Re-thinking for the Re-set: Getting Innovative

Why is re-thinking hard?

  • It means switching on the slower, more effortful and logical system 2 of the brain, rather than relying on the easier, faster, automatic system 1 (though it can be good to give system 2 a regular break and do a bit of day-dreaming) – See Strategic thinking
  • Thinking of what might come might be painful – it’s very human to switch off rather than go into that painful place.
  • Not know what’s coming next can make it hard to focus ‘what should we do now?’ 

Assuming you are ready to get into re-thinking – start with a reality check:

  • Take  time to get immersed in the ‘reality’ of the situation, including talking with customers and potential customers
  • Just as you would do a regular check with customers about what they like, don’t like, would like changed – this provides a reality check on what matters to people who are key to your busineeses future
  • Working individually and with others – use images and stories to share your intuitions, data and facts to support options – See

It can help to “chunk” the challenge – for example re-thinking different aspects of the business – perhaps looking at the 4 categories below and their component parts.         

  1. Finance – business model, networks and alliances
  2. Process – enabling process, core process
  3. Offering – product performance, product system, service
  4. Delivery – channel, brand, customer engagement
  5. – See
Queenstown tourist operators turn food deliverers –

What does this mean for the existing business?

  • Peter Drucker says the purpose of a business is to create and keep a customer
  • Work with your people to explore different ways your business can create and keep customers and do things differently moving forward.  Keep an open mind about trying new, different things or even starting again.
  • Think about what ‘innovation’ and ‘change’ mean for you – exploring the notes on Strategic thinking could help you think ‘outside your mind-set’

This 3-step model was used Walt Disney to develop blockbuster movies  (this approach fits well with the research on how to inspire innovation).  Disney used a different space for each step – to signal the different requirements at each step:

  1. First – collect all the information (see previous slide), then – The quiet room: Ask each individual, working alone, to produce as many ideas as they can, pause and then generate more (evidence indicates you’re best to start with individuals silently writing their ideas before discussion and group dynamics)
  2. The social setting: Group development of the ideas (you need ‘psychological safety’ – support and no disrespect) – sharing and building on ideas, again going for quantity, not quality
  3. The hot box: Scrutiny – sorting out the best options, developing the business case, then action plans / KPIs / accountabilities

Positive emotions help creativity – try some Ice-breakers, charades, funny stories, even barley sugars

Tim Brown and Joey Zullinger, neither had previous footwear experience – sold 1m Allbirds merino wool shoes in first 2 years – using different approaches to design, merchandising and distribution.

Some resources:

For more information contact Stewart Forsyth, Chartered Organisational Psychologist. or phone 027 222 6718