Sunday, May 31, 2009

#ASTD09 ITS: Powerful Hands On Tool

Presentation: ITS: Powerful Hands On Tool for Product and Process Innovation
Presenter: Etsuko Ogiso, Business Consultants, Inc. (Japan)

This session will be geared more towards organizational creativity rather than individual creativity. Since I ultimately have to apply creativity anyway, figured it wouldn't hurt to look at the macro level. Also thought this was a good opportunity to get a more international perspective on business.


Business Consultants Inc - 1964 (Japan), 470 employees, 200 professional consultants. $80 mil in sales.

ITS - Innovative Thinking System

Developed end of 90s.
- Though educational seminars, training, consultation
- Now at 4000 companies (Japan, Korea, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, and a few in US)

5 main applications of approach
- Improvement *
- Problem Solving *
- Future Assessment
- Personal Development
- Creating New Value and Opportunity

Innovation = Creativity + Implementation

Divergent Thinking - generate the ideas
Convergent Techniques - narrow down ideas. Polish and fine tune winner
Implementation Techniques - How to bring ideas to

All about the 7s

7 Inventive Techniques for Divergent Thinking phase (Went through 3)
- The more hints (Image/Idea Generated (IG)), the more images.

Technique B = "Breaking"
-- Identify the common notions (you wear shoes on feet)
-- THen create IG - can be the REVERSE of the common notions (you do NOT wear shoes on feet)
-- Take the IG - then create idea. (slip on shoes - though I'm not certain how you get from 1 to the other)

(Wow! Seriously jargonized brainstorming technique!!!!!)

Yamaha used technique to create "silent piano". Practice without disturbing others. Have headset.

(Attempt to do exercise for above.)

Technique F - Finding Flaws
- Focus on the flaws, faults, defects of theme
- Imagine problems resolved
- More problem is defines, better the idea generated

- Flaw - ex. I must pay at the reception desk when checking out
- IG (this time, the Solved State) - I can quickly check out without coming by the reception desk
- Idea - bill sent to my home. Can just leave the hotel. (Apparently, express check-out is not popular in Japan)

(Activity for exercise F)

Technique L - Linking
- Need magazines, newspapers, book for technique
- Close eyes - see where finger points. Pick the word. Relate that word to your theme.

- Theme: A New type of candy
- Word picked - Traffic signal
- First image that came to mind: red
- Idea: A red candy that burns fat

Activity for exericse L (individual)
- Theme: New ways to effectively run a meeting

- Word - rabbit
- Image - furry
- Idea - cushier chairs.

- Word - Lemonade
- Image - tart
- Idea - Serve drinks with glucose.

- Word - actress
- Image - beauty
- Idea - Nicer meeting environment. Few distractions.

(And then here is where my "self-constraining straps of thinking" kick in.... How about reducing the number of meetings altogether! I know...not the spirit of the exercise....

My partner came up with better ideas - also centering around keeping meetings short.)

First step is to "evoke the brain" to make other patterns.

Self Constraining Straps of Thinking - The self-limiting parameters preventing the emergence of new ideas and behaviors.
- Business environment
- Business / Company Background / History
- Budget
- Human Resources
- Technology
- Timeframe
- Organization Structure
- Colleagues and Management
- Self

Focus on how to resolve the problem, before knee jerk saying know.

Mental Locks (taken from Roger von Oech)
- Right answer
- Not logical
- I'm not creative.....

Mental Locks in Japan
- Is this at any other country>
- Lets see how this goes
- Who is responsible for failure
- (The concerns are pretty international)

2nd step - Convergent Thinking
1) Screen many ideas
2) Polish the candidate ideas

Screening techniques
- Birds Eye and Bugs Eye - Macro / Micro
- Decision - Inductive Reasoning
- Priority - Criteria Based
- PNO - positive / negative / originality
- Goal - meeting objectives
- Sketch - rough planning
- View

Demo of PNO screening - people tend to focus on positive if like idea. negative if hate.
Idea: Building all the railways underground
Positive: aethetics, weather, reliability
Negative: safety, expense, unpredictability of the build environment
Originality: not so original. Other city has this service already.

Pick 2 or 3 (but encourage use of all)

Polishing the idea
- Pre-plan considering the 6 aspects
+ Emotion - anticipating reactions (more innovative, more anxiety)
+ Benefit - focus on positives
+ Drawback - correct negatives
+ Fact - research needs
+ Strength - improve the product
+ Testing - pilot or prototypes

Exercise on emotion.

Step 3) Implementation - Mapping techniques
- Road Mapping - goal is an action plan
- Hardware (business infrastructure)
+ Information - research planning
+ Critical Factor - flow chart
+ Contingency - crisis management
- Software (Human aspects)
+ Power - influence
+ Resistance - negotiation planning
+ Support - relationships

Exercise on contingency mapping.

Best Practice of ITS approach
- Combine with existing training program.
- 6 days
1) Acquire basics for marketing and techniques for idea generating
2) Analuze current situation
3) Generate ideas
4) Screen ideas and select candidate for implementation
5) Create proposal
6) Develop road map / action plan

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