Tag Archives: reframing

Innovation needs intent

innovation needs intentUltimately, just like your business strategy, your innovation strategy needs to be focused. It can’t be all things to all people. It must be able to stand on its own.

Last Friday I conducted a second innovation workshop with graduate students from UABC, the largest university in Tijuana. Before we were done, I made sure they took two things to heart:

  1. Figure out their own definition of innovation;
  2. Be intentional with your innovation intent.

The last point is important, and hopefully they caught my drift because a lot of what the media considers innovation fits into the silly category…

What’s your question?

strategic shifting for innovationSometimes an interesting questions doesn’t come out nowhere, it requires some serious inquiry and reflection. Defining the real problem is the key part of the innovation process, if you don’t figure out the right question to lead your effort you will end up solving the same challenge, in the same way, that everyone else.  

At the beginning of the year, I collaborated with an innovation consultancy in Mexico D.F. on a project about dog adoption. To begin, we went out and met people, asked them some questions and generally observed how they interact with street dogs. We then took our notes and observations, put them together and uncovered some great insights, which we then turned into questions that gave us some holes to keep digging through.

Still, it dawned on me that like most organizations, the NGO we worked with had an uninspiring mission statement that any other dog adoption organization could have. So, connecting the on-the-ground insights with this, we shifted the conversation to something more thought provoking!

asking great questions