Thinking Outside of the Box
3 Creative Tasks & 8 Change Management Steps
Deliver Your Break Through to
Have you ever been asked to or asked someone to, “think outside of the box”? If so, then you can answer this question, what exactly does it mean to think outside of the box?
Let me suggest, to think outside of the box means to be innovative. Innovative by providing creative solutions, concepts, ideas or the like that help you and your company overcome challenges and make money.
Today, innovation is the big word in business. It is ironic that in today’s highly advanced and technological global business environments, companies are more in the dark ages than ever before. My secret for breaking through to outrageous results in business comes from Renaissance Methodology and considers the people around you as keys to success.
Making breakthroughs with innovation and successfully thinking outside of the box so that you surpass your goals and objectives requires answering three questions before you ever get started.
Three key questions for innovation
Answer each of these three questions and follow the tasks very carefully and meticulously using an Excel spreadsheet and e-calendar. Then ask the same of the people in your company impacting the situation you outline. Once completed, you have begun your roadmap and project management for making a difference with innovation. Plan at least a 4-8 week exercise with the steps described below and see what results you get.
By achieving these 3 tasks you will have reached a pivotal and powerful turning point many never achieve and will be ready for the 8 steps that manifest the innovation created.
A quick preface of the 3 tasks purpose…
First, answer why do you need to think outside of the box
Got to know where you & team are going in order to get there and so metric goals can be justified for all
Second, answer what is the box made of
Got to understand the organization’s SWOT to have a chance to strengthen it
Third, answer what can the box be used for
Got to stretch the limits and creativity is key – consider not just what it contains because a box can be used as a object to sit on too or even a flotation devise so what else
Closer look at the three tasks
First Task, list all reasons why you must think outside of the box and what obstacles, needs, people, goals & objectives compel you to seek innovation?
1. On your Excel spreadsheet track the reasons based on categories; internal and external; employees, contractors, vendors, suppliers, customers, competition, trends, government and others.
2. Next assign priorities to the reasons after spending at least two weeks with each division or facility impacted. A weighted scale can also be applied to prioritize the reasons.
3. Allow all the people impacted by the situation to do the same exercise after you go first and then rework the tasks again with them for some eye opening all around.
Second Task, you must completely identify exactly what the box is made out of to think outside of it. This means completely understanding you, your people, your organization, customers and all stakeholders.
1. On your Excel spreadsheet track the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of all parties involved and discuss individually and in groups. Do the same for the business’s core competencies, including intellectual properties and shared services capabilities.
2. Keep an open mind and look to outsiders for unique perspectives and especially analyze your competition versus your own company. Most of all look to your customers and trends for insight on what the solutions are needed. Be certain to combining R&D thinking to this process so creativity flourishes.
3. Do not discount communication. Alleviating destructive silos in your company is critical for innovation to evolve. Utilizing a regimented and vertical communication strategy is non-negotiable if innovation is to live and grow because it allows alignment and connectivity from the top management down to the front line.
4. Be cognitive throughout this process that reward and recognition is the glue that holds people together and it strengthens the buy-in from all parties. This is accomplished using creative plans to vest the parties involved to specific success metrics. Additionally, the reward and recognition strategy creates buy-in to the measurement system needed to track results.
Third Task, you must ask and completely identify exactly what the box is capable of containing. This means understanding what you and your team are capable of achieving.
1. Share the information collected with the pertinent people and provide ample time for individuals to digest and discuss the data.
2. Next on your Excel spreadsheet begin to explore and list different types of solutions to the identified needs and place metrics on each need equating to success with that need.
3. Next run through a positive brainstorming session listing any and all ideas while absolutely excluding all negative feedback in this session.
4. Then run through a negative brainstorming session listing any and all reasons hampering the positive ideas.
Consider what creates innovation-failure for a moment. What causes most people to fail at thinking outside the box? Often the answer is fear of change and uncertainty. You must create an environment that fosters and encourages outrageous thinking while reducing resistance to change. Theory of Constraints combined with clever reward and recognition schemes tied to success metrics will prove to be powerful tools for outrageous breakthrough results.
Painful truth; Your company’s existing resources and capacity must be leveraged and pushed to uncomfortable points in order to manifest profitable innovation in you and your people.
It is very common that eventually, people get stuck trying to overcome a challenge and find that all of their useful ideas just don’t get the job. Asking around doesn’t always provide the solution. Neither does changing the players in the game. The approach to solving challenges makes or breaks the success for the people involved.
Once you complete the 3 tasks you are moving from the strategy phase to the implementation phase and are ready for the 8 steps.
Combining the tasks and steps together provides an implementation process map so change management happens while behaviors and morale are enhanced.
Focus on this core innovation belief throughout your process; To solve the struggles of getting breakthrough results by thinking outside of the box, you have to reach deep inside of yourself first and believe that innovation is possible. This means belief that change must occur in order to get real innovation. Next, make your people believe the same.
The 3 tasks and 8 step process outlined comes from a proven methodology that has helped companies in a variety of industries positively change peoples life’s while increase sales and profits. Innovation is the source of which the Renaissance Methodology was birthed, late last millennium, R+E+N(AISS+A+N+C)E. and is growing as the solution for outrageous breakthrough results.
8 Steps to Execute Your Innovation
This process requires at least 4-6 quarters to execute. The results will show by the 2nd and 3rd quarters. The process empowers your organization to perform as a lean and innovative team. Your people will be more profitable and customer excellence capable as a result of Renaissance.
Admit out loud that innovation is needed
Plan for the change blue print but be malleable at the start
Make SMART goals with success metrics in place as milestones
Announce innovation goals to the company and customers
Motivate and vest your people to innovate via theory of constraints
Vest people and results with metrics for reward and recognition
Empower champions who will lead the others and foster innovation
Encourage innovation throughout the process and recognize individuals
Track people’s performance and highlight progress to all
4. Apply integrated shared services
Focus individuals on specific core competencies to increase team results
Increase efficiency on mission critical activities through vested teamwork
Raise quality to customers with best practices of shared services
Launch innovation teams with SMART goals focused on your challenges
Measure the new innovative activities and report stats and progress
Constantly encourage, recognize, reward and discuss innovation
Routinely identify the people’s barriers to innovation and change
Use innovation to defeat innovation barriers
Reduce resistance by highlighting resistance
Communicate from top to bottom with vertical reporting groups and schedules
Recognize innovation and especially the results of innovation
Display company scoreboards dedicated to innovation and results to all
Implement innovation quickly with nominated champions rolling out
Support the innovation work groups with senior leadership
Track and discuss progress on a regimented schedule for CIP
It is evident that to achieve results of great magnitudes from thinking outside the box, the fate of success does not rest on one person alone. It takes a team to create and effectively innovate in order to manifest real world results from “ways that didn’t necessarily exist before”. The process can be daunting however Renaissance Methodology can help guide you through the darkness.
Contact www.clevelglobal.com for deeper discussions about bringing breakthrough results to your company.
The company that invented the;
Renaissance Methodology – reengineering revenue growth models
Modes to Market Analysis – increasing contact with your buyers
Accelerated Direct Marketing Model – increasing sales with customers
Theory of Accelerance – doubling the top performers output