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Author: Rikus Grobler

Feedback is the most important motivator to keep the fount of new ideas flowing

Getting your ideas implemented by Rikus Grobler of Namibia Innovation Solutions I have completed the theme of analysing trends and getting insights to understand customers’ requirements as a starting point for innovation. I now want to move on with another short series, this time on the implementation of innovative ideas. Let’s assume, an organisation or company, has asked or is asking for novel suggestions from its employees to solve or improve a particular problem. Being a progressive organisation with a progressive workforce, the ideas, good and bad, start rolling in. This is what management desired, but sadly, too often...

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Unstable systems offer huge opportunities to pinpoint a kickstarter for innovation

Innovation and Systems Thinking by Rikus Grobler of Namibia Innovation Solutions This short series focuses on the theme of analysing trends and getting insights to understand customers’ requirements as a starting point for innovation. I have touched on trend spotting, scenario planning and Big Data as applicable topics to this theme. To conclude with this theme, I want to look at Systems Thinking as the final piece of the puzzle of where to start with innovation. Systems Thinking What is a system? Take a few simple examples: The cars we drive are made up of systems (e.g. steering system,...

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Big Data is mind boggling. The trick is how to mine it to support innovation

Innovation and Big Data by Rikus Grobler of Namibia Innovation Solutions I am currently on the topic of analysing trends and knowing customers’ needs even before they know it themselves – as a starting point for innovation. In the previous delivery I looked at two specific “tools” for accomplishing this, namely trend spotting and scenario planning. We live in the information age / digital revolution / computer era, name it what you want, but what all these terms have in common is that information (in digital format) is available on virtually everything and in gigantic quantities, and this fact...

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Trend spotting and scenario planning – inventing the future before it happens

Innovate for the future by Rikus Grobler of Namibia Innovation Solutions I am still on the topic of the correct starting point for innovation. In the previous delivery I discussed two very simple ways of making sure you focus your innovation efforts on the most profitable challenges and opportunities. It’s easy, figure out your organisation’s biggest frustrations or your customer’s biggest frustrations. In this article I want to look at two other proven methods to spot unknown opportunities, namely trend spotting and scenario planning. Henry Ford, the inventor of the automobile, is credited with saying that: “If I had...

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Step into the fray of dealing with your own company to find the biggest pressure points

Where does innovation begin? by Rikus Grobler of Namibia Innovation Solutions In the previous delivery I discussed the product development process. Innovation should not only be an occasional activity and it requires a stable, reliable product or process development process that must be analysed continuously for improvement. Many people think that coming up with the “a-ha moment” is the starting point of innovation. Although it does happen sometimes that creativity strikes from nowhere, instead of waiting for it, what you want to do is focus your idea generation efforts around the most profitable challenges and opportunities that your organisation...

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New creative ideas only as useful as the system that implements them

The product development process by Rikus Grobler of Namibia Innovation Solutions In the previous deliveries I looked at a dialectic approach to innovation, the role that serendipity plays, and how serendipity can be engineered. Once “inspiration” strikes in the form of a new idea, you will require structure to move it forward, so I want to take a look at the product development process in this delivery. Product development process I am an advocate of the fact that innovation consists of two stages: a front-end where opportunity or challenge recognition, creativity and ideation take place; and a back-end which...

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Chance encounters offer many opportunities for creative, innovative direction changers

Engineering serendipity by Rikus Grobler of Namibia Innovation Solutions In the previous column, I advocated that innovation has traits of both chance and logic, referring to it as a “dialectic” approach to innovation. In essence it means that although innovation can be improved upon through proper practices, processes and structures, there is still no “formula” for innovation and you have to be open to the reality that innovation can happen through many pathways. So, organisations must be open and alert for chance occurrences and unexpected connections that can lead to innovation. This is currently a hot topic in innovation...

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Throw the dice and see how far innovation goes

A dialectic approach to innovation by Rikus Grobler of Namibia Innovation Solutions As an avid promotor of innovation as a business discipline that requires process and structure, this article’s theme might come as a surprise, but believe it or not, my research on innovation has taken me to a view that innovation has traits of both “chance” and “logic”. Serendipity and innovation Why call it a “dialectic” approach? The dictionary defines dialectic as: “A method of argument or exposition that systematically weighs contradictory facts or ideas with a view to the resolution of their real or apparent contradictions”. The...

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