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Stanford Webinar: How to Innovate Faster and Better During COVID-19

Stanford Online2020-05-18
2K views|4 years ago
💫 Short Summary

The video features speakers Perry Clay Bond and Jeremy Utley discussing accelerating innovation during the COVID-19 crisis, emphasizing the importance of input over output. They highlight the need for diverse perspectives, embracing distractions, and transitioning to a product mindset to drive successful innovation. Examples from companies like Patagonia and Amazon Web Services demonstrate the benefits of these practices. Techniques such as reversing polarity in brainstorming sessions and commissioning a portfolio of ideas are also discussed as effective strategies for fostering creativity and problem-solving in challenging times.

✨ Highlights
📊 Transcript
Introduction of Jeremy Utley and Perry Clay Bond.
Perry is a successful entrepreneur with experience in founding the Atlas Snowshoe Company and leading companies like Patagonia and Timbuktu.
Jeremy transitioned from a management consultant to a designer after his experience at the D School.
Discussion on accelerating innovation during the COVID-19 crisis, highlighting the importance of focusing on how firms can innovate rather than just the output.
Importance of focusing on input for innovation during crisis.
Spending time thinking about needed inputs and engaging in the right practices can trigger imagination and generate creative ideas.
Around 400 ideas are needed to result in two to three successful innovations for commercial success.
Understanding the volume of material required and working through an exploration funnel is essential to reach desired outcomes.
Importance of filling the innovation funnel with a high volume of ideas.
Emphasis on the need for inspiration to provoke fresh thinking and solve new business problems.
Process involves down-selecting to remove irrelevant material and focuses on consistently filling the funnel.
Highlighting the term 'inspiration' as crucial for executives and leaders to encourage innovative thinking.
Challenging traditional views of inspiration and promoting a continuous flow of new ideas to drive success in innovation.
Importance of seeking fresh inspiration for creative thinking.
Various creative professionals, including designers and musicians, were used as examples.
Emphasis on discipline in finding inspiration through intentional and deliberate practices.
Analogy of thinking like a gardener to cultivate practices that yield creative ideas.
Encouragement for individuals to pay more attention to their sources of inspiration for enhanced creativity.
Five practices for innovation during challenging times are discussed in the video segment.
Importance of diverse teams for generating fresh ideas and breakthroughs is emphasized, with research showing homogeneous teams are less effective.
Incorporating unexpected perspectives is highlighted as a key lever for driving innovation in current challenges.
Deliberate inclusion of diverse viewpoints is encouraged to enhance creativity and problem-solving.
Importance of diverse perspectives in innovation.
Diverse perspectives can be homogenized in a team, so leaders should actively seek fresh input for new ideas and connections.
Adding diverse perspectives to early stage teams can lead to more potential ideas and profound innovation.
Example from Patagonia shows the value of unconventional voices, resulting in innovative products like a wetsuit tailored to specific customer needs.
Expansion into Surfing Equipment and Wetsuit Market
The company aimed to create a better wetsuit by utilizing neoprene from specific sources and incorporating wool for its antimicrobial properties.
A fabric designer was brought on board to offer unique insights into fabric sourcing, leading to the development of a wetsuit line that stands out in the market.
The wetsuit also includes natural rubber for a thinner and lighter design, enhancing the overall user experience.
Collaboration and diverse perspectives early in the process resulted in innovative fabric ideas and significant product improvements.
Transitioning from a project to a product mindset can drive innovation within organizations.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) began as an internal tool and grew into a major market player.
Companies can drive growth by recognizing internal capabilities as potential product innovations.
Success stories like AWS emphasize the importance of embracing new perspectives to foster innovation and drive business success.
Bezos urges internal functions to be externalized and all code to be accessible externally.
Leaders are prompted to consider selling internal capabilities as products and reflect on missed opportunities.
Patagonia's success with fleece jackets and base layers is highlighted as an example of focusing on world-class capabilities for innovation.
Under Armour emerges as a competitor using similar fabrics and technology, emphasizing the importance of exploring opportunities and staying innovative.
Importance of recognizing and leveraging internal capabilities for innovation and growth.
Companies like Patagonia and Capitoline excel in product development by focusing on internal strengths.
An analogy of dropping acorns strategically to grow a forest is used to emphasize long-term growth over short-term gains.
A hospitality company successfully improves underperforming locations by utilizing internal teams.
Internal functions have the potential to become successful businesses with a shift in mindset.
Reversing polarity in brainstorming sessions leads to more innovative solutions.
By asking opposite questions and exploring different perspectives, individuals can generate more ideas.
Generating 4,000 ideas, even if most are discarded, can lead to breakthroughs.
Reversing polarity opens up new connections in the brain and stimulates creativity.
Challenging traditional thinking patterns is important to unlock potential and drive innovation.
Importance of exploring bad ideas for creativity in the rock band Aerosmith's ritual 'Derrick Stuck Meeting'.
Steven Tyler emphasized the value of exploring bad ideas to discover successful gems.
Startup founders can benefit from reversing polarity and conducting pre-mortems to anticipate and prevent failure.
Imagining worst-case scenarios can help teams generate innovative solutions and improve business strategies.
Embracing distractions to foster creativity.
Taking breaks, such as going for a bike ride, can lead to fresh ideas.
Cognitive dissonance emphasizes the need for extraneous information in generating new ideas.
It is paradoxical but necessary to stop focusing and let in unrelated information.
Being a little underemployed is vital for doing good work, allowing time for creative exploration and preventing burnout.
Embracing distractions and leaving work unfinished can lead to creative breakthroughs.
Leaving tasks unfinished keeps them in the mind, promoting problem-solving.
Keeping a problem in mind while engaging in unrelated activities can lead to innovative solutions.
Open receptors to new information by leaving some work unresolved, allowing for inspiration and creative connections.
The importance of commissioning a portfolio for solving complex problems.
Building a large portfolio allows for exploration of various solutions and facilitates team discussions.
Research by Scott Clemmer shows the benefits of parallel prototyping and creating portfolios in uncertain projects.
Having multiple solutions available reduces arguments and promotes collaboration among team members.
Effective problem-solving is achieved through the use of portfolios with diverse ideas and prototypes.
Embracing failure as a key part of innovation is crucial.
Encouraging a mindset focused on exploration rather than fear of failure is emphasized for success.
Commissioning a portfolio at the beginning to prioritize overall output over individual successes is important.
Inviting diverse perspectives, transitioning from project to product mindset, and embracing distraction for new connections and innovation are highlighted.
Strategies for Lean Organizations with Budget Constraints
Implement low-resolution strategies like brainstorming and seeking different perspectives on problems.
Embrace distractions and utilize techniques such as post-it notes and short walks to foster creativity.
Incorporate practices like pre-mortems and team brainstorming sessions to enhance problem-solving within a team or leadership role.
Importance of synchronous and asynchronous communication in idea generation.
Thoughtful preparation before meetings is crucial to ensure meaningful outcomes.
Research by Justin Berg emphasizes the balance between novelty and usefulness in idea generation.
Allowing time for asynchronous reflection before synchronous meetings is recommended.
Facilitating collaboration and respecting diverse perspectives leads to innovative ideas beyond initial expectations.
Importance of Time Management and Stress Management Strategies.
Utilize tools to handle stress and burdens effectively, seeking different perspectives and ideas through quick conversations and calls for help.
Focus on increasing performance and solving pressing problems by simplifying processes.
Example of testing ideas and measuring success during challenging times like COVID-19 with bio design fellows.
Importance of Prototyping in Biomedical Engineering Devices.
Prototyping involves testing in physical environments to assess product and business viability.
Promotional prototyping is used to create high credibility data and assess desirability of a product.
Avoid low credibility data by creating offers that require actual decisions from target users.
Utilize A/B testing with subject lines in emails to track open rates and explore different ways to express value for better results.
Importance of tracking click-through rates and user behavior on websites for credibility and data gathering.
Significance of using promotional prototyping techniques to create confident data for decision-making.
Gratitude towards the audience for participation and sharing of session recording.
Appreciation for valuable insights gained from Q&A session and acknowledgment of presenter for their contribution during challenging times.