Say the word ‘frugal’ – and it conjures images of making do, eking out scarce resources, managing on a shoestring. And in the world of innovation there are plenty of examples where this principle has triggered interesting solutions. For example Alfredo Moser’s idea of re-using Coke bottles as domestic lighting in the favelas of
Activity: Sources of innovation Where do innovations come from? Use the chapter in the book on ‘Sources of innovation’ to give you some ideas. Try and generate a list to populate the table below with examples. Source of innovation Examples R&D laboratories New drugs in pharmaceutical industry Market research New or improved
Think about a service process which you have been involved in recently – a visit to the bank, shopping, waiting in a restaurant, booking tickets online, etc. Now try using some of the tools below – or others you can think of – to explore ways in which this process could be improved.
Mind-mapping is a powerful tool to help explore problems and assist search for patterns and connections. You can find a brief explanation here And more details here.
Activity – Blocks to creativity
Activity: Frugal innovation This is an approach to innovation which is based on the principle of simplification – finding solutions to a problem which solve the problem but without adding unnecessary costs or adding unwanted functions. A description can be found in the ‘Deep dive’ section of the Portal and some case examples include
5 whys This simple but powerful tool can help strip away the apparent problem to get through to the root problem which is the one we need to solve.
How to statements A useful tool in creative problem solving is the ‘how to’ statement which provides a powerful way of reframing the problem. For example, consider the problem of a city council concerned with the amount of graffiti being scrawled on bridges, walls, trains and other surfaces. It regularly receives
Metaphor is a powerful tool for generating fresh insights in creative problem-solving. It helps us ‘get out of the box’ in our thinking and offers new perspectives on problems we are trying to solve. See also analogy, brainstorming
Analogies offer a powerful way to generate new ideas based on linking similar worlds or properties to give fresh a fresh perspective. See also levels of abstraction, DOME project