The organizers wanted to get a feel for how people within the company wanted to grow the business over the next five years. They asked employees to submit ideas via an internal web portal, focusing on across the following dimensions: increasing revenues, optimizing resources, and managing costs.
Over 60 new ideas were submitted. But when they plotted them on an Innovation Matrix, the executive team noticed two things.
INSIGHT COMING UP WITH WAYS TO CUT COSTS IS EASY. FINDING NEW IDEAS FOR VALUE CREATION IS NOT.
First of all, every one of the ideas fell on the left-hand side of the Business Model Canvas: internal operations. However, none of the ideas did much to address the right-hand side of the canvas: where value is created for customers and the company.
INSIGHT THE RIGHT FIRE STARTERS REALLY KICKSTARTED OUR PROCESS!
Secondly, the executive team noticed that the ideas would only bring incremental changes, not substantial ones. No one was convinced that incremental changes would enable TFS to double profits in five years.
The executive team needed a way to help the participants think bigger, expand beyond their initial ideas, and place more emphasis on value creation. With some outside help, the team prepared four fire starter questions to inspire the participants. These served two purposes. They helped frame the challenge around simple, straightforward questions. And they ...