Several firms in Silicon Valley
have installed a "five minute rule."
The rule permits anyone to suggest an idea. Then for the
first five minutes after the idea is expressed only positive comments can be
made. By the time the idea is talked about for five minutes it has
usually spun into an impromptu
brainstorm session that cultivates truly great ideas and some form of
the discussion is often implemented...
"It is really dangerous if everyone in a
company starts thinking the same way", writes
Michael Dell, Chairman and CEO of the Dell Computer
Corporation. "The danger comes when you fall into the trap of approaching
problems too similarly. You can encourage your people to think about your
business, your industry, your customers innovatively. Ask a
different question – or word the same
question in a different way. By approaching a problem, a response or an
from a different perspective, you create an opportunity for new
understanding and new learning. By
questioning all the aspects of our business, we continuously inject
improvement and innovation into our
To create an organization that could sustain
regardless of marketplace whims and what their competitors were building, HP
founders based their
culture on the
integration and reinforcement of critical opposites. This became known
as the Hewlett-Packard Way...
The Jazz of Innovation:
11 Guiding Principles
Andrew Apter, founder of the consultancy
Creativity@Work in Lake Oswego, Ore., gives employees on company
retreats various characters to play while acting out a scene. One might
be a spy from another company, and another might be told to speak
extremely slowly. "You're getting people out of their habitual
responses," he says, which encourages them to have ideas they wouldn't
have otherwise had.
competitive advantage is based
on a corporate philosophy known as the Toyota Production System. The
system depends in part on a human resources management policy that
stimulates employee creativity and loyalty but also on a highly
efficient network of suppliers and components manufacturers...
GE Work-Out: At its core,
Work-Out is a very simple concept based on the premise that those
closest to the work know it best. When the ideas of those people,
irrespective of their functions and job titles, are solicited and turned
immediately into action, an unstoppable wave of creativity,
energy, and productivity is
unleashed throughout the organization. At GE, Work-Out "Town Meetings" gave
the corporation access to an unlimited resource of imagination and energy of
its talented employees...
In his book Jack: Straight from the Gut,
teaches that companies must be boundaryless to unlock their potential.
Insular thinking results in stale ideas and, consequently, stale
organizations. By breaking down the walls and borders that separated various
departmental and functional areas at GE, Welch was able to unlock the full
creativity of his people, propelling the company forward with fresh,
creative approaches to problems.
Project: IT-powered Brainstorming Sessions
A Brainstorming Innovation Group
(BIG) project supported by the European Regional Development Fund has
allowed Technology Enterprise Kent, in England, to develop a new method to
creative thinking in small- and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) and
They use computer software during
sessions to elicit and capture ideas in a more professional and flexible
manner than traditional methods...