How Facilitating Innovation is a Game Changer

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Facilitating Innovation is a Game Changer

This week has our own Air New Zealand showcase how they’re facilitating innovation by changing their Value Proposition. Air New Zealand showcased their new Boing 777-300 ER which they’re heralding as introducing at least five game-changing developments.

Up to now, the airline industry had delivered three major innovations in the past 30 years, lie flat business class, premium economy, and seatback in-flight entertainment.

Air New Zealand’s game changing innovative products include the lie flat economy seats, to unique interior finishes such as wallpaper in the bathrooms. Such creative designs pushed even Boing, who was nervous as this was the most radical interior fit-out the aerospace company had done.

To come up with the next game-changing Value Proposition what is your organisation doing to facilitate potential innovators?  According to new Wharton research, they challenge the widely held belief that innovation is driven by group brainstorming session, rather it is time alone.

‘Build-Up’ – The Enemy of Great

In a recent paper titled, “Idea Generation and the Quality of the Best Idea (PDF),” Wharton operations and information management professors Christian Terwiesch and Karl Ulrich argue that group dynamics are the enemy of businesses trying to develop one-of-a-kind new products, unique ways to save money or distinctive marketing strategies.

They make an interesting discovery that questions one of the predispositions of group dynamics that they believe creates a roadblock to innovation — build-up, which is the tendency of people to suggest ideas similar to one that has already been proposed, and embraced by, the unit.

They found that ideas built around other ideas are not statistically better than any random suggestion.  Build-up, Terwiesch believes,

“is a social norm showing that you listened. If a group is working together on an idea that’s already on the table, you’re wary of coming in with your own agenda because you might be seen as selfish and not a team player. So you build on the idea that is currently on the table.”

Facilitating Innovation

“Instead of searching the world broadly, we are all kind of searching only in this little sphere,” Terwiesch says. “In facilitating innovation, variance is your friend. You want wacky stuff because you can afford to reject it if you don’t like it. If you build on group norms, the group kills variance.”

If you’re looking to change up your business Value Proposition then this aspect is one part of the Business Canvas that Think Group uses as a framework to develop game-changing Business Models.

Business Growth Expert. Husband and father with a passion for personal growth and abundant thinking. Conquer Business, Conquer Life?

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