. The device lasts seven hours per charge, which is perfect for a training day or several games back-to-back.

With new product development strategies, the PlayerTek Vest will surely continue to advance and transform from a classic innovation into an extraordinary one.

Innovative Technology #5: Norrlands Guld – “Social Beer”

This one is for those that love a good pub-based soccer viewing!

The creative masters at Norrlands Guld implemented an inventive solution that discourages phone use at bars. Instead of viewing live tweets on your phone, this innovative tech prints them directly on your beer’s foam in the most pretentious color possible… gold.

The last World Cup was one of the world’s highest tweeted events. This time, instead of hearing the phone buzzing (and potentially missing the action), why not keep the taps flowing and check out this innovative bartending technique?

innovative technology

Source credit: Norrland’s Guld

*Disclaimer: This remarkable engineering feat is only available in Sweden. Hopefully, one day soon, we can all experience the joy of drinking a tweet.

What’s Next?

 

New technological advancement means players and viewers can get even more out of their World Cup experience! Keep a look out during the next World Cup to see all this world-changing tech in action!

In the meantime, read about the coolest fashion tech wearables and let us know which one you would sport.

Get our innovation model that has worked for 1000+ companies.

No thanks, not now.