Innovate by thinking inside a box

Following up on thinking inside the box, Uma Nnenna continues to help you get a grasp on innovation in part 2 of the series.

It’s easy to say I want to start a business of exporting jellyfish, for instance. Your basis is on market research or how wonderful the idea sounds and how fast you will cashing in on profits.

There’s one saying I use before talking to people about innovation. Competence or perfection is the ability to meet the industry’s expected standard, while excellence is the ability to surpass those standards.

Your response creates the basis for which techniques will be laid down. Do you want to create a perfect product or an excellent one? Keep in mind that customers pay for value, so more equals more clients. So before you embark on you dream business idea or product let’s make it a little bit more innovative. Let’s add to it an edge; one that the likes of eBay, Google, Spiderman, Lion King, Skype, et al added. Let’s think inside a box.

Traditionally, when you ask yourself to brainstorm, usually you say no idea is stupid but there is a huge weakness to this strategy. A lot more people can hardly give you anything without certain guidelines.  When you simply ask someone to develop a product that will break-even in two months  you become vague and can spend hours dillydallying. But then design a box and put her in it and meaningful ideas spring up! What that means is you set guidelines for her thinking process.

Ask Questions. The walls of that box are guidelines that will help his focus. Instead say ‘Could you develop a drink that could compete with coca cola?’ That’s dreaming really big but that sets parameters such as; it’s a drink, it’s to be like Coca-Cola but also it’s to exceed that brand. How? That’s what they have to find. Will it be more refreshing, more exquisite, a different color or could you buy it directly from your fridge! That’s a box and that’s thinking inside a box.

So here’s the basic difference between thinking inside, outside or in a box.

With inside you work with limitations, and errors, and the technicalities. Outside the box you utilize every available tool, technology or resource. Inside a box, though, you design a set of parameters to guide your thinking process This saves time.

Whichever method works for you, employ it and strive for innovative products and services.

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