Referent: Heinz-Jürgen Boeddrich
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Coaching: Implementation of Ideapipelines
The creation of innovations is a powerful management instrument in global markets with shrinking product life cycles, rapidly declining knowledge and a rising number of competitors and imitators. Innovations are more successful if the very early stages of the innovation process are structured and organised in a systematic way.
Large global players try to organize and structure the preliminary phase of the innovation process as computer-aided idea pipelines. But most of the computer-aided systems will not be able to solve the dilemma between free idea generation (divergent thinking) and execution structures (convergent thinking)
Heinz-Juergen Boeddrich derived the first set of conditions for computer-aided idea management from benchmarking the fuzzy front ends of several German and European companies. As a consultant for innovation management and crea-tivity coach he had the opportunity to compare several practical solutions. Later he used specific properties of ideas in the workplace as spring-boards and developed considerations on further new requirements for successful idea manage-ment. Placing a particular emphasis on the inter-face between the idea owner and the idea-adoption system, he has created an “idea types” model. He proposes differentiating between gen-eral and company-specific requirements for or-ganising the fuzzy front end. An extended set of requirements for managing ideas in the work-place has been drawn up and presented as the final result. The set is a useful instrument in crea-tion and implementation of Idea-Pipelines in companies and in checking software-programs for Idea Management or the early stages of New Product Development Programs.
Supervision: facilitating idea generation and development
Dealing with a member of your staff and their ideas requires a careful balancing of sensitivity to their indi-vidual needs and the needs of the business. Facilita-tion emphasises the individual and the importance of their idea in its own right. It involves working with the individual to hone the idea into a form which is communicable to a lay audience and viable enough to be considered for selection. The difficulties often lie with the individuals themselves and their attitude to their own ideas.
Based on well-established psychological ideas, it is possible to identify four archetypes in terms of ideas:
The Emotional Perceiver - A good listener, who readily picks up emotional signals and changes in the work-place; something of an idealist who likes to tackle work problems creatively, but hesitates to publish their work.
The Reserved Scientist - Enjoys working intensively on complex analytical tasks with sophisticated out-comes; enjoys others appreciation of work but hesi-tates to publish because dislikes criticism.
The Open Communicator - Enjoys being the focus of attention and works hard on the presentation of their ideas; a creative improviser who can start to commu-nicate their ideas at any opportunity.
The Dominant Entrepreneur - A good integrator of others' contributions to develop coherent, rational solutions; highly pragmatic in using organisation's structural arrangements to achieve goals.
These four 'idea types', as they are called, are based partly on personality traits (introversion - extroversion) displayed by individuals and partly on personal pref-erences in problem-solving methods (linear/analytical - lateral/creative).
Although these are obviously extreme types, you may recognise some of the traits described in the behav-iour of individual members of your own staff.
Heinz-Jürgen Boeddrich, Inhaber
Berater, Referent, Autor, Trainer / Coach
Innovius Institut für Innovationsmanagement und Strategie, DE-55422 Bacharach