Idea Generation

Innovation’s Starting Point

Key Topics Covered in This Chapter

  • New knowledge as a source of innovation
  • Tapping the ideas of customers
  • Learning from lead users
  • Empathetic design
  • Invention factories and skunkworks
  • Open market innovation
  • The role of mental preparation
  • How management can encourage idea generation
  • Idea-generating techniques

INNOVATIVE IDEAS HAVE many sources. Some originate in a flash of inspiration. Others are accidental. But as Peter Drucker told readers of Harvard Business Review almost two decades ago, most result from a conscious, purposeful search for opportunities to solve problems or please customers.1 His observation supports Thomas Edison’s famous statement that invention is 1 percent inspiration and ...

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