OUR METHOD: Three steps to innovation
1. Rapid Appraisal
In a series of brief interviews, our student team works with you to pin down what is the key problem where you most need to innovate. Then together we break down the problem: what are the key obstacles to overcome? These are the pieces of the puzzle you need to solve.
2. What-Works Scan
We search the world for companies and organizations that have solved different pieces of the puzzle in different situations. We find out exactly what elements worked to overcome which obstacles, why, and how you might adapt these elements to your problem.
3. Creative Combination
We condense the best elements we found in the scan, present them to your team, and lead you through a workshop where you select and combine a subset of elements to arrive at your innovation. We help you plan how to implement the idea too.
How are these three steps different from other innovation methods?
Most innovation methods have two steps: first, in-depth research and analysis on the problem; and second, brainstorming to produce a solution. This produces strong analysis and weak solutions. We reverse the emphasis: we trust that you understand the problem, so we spend most of our time searching widely for elements of a solution. That's how great innovations actually happen: creative combinations from new sets of sources.
You can read more about the method in these two books from Columbia Business School Publishing: