Thursday, 7 July 2016

Will Russell asks where could new ideas come from?

Will Russell, Business Relationship Manager for Technology at the Royal Society of Chemistry, writes:

"From problem solving to planning business transformation, the human capability of creativity will become even more valuable in a world of exponential change – but how can we maximise our own creativity?

Have you ever been in a brainstorm and seen the same ideas coming up? 

What if things could be different and using simple techniques you could unlock truly novel ideas with fewer people in less time?  And not just unlock news ideas – inspire individuals to take ownership to take the ideas forward through validation to development.

I believe anyone can be creative and innovative, and there are tools and frameworks to increase your chances for success.  Successful creativity is more than just a great idea. It’s making a great idea successful.

There are several factors that can help you shape your creative thinking and planning.  Ideation can ensure you are solving the real underlying challenge or problem and cut through the clutter of ready-made solutions that are in your mind.  Validation can ensure that what you are producing actually is a fit for the market.  Iteration will enable you to revise your products based on user feedback, this is even more important in a world where we need to be developing challenges to tomorrow’s problems. On top of all of these there are learnings that can be applied from industries that have been disrupted, and those that have disrupted. 

There are many techniques that David Smith and I will talk about on our upcoming ALPSP course. We are keen that delegates feel enabled, with a toolkit to empower future opportunities – one of which is the five day sprint – enabling them to make business decisions in a short timescale.

A challenge we face today is that, with shorter product lifetimes, we need to predict what challenges our customers will face in the future that our products will need to solve.

I first met David Smith co-tutoring on the ALPSP web 2.0 course (taking over from Leigh Dodds). That course, although relevant in the early days of the social web, ran its course until the social web became standard.  As recently highlighted by Emma Watkins in her excellent ALPSP blog on leveraging social media, it's 10 years since the social web really started to change the digital landscape, and it's hard now to imagine a time without it. So what might the next real disruption on that scale be?  Futurist Gerd Leonhard has produced an excellent video on Digital Transformation.

I've had several different roles whilst working at the Royal Society of Chemistry, working in Technology, Publishing and Innovation, and I have recently returned to Technology.  The change in roles has enabled me to build up a varied experience that I am excited to share with David on the course, from ideation through to validation and moving to development."


Will Russell is co-tutor on the new Disruption, Innovation and Creativity training course alongside David Smith from The IET. Further details and booking on the ALPSP website.

Read David's post on Successful organizations and the creative process.

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