Happy New Innovative Year! and Framework for Innovative Thinking

Happy New Year!!!

This is my first post in 2013.

I just want to wish all of us exciting and innovative year! Exciting in a sense of challenges and probems to overcome. Innovative in a sense  of making something new, and also growing ideas (often disruptive) into practical use (as once Joseph Shumpeter said). Not to forget about this characteristics of innovation.

Furthermore, I’m not talking only about “the new goods or services, the new methods of production or transportation, the new markets, the new forms of industrial organization that capitalist enterprise creates ”(Schumpeter, 1942). I underline importance of new way of thinking – innovative thinking. I believe that the more efficient, effective and innovative thinker you are – the better it is for your venture.

Innovative Thinking Framework

I would like to present here a comprehensive framework (authored by Innovator’s DNA writers) that we can use in order to be more innovative thinking entrepreneurs. This framework is commented by me and some relevant models are provided in order to support argumentation. So, here is it:

  • Associating. This is a chararcteristics which Steve Jobs described as “creativity is connecting things.” I believe it’s really true (at least for me): when you are able to think across areas of knowledge, industries, geographies, cultures, you will definitely come up with hundreds of combinatorial ideas that could be applied in practice.
  • Questioning. The most complicated thing in the world is to put a question that really matters. But if you will do, you will get reward for it! I like the quote by Einstein on solving a problems: If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.” This is why it’s very important to ask questions and to put important questions. Below you can find a nice framework (6 thinking hats) to follow for analyzing anything (and put questions) from different perspectives.
  • Observing. Innovators have this built-in ability to see what’s wrong/doesn’t work around and should be changed. It’s an ability to pay attention to everything that surrounds you every moment everywhere. There are some tips how to do it effectively: Tip 1: Observe customers. Tip 2: Observe companies. Tip 3: Observe whatever strikes your fancy. Tip 4: Observe with all your senses.
  • Networking. Crowd Wisdom could overperform your own personal thinking. This is proved by many researchers. Thus, networking is a key skill you should leverage on. Furthermore, “thinking outside the box requires linking the ideas in your area of knowledge with others who play in different boxes” or who could give you a feedback without all those cognitive biases that we have in our psychology. (Please see Source 3 below for more information)https://i0.wp.com/pactiss.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/LogicalFallaciesInfographic_A1.jpg
  • Experimenting. Apart of networking, questioning, observing, associating serial entrepreneurs understand that these skills are very important, but they provide data about the past (what was before) and the present (what is). “Experimenting is best suited for generating data on what might work in the future. In other words, it’s the best way to answer our “what-if” questions as we search for new solutions.” All recent theories on entrepreneurship (such as Steve Blank’s Customer Development, Eric Ries’s Lean Startup, Alex Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas) put stress on experimenting cycle: Plan – Do – Check – Act. This is the last element in the framework.

Taking all these elements together will allow us to build new ventures, solve problems faster and effectively, overcome new challenges! Wish you good luck in a coming year!

Useful sources:

  1. 6 Thinking Hats:
  2. The Innovator’s DNA by Jeff Dyer, Hal Gregersen, Clayton M. Chrostensen, 2011
  3. Cognitive Biases – a Visual Guide:
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