“Companies invest significant effort structuring the front end of the ideation process. The best companies use a variety of quantitative and ethnographic research techniques to research the marketplace and map out the competitive landscape. This allows companies to deeply understand the needs, problems and aspirations of their customers before ever beginning to brainstorm on possible solutions.”
Taken from the CEB Views post, What Albert Einstein Can Teach Us About Ideation, the author explores the front end of the ideation process and ways to improve the quality of its eventual outcome. As the text describes, leading innovators spend much more time on the front end framing and focusing on the challenge. In our sustainability consulting world, this is demonstrated through the value of early stakeholder engagement and alignment around mutual benefiting sustainability concepts. Some commonly observed steps to aid in this pursuit include:
- Define the objectives clearly: Understanding the purpose will enable decision makers.
- Design around the objectives: The key to effective design is working back from the business decisions that need to be made.
- Map out the decision processes by considering: Will it underpin a redesign of the brand and the value proposition or of frontline sales and service? Will it ultimately result in more tailored and dynamic online and direct marketing? How are the business and functional units responsible going to access the information and use it on a day-to-day basis?
- Manage the implementation process: The tools for managing change need to be deployed fully.
Today’s business executives are presented with the unique opportunity to increase profitability through greater eco awareness and the pursuit of a more sustainable business. Our sustainability consulting firm believes the engaged and aligned stakeholder holds the keys to not only business improvement but a constant stream of sustainable innovation.