GENERATING INNOVATIVE IDEAS
GENERATING INNOVATIVE IDEAS
TECHNOVATION 2014 Generating Innovative Ideas Text: Daniel Dipp Fernando Granato Graphic Project: Bruna Zílio Moreira Henrique V. Monich Jean Paulo Rodrigues Alves João Henrique D. Papi Vanessa Esser All rights in this edition reserved to QUÍRON - Escola de Empreendedorismo e Inovação. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.escolaquiron.com.br
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SUMMARY FOREWORD_________________________ 03 INTRODUCTION_____________________ 04 CHOOSING THE THEME_______________ 06 DEVELOPMENT OF THE IDEA__________07 KNOW THE PROBLEM________________ 08 HANDS-ON!_________________________ 09 DEEPEN THE ANALYSIS_______________ 10 HANDS-ON!_________________________ 11 CREATE SOLUTIONS__________________ 12 HANDS-ON!_________________________ 13 WARMING UP DYNAMIC______________ 15 DEVELOPING AN INNOVATIVE IDEA_____ 17 HANDS-ON!_________________________ 21 PROTOTYPING THE IDEA______________ 22 HANDS-ON!_________________________ 23
FOREWORD Hello, Welcome to the book “Generating Innovative Ideas” developed by Quíron Education in partnership with Technovation and Easy Design to help teams participating in the Technovation Competition to develop increasingly innovative and high-impact applications for society. This material has some techniques to generate ideas that have been widely used today by professionals from different fields. Despite being relatively new and widely applicable techniques, we bring this material the essence of each of them in a simple and direct way. Our goal here is not to make you a expert in each of these techniques, but that you learn some basics concepts that will help you and your team to develop better ideas – for the competition and for the life. Quíron Education was born with the propose of transforming the quality of education, offering a differentiated teaching and transforming the young people who previously did not have opportunity, helping our students to develop their full potential and become true masters in what they dream to be. It’s worth mentioning here that all this material was developed voluntarily by all institutions involved, because we believe that the quality education should be accessible to everyone. Our greatest reward is to help young people like us who believe that good ideas can make the world a better place. We hope you enjoy. Good reading and good ideas! Quíron Team
INTRODUCTION In this material we will present several techniques for generating and building ideas, such as Design Thinking, Brainstorming and Blue Ocean Strategy, with the aim to develop better ideas. Don’t be scared by all these complicated and technical names, our goal here is not to make you (student) “memorize” these names, but you understand the main concepts of each of them and can use them to generate more innovative ideas. If you want to know more about the contents presented here, you can see in the end of this material some references. Before we begin to understand these methods, we have before leaning to look at the thing differently. A broader and deeper view, which doesn’t see the problems pessimistically, but as opportunities where we can create solutions. We have to develop the look of a Designer.
INTRODUCTION EMERGENCE OF DESIGN AND A NEW LOOK
During the industrial revolution most of the solutions generated was more focused on the productive capacity of each factory, than in offering products and services that actually really attend to the needs of customers. A very famous quote by Henry Ford illustrates the vision of that age. “You can have the car with the color that you want, as long as it’s black”. This phase from Ford demonstrates how to present the thinking in that period – focus on production and not on the people. The years passed and then there is the Design – wich means creation, idealization or development, where the main focus is the people and the real needs that they have, in other words, the focus is not to create things
simply to be “consumed”, but to create solutions that solve problems do indeed, chancing the focus (view) done before in production to people and needs. Through this new way of thinking, we must keep in mind that before we left for the creation of solutions itself, we have to analyze and further understand the problem that we want to work and what are the main features, thinking in ideas later. For example, instead think in create a chair to improve posture problems of who work too much time sitting, let us first understand better the problems related to the spine and pool posture, and then decide whether the best solution is the development a chair, a sofa or even a new environment or way of working. Do you see the difference? – The focus here is now
understand better the context, and the think about an adequate solution to it. It’s a great human tendency to want already starting create the solution before even analyze what is the problem and what environment it’s inserted. Therefore, we must keep in mind that before we consider the “how” we will solve a given problem, we have to analyze in greater depth the “why” such problem occurs. Understood this part, we can begin our process of developing ideas.
CHOOSING THE THEME Before starting application development, the group should have defined what will be the area, in other words, the problem that we want to work. If no team member has any idea about a possible theme, we can use the following techniques:
home to school.
Think of what we would like to see resolved – one way to choose themes are think about what problems currently faced by society more bother us. What are those issues that we really would like to see solved.
After a few team members identify topics of interest, the group should meet to discuss what the problem chosen to work.
Observe the daily – daily we go out to the street faced with many social problems. Begin to notice the problems that occur around you and think about which you would like to solve. For example, what are the problems observed between the routes from
Attention to the news – check out what are the main problems that are currently being linked in the media, such as newspapers, magazines and news websites is a good way to think of themes.
Done it, let’s start the idea development.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE IDEA To develop more complete and efficient ideas, we follow a four-step sequence:
possible existing peculiarities.
- Understand the problem; - Deepen the analysis; - Create solutions; - Prototyping the idea.
In the third step – “Build solution”, we define a specific point and think of ideas and solutions to the selected problem. It’s only at this stage that started sketching the first ideas and proposals for solutions.
In the first step – “Knowing the problem”, we will hold the first analysis of a problem we wish to address, the first performing searches, checking references on the subject and understand the problem in general. In the second step – “Deeper analysis”, we will analyze the problem further, conducting field research, checking in practice how such problems occur, as is the setting and context in which it’s inserted, and who are the people involved in this process – including identifying
In the fourth step – “Prototyping the idea”, is where we will construct together the first models of our idea and test some functionality – in this case a software. During this step, for example, we will design the screens of our app and performing some initial tests. Understood the sequence, we will check deeper how each of the four steps work.
KNOW THE PROBLEM This step correspond to the first contact with the problem, where the whole team will understand the main characteristic of a particular topic and conduct the first research on the research on the subject. Itâ€™s the initial stage where we collect information for our project. During this step the team will also check if there are already solutions that cover the selected area and possible limitations of these solutions have. This will serve as basis for the construction of future ideas, fleeing existing solutions (conventional solutions) and starting to formulate more innovative ideas.
How perform this step? One of the most traditional ways is through literature searches on various sources such as books, magazines, websites, articles, newspaper, among others. These surveys aim to make the whole team understands the key features related to the chosen analysis and possible solutions in existing theme. We can also in this step perform a preliminary field research, in other words, a first visit to the environment in which problem occurs in practice, to experiment such experience and understand about it.
EXAMPLE If we wish to create focused solution for people with diabetes, the first step we can take is search in the internet more about the disease, treatment modalities and solutions. After that, we can check if there are cases in the family or acquaintances and contacting them to understand better how to live with this disease.
Selected area of expertise that the team will work, after research in websites (Google, Yahoo and others) and start the search on the main characteristics of the problem and solutions already exist in this area. Write down the main topics in a notebook.
Select some places where there is the problem with the group and make a little visit to the scene to understand more about this context.
During research on the internet also check if there are books on the subject for a consultation. For example, you can consult some books in a public library. Also check where (in what environment / local) the problem occurs and who the people who usually live with them are.
Write down all the information collected by the group on a flip chart, to have a view of everything more clearly.
DEEPEN THE ANALYSIS After conducting initial research, we do a deeper analysis of the context and issue we want to address. This is the stage where we look with greater attention to the environment in which it develops the problem and who are the people involved / who live with them. Itâ€™s during this step that we also identify possible patterns and events that repeat, analyzing whether these repetitions are good or not, and how they relate to the problem.
HOW TO PERFORM THIS STEP? One way to accomplish this step is experiencing the problem in the environment and so it occurs. Team members must assume the role of those who live (is affected) with this problem and pass the note for a certain period of time as they actually occur in their real environment. Another way to accomplish this step is through more focused interviews, where the group performs a series of questions with people involved in this context, listening carefully how to live with such a problem and asking for opinions on the subject.
HANDS ON EXAMPLE A project called Copamobi aiming to generate innovative applications for the period of the World Cup 2014 in Brazil conducted a survey of more detailed field and observed the behavior and routine supporters. They found, for example, that fans are always looking for something to do after the games. Form this analysis itâ€™s possible to create solutions focused on specific points, such as an application that indicates the closest restaurant to the stadium at the end of the game.
After an initial analysis, we must to understand the problem better. For this, the team members shall select a few places where such a situation occurs and live certain period of time with it. This can be done for hours or even days passing on local â€“ observing and experienced the problem. The group should also stay tuned for possible repetitions and daily events that occur during this phase.
After this experience, team members must meet to annotate and share as much information collected in the field.
Performed after the interview, the group should write down all the information collected on a flip chart, gathering those that are similar in blocks â€“ a tip is to use post-it in different colors for each block.
Made the exchange of information gathered in the field, members should raise any doubts that were not clarified and prepare a short questionnaire to from these issues. This questionnaire should be applied to some people living with the problem, in other words, the team must return to the field and perform more in depth interview with some people, in order to better understand this problem and solve possible doubts.
CREATE SOLUTIONS After performing the depht on the topic and selected a point in particular to act, it’s time for the group to meet and begin the process of generating ideas. From this stage we began to think more innovatively and outline possible solutions to the problem chosen, transforming it into opportunities.
HOW TO PERFORM THIS STEP? The main technique used to start this step is called “Brainstorming”, where all members of the group come together and perform a process of generating ideas without judgment (first), looking initially generate largest possible number of ideas (whether they are), and then select the best ones. The most important thing using this technique is not losing focus. The group should generate a lot of ideas, but without leaving the proposed theme.
After selected the theme / specific point at which the team will work, you must add the entire group for a brainstorming process. For this it’s necessary that all previously studied and have known as much as possible about it. The team must join hands with a material such as cardboard and pens to write down all the ideas generated.
At this moment not be thinking about quality, but in quantity. That is, at this point the group should write on the card and generate maximum possible ideas. It’s noteworthy that those most “radical” and “crazy” ideas are those that generally generate greater innovation it’s always easier to bring them to reality later than improving an idea with little creativity. A hint in this step is to define a minimum number of ideas to be generated by the group during the process and did not stop until they achieve it, such as “generate a minimum thirty ideas”.
Performed the initial exchange, the group should start a debate on what are the best ideas, and that is possible to extract from each. A hint is tried to merge the ideas that the group most like, generating with these a great idea. Also in this step can submit ideas for people who suffer from this problem â€“ for example, people who are interviewed in the previous step â€“ to collect larger tips on the solution generated.
EXAMPLE An entrepreneur from Rwanda wanted to develop a cooperative of artisans and expand their operations more easily. As the process of creating the pieces was paramount and the best specialists that are the artisans themselves, he involved the whole community throughout the creation of the institution and forms of action. Always seeking suggestions and cooperation with artisans, even the design of the institution logo. Rely on community participation during the generation of ideas is a good way to build solutions that really solve the problem.
Finally, the group should write details in a larger role on the idea, such as: what are the resources (information, materials, equipment) that already have, what resources they will need, who are the people that can help and what the differential generated the idea.
WARMING UP DYNAMIC
EXTRA TIP FOR WHEN THE GROUP HAS NO IDEAS OR WARMING UP BEFORE BRAINSTORMING! If the team is having trouble generating ideas during Brainstorming, you can perform a small dynamic heating.
The group meets and selects two people who are the “generating ideas”. One person will be the “A” and the other “B”. The role of these people will create many ideas that have about the problem, independent how been. Anything goes here!
In the second moment, who should generate ideas is the person “B”. But this time the group should say “yes” to all ideas and justify why those ideas will certain, even those that are seemingly “impossible”.
02 At first those who must generate ideas is the person “A”, trying to bring many ideas as possible for the team. Meanwhile, the group should say “no” to all ideas generated by the person “A” and justify why these ideas will not work. Suggested time: 10 minutes.
Suggested time: 10 minutes.
04 Performed after the two rounds, the group should discuss how the experience was.
It’s worth noting here that the second experience where everyone says “yes” to the ideas generated that corresponds to the ideal environment is to make a good brainstorming, in other words, a nonjudgmental environment. Then, the group will be able to achieve greater success when carrying out this process.
CONGRATULATIONS If your team followed all the steps so far, you should be starting to build a good idea. But, still lack the “gran finale”* in our project: develop a really innovative and different from existing solutions idea. Now it’s time to “think out of the box” even. Let’s go!
*Gran finale is a expression that means finish something with an exceptional way.
DEVELOPING AN INNOVATIVE IDEA THE BLUE OCEAN STRATEGY
Even after a brainstorming process sometimes we feel that the idea generated is not so innovative yet and that in parts is very similar to existing ones. Thinking about it and analyzing great ideas that two teachers called W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne have developed a technique innovation called “Blue Ocean Strategy”, which basically separates ideas into two types: those that are very similar to those already existing, and therefore face strong competition and are steeped in a “red ocean”. And those really innovative, which are so different from existing navigating calm in a “blue ocean” without competition. Since the goal of this book is to be a fast and straightforward guide to generating good ideas, we will not delve into this technique. But, if you
are interested in learning more deeply about the subject, is recommend reading the book bearing the same technique: “The Blue Ocean Strategy”, written by its creators W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne.
VALUE CURVE The main tool of analysis and innovation that uses this technique is called “value curve” – a simple chart that shows the main characteristics of a view. The graph is basically composed of two axes: a horizontal containing the main characteristics of an idea and a vertical containing the intensity of each of these features – demonstrating
that if it is high, medium or low. For example, if a company wants to control their finances, there are basically two options: they can use software to do this or control hand in a notebook. Let’s draw the value curve of these two options to understand better how it works. For this, we take into consideration its main features: “price”, “ease of use”, “speed” and “accuracy in the result”.
DEVELOPING AN INNOVATIVE IDEA THE BLUE OCEAN STRATEGY
VALUE CURVE - OPTIONS TO CONTROL FINANCES Intensity
Through the graph is possible see that each of the options have their advantages and disadvantages. For example, use your notebook is simple – ease of use is of low intensity, and cheap – price is low intensity. However, the software is faster – speed is high intensity, and takes the result of the calculation – intensity precision is high.
DEVELOPING AN INNOVATIVE IDEA THE BLUE OCEAN STRATEGY It’s is important to note that not mean that the features that have “low” intensity are bad and intensity that have “high” are good. We are analyzing here the intensity of each item and not the quality of them (if it’s good or bad). Careful for not confuse. For example, something cheap means that the intensity of the “price” is “low” but not to say that this feature is good or bad, depends what it’s. Like something that is not easy to use has “ease of use” with “low” intensity, in other words, a weak point that this idea presents. Knowing this, how about merging the best of each alternative and still create features that do not exist yet, putting it all in one solution?! Was thinking about it that a company called Quicken developed software that was fast and accurate as other software, but it was also easy to use and much cheaper as well as if using a notebook. Furthermore, they added that there were other features in any of the two solutions. Let’s see how was the new value curve generated by Quicken:
DEVELOPING AN INNOVATIVE IDEA THE BLUE OCEAN STRATEGY
VALUE CURVE - OPTIONS TO CONTROL FINANCES Intensity
It’s possible to verify that the company has managed to create a different idea from those which already existed, using the best things of other solutions, eliminating the disadvantages of each, and creating things that didn’t exist in any of them. That is a really innovative idea. Understood this part, it’s time to innovative further our ideas too.
After performing the initial brainstorming, the group should draw the value curve of the idea generated.
Once drawn curve value should, should draw on the same graph the curve of other existing or similar solutions found by the group. The goal here is compare curves of values of current solutions with the solution propose by the group. Should consider whether the idea generated by the team has a value curve very similar to other existing solutions or not. If this happens, itâ€™s a sign that the idea generated is still not very innovative and should be considered in larger different.
03 To make the idea even more innovative group should analyze the value curve of the existing solutions, and extract the best from each of them, making it to four basic questions: - What could be increased / improved in these current solutions? - What could be lessened in these current solutions? - What could be added / created in these current solutions? - What could be remove / deleted in these current solutions?
Finally, after performing the four questions and generated new ideas from them, you must draw a new value curve that represents the new solution created by the group.
PROTOTYPING THE IDEA Finally, after you perform all steps for the definition of ideas, you should build a prototype of it, of somehow make the proposed solution real and visible. The prototyping aims to observe possible errors and incomplete parts of the idea. Generally when we think of products, you create mockups or prototypes in thumbnail format, but as in this case we are developing a software prototype are done in different ways. One of the simplest and most widely used techniques is the â€œpaper prototypeâ€?, which basically consists in creating a sketch / drawing of the screens of our application, and verify that is complete and easy to use.
HOW TO PERFORM THIS STEP? To create a paper prototype, the group should meet to draw / sketch all screens that the application will contain, for example, how will be the main menu of the application, how is the navigation between screens, which will contains buttons, what will come up first, and others things. The higher the degree of realism and description of drawings, the higher is the quality of the developed prototype.
Developed the idea after the group should meet to build the prototype of the solution generated.
The group should consider which screens and functions will contain the application, noting these information’s for not forget it when building the prototype.
An example of how a paper prototype was used to assemble a site can be viewed at the following youtube link: http://youtu.be/mXS-UQWoAZc
Should start drawing / sketch screens starting with the “home page” and starting the application for the other following.
After drawn all screens, the group must simulate as if navigation in the real application, to check possible faults or missing screens. At the end of this process we have the complete outline of the application, now simply program it and make it a reality.