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The Innovator's Toolkit: 50+ Techniques for Predictable and Sustainable Organic Growth, 2nd Edition

ISBN: 978-1-118-29810-7
432 pages
October 2012
The Innovator
A compendium of tools and techniques that every innovator needs

The Innovator's Toolkit is an essential companion for every innovator, innovation team leader, operations manager, and corporate change agent who needs to drive organic growth. Written and presented in an easy-to-use reference format, the book helps users understand why, when, and how to apply each technique for maximum benefits and results. The fifty-plus tools and techniques in this book are organized around a framework for identifying innovation opportunities, generating new and unusual ideas, selecting the best ideas for further refinement, and implementing new solutions that better meet customer expectations.

  • This revised second edition includes significant updates to nearly two dozen techniques
  • Also offers several brand new techniques, including Idea Harvesting and Treatment, Seventy-six Standard Solutions, and Six Thinking Hats

This updated and revised edition of The Innovator's Toolkit simply helps innovation leaders, managers, and specialists do their jobs better than ever before—giving them more confidence, greatly reducing the chance of expensive failures, and packing more practical innovation knowhow under one cover than ever before.

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DOWNLOADABLE EXHIBITS xiii

PREFACE xv

INTRODUCTION xvii

P A R T I Define the Opportunity 1

TECHNIQUE 1 Jobs to be Done 3

Highlight the human need you’re trying to fulfill

TECHNIQUE 2 Job Mapping 13

Determine how customers are getting jobs done

TECHNIQUE 3 Outcome Expectations 20

Give customers more of what they desire

TECHNIQUE 4 Value Quotient 27

Identify opportunity gaps in the marketplace

TECHNIQUE 5 Ethnography 34

Observe your customers to uncover unarticulated needs

TECHNIQUE 6 Scenario Planning 41

Paint visions of possible change

TECHNIQUE 7 Heuristic Redefinition 49

Draw a picture of your system and its parts to focus ideation

TECHNIQUE 8 Nine Windows 57

Looking at your opportunity through nine different lenses

TECHNIQUE 9 Job Scoping 64

Broaden or narrow your innovation focus

TECHNIQUE 10 Stakeholder Management 68

Get key influencers involved and on your side

TECHNIQUE 11 Cognitive Style 74

Leverage the diversity of your exploiters and explorers

TECHNIQUE 12 Project Charter 82

Keep your innovation team focused and on track

TECHNIQUE 13 Innovation Financial Management 90

Constantly improve your assumption-to-knowledge ratio

P A R T II Discover the Ideas 99

TECHNIQUE 14 Resource Optimization 101

Make sure you use all available resources

TECHNIQUE 15 Functional Analysis 108

Scrutinize your system for innovation

TECHNIQUE 16 Trend Prediction 115

Learn from evolution’s genetic code

TECHNIQUE 17 Creative Challenge 125

Sacrifice the sacred cows

TECHNIQUE 18 HIT Matrix 130

Compare existing solutions to spark new breakthroughs

TECHNIQUE 19 SCAMPER 133

Ask eight important questions

TECHNIQUE 20 Brainwriting 6-3-5 137

Encourage equal opportunity ideation

TECHNIQUE 21 Imaginary Brainstorming 140

Get silly for the sake of creativity

TECHNIQUE 22 Concept Tree 144

Leverage current ideas to generate many ideas

TECHNIQUE 23 Random Stimulus 147

Use an unrelated picture or word to spawn new ideas

TECHNIQUE 24 Provocation and Movement 153

Bust through the roadblocks in your thinking

TECHNIQUE 25 Forced Association 159

Hone in on solutions from other industries

TECHNIQUE 26 Structured Abstraction 164

Guide your innovation using 40 proven principles

TECHNIQUE 27 Separation Principles 173

Split your innovation problem in four ways

TECHNIQUE 28 Substance Field Analysis 179

Learn how substances interact with fields to form solutions

TECHNIQUE 29 Biomimicry 189

Seek nature’s eons of experience to find answers

TECHNIQUE 30 KJ Method 195

Group and organize ideas by their natural affinities

TECHNIQUE 31 Idea Sorting and Refinement 199

Organize and shape ideas to improve their yield

TECHNIQUE 32 Six Thinking Modes 206

Evaluate your solution ideas in six different ways

P A R T III Develop the Designs 215

TECHNIQUE 33 Functional Requirements 217

Identify what customers want in your solution

TECHNIQUE 34 Axiomatic Design 223

Transform what customers want into the best products and services

TECHNIQUE 35 Function Structure 231

Identify how the solution functions in its whole and its parts

TECHNIQUE 36 Morphological Matrix 236

Generate solution concepts by combining design alternatives

TECHNIQUE 37 TILMAG 241

Pair ideal solution elements to create new design concepts

TECHNIQUE 38 Work Cell Design 245

Configure the workspace for flow and optimization

TECHNIQUE 39 Paired Comparison Analysis 253

Rank design concepts against each other in pairs

TECHNIQUE 40 Pugh Matrix 257

Evaluate all your design concepts to create the invincible solution

TECHNIQUE 41 Process Capability 262

Predict the performance of your new solution

TECHNIQUE 42 Robust Design 268

Make your design insensitive to uncontrollable influences

TECHNIQUE 43 Design Scorecards 273

Develop a dashboard to track your design and its underlying processes

TECHNIQUE 44 Design Failure Mode and Effects Analysis 285

Anticipate what can go wrong with your solution before it does

TECHNIQUE 45 Mistake Proofing 293

Install measures to prevent human and system error

TECHNIQUE 46 Discrete Event Simulation 301

Visualize and test your innovation through computer modeling

TECHNIQUE 47 Rapid Prototyping 308

Make a fast 3D model of your solution to explore its viability

P A R T IV Demonstrate the Innovation 315

TECHNIQUE 48 Prototyping 317

Make a fully functioning model of your new product to test and perfect it

TECHNIQUE 49 Piloting 322

Implement your solution on a limited basis to work out any problems

TECHNIQUE 50 SIPOC Map 328

Identify the key inputs and outputs of your process

TECHNIQUE 51 Process Map/Value Stream Map 333

Flesh out the details of your process

TECHNIQUE 52 Measurement Systems Analysis 340

Make sure you know your measurements are valid

TECHNIQUE 53 Design of Experiments 348

Analyze input and output variables to identify the critical few

TECHNIQUE 54 Conjoint Analysis 354

Compare solution attributes to cull out customer preferences

TECHNIQUE 55 Process Behavior Charts 360

Monitor process performance to keep the new solution in control

TECHNIQUE 56 Cause & Effect Diagram 367

Investigate the root causes of performance problems

TECHNIQUE 57 Cause & Effect Matrix 371

Identify the key input-output relationships in need of attention

TECHNIQUE 58 Control Plan 374

Ensure that your new solution becomes commercialized as planned

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 381

INDEX 383

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DAVID SILVERSTEIN is founder/CEO of BMGI, an international firm specializing in innovation, performance improvement, and strategy. A highly regarded public speaker and executive coach, Silverstein has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Worth magazine, Investor's Business Daily, ComputerWorld, Chief Learning Officer, Chief Executive, Forbes.com, and BusinessWeek.

Dr. PHILIP SAMUEL is Chief Innovation Officer of BMGI. A frequent public speaker and thought leader in the field of strategy and innovation, he has become a trusted advisor for executives in a variety of industries. Dr. Samuel is also coauthor of Design for Lean Six Sigma: A Holistic Approach to Design and Innovation (Wiley).

NEIL DeCARLO is a veteran author, editor, and publishing coach whose work has ranged from Lean Six Sigma to corporate finance to strategy—partnering with such firms as BMGI, McKinsey & Company, and many others. DeCarlo is also coauthor of the bestselling Six Sigma For Dummies (Wiley).

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September 19, 2012
The Innovation Formula

That which once was mysterious tends to become less so over time, as we learn. The incidence of innovation is surely no exception to this rule; it’s been studied and scrutinized for as long as humans have engaged in rational thought and action.

What could be more interesting and exciting than figuring out how, exactly, people and organizations solve problems that stand in the way of human progress? And, just in case we need to make the connection, all businesses in the world exist for the same purpose: to better meet human needs.

Only at a higher level do corporations exist to make profits, because if they can’t meet a set of human needs better and more affordably than competitors, there won’t be any profits. As for public organizations, clearly they have an obligation to provide what people need in the most value-packed way they can. Profits aside, governments have a responsibility to innovate as much or even more than private and public companies.

The central theme of The Innovator’s Toolkit is that the process of creating something new under the sun is more known than unknown. It isn’t mysterious, elusive or out of reach for most. It can just feel this way because most people and companies are challenged to understand how innovation really happens.  

But there is a formula—not a rote, turnkey formula but a structure and process for innovation. And, as The Innovator's Toolkit indicates, there is a set of techniques that can be used to make innovation more systematic and predictable at every step of the way. 

Delving into these techniques can be very interesting for those who are curious about how scientific and technological advances become applied to 1) disrupting mature markets with new, low-cost products and services, and 2) commercializing new solutions that command price premiums. As well, using the techniques in this book can result in making less radical breakthroughs—incremental innovations that may not knock the customer’s socks off but provide those extra features needed to keep up with or edge out competitors.

Most will use The Innovator’s Toolkit as a reference guide as they go about innovation. Others will give the book an in-depth ponder, even reading further about the many tools that are whole fields and disciplines unto themselves.  

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