Can there be a defined process of innovation?

May - 12
2012

Can there be a defined process of innovation?

I have been toying around with this for quite some time now,

I have been working on various design projects ranging from Space Design (Architectural Design) to Product design, Promotional design, to Designing portals, Web-based on-demand models of matured products or complicated systems which borrow a lot of information on a dashboard.

I have been using, adopting various methods and tools of innovation, and design. Interestingly, the basic design processes actually remain pretty similar.

Some days back, I started “Innovation Club” which is aimed at experimenting with innovation methods and design methodologies which are used across varied fields of design and development. Conducted a few workshops with participants from varied fields, who would spend time together, use one of the tools of innovation, experiment with a design methodology to come up with innovative solutions for daily life. Problems ranging from daily life issues in a metro like Traffic to visualizing mobile applications were explored till now. Participants came from design schools, Architects, Product designers, Engineers, and User experience professionals working in varied fields came together worked in groups and came up with amazing solutions.

1.2  History of innovation:

Human beings separate themselves from the other animals, with their distinct ways of using all the available resources to solve daily life problems.

From the stone age, or maybe before that, humans have been using their thinking ‘hats’ to make one’s daily life ‘better’ or more comfortable.

Using pointed stones as weapons or tools to do tasks which are beyond the natural limitations of human body are few of the millions of innovations man has created. Strong ‘survival instinct’  could also have been a strong factor of the purpose of innovation.

Interestingly, a lot of extempore innovations happening in developing countries, or developing parts of developed countries, also come from that

Desperation to survive with whatever resources available. JUGAAD style of innovation will have millions of such examples across the globe.

Problem statements:

One of the most critical elements of innovation is the ‘Problem statement’ or objective. One has to clearly define the purpose, objective (problem statement) before even start thinking of the solutions. Most of the researchers say the solutions do lie in very elaborately defined problem statements.

Engaging the ‘Grey Matter’:

Each one of us is gifted with Natures biggest gift to mankind, our brain. Every human is capable of identifying and solving problems, as complex as sending a spaceship to Moon or simple things like, which color of the shirt makes a better impression on friends in a party.  Interestingly all of us to engage in a fairly complex process of identifying problems, checking few possible solutions and making an appropriate decision and solutions. Most of this is extremely structured thinking. Unknowingly we end up building matured thinking processes, patterns of thinking and heuristic judgments on what will work and what will not.

A little more structured approach of methodology, ability to scrap some of our own ideas, re-structure thinking style and persistence of efforts are few amazing capabilities with a chosen few. This ‘chosen few’ are not ‘chosen by birth’ is what I sincerely believe. Each one of us has the capability, how much do we use it is the basic question. Like the physical abilities of athletes are enhanced after using more and more; Mental exercises make the brain alert and more and more active.

Are there any ways of training the brain?

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