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Innovation, is part of a Schedule?

There is a bunch of information about how keep innovation effort alive on the organizations, recent article from Robert Brands “Can Innovation Be a Structured Repeatable Process?” calls for a “Ideation” that urges enterprise or business leaders to schedule ideas generation sessions year after years so that it become a recurrent ideas generations.

This sounds a good idea but why to wait to create ideas? We normally look for creative and innovative ideas when we face problems in our jobs or business, and most of the time problems cannot wait for the “Ideation”

When we face problems in Automotive sector the customer demands immediate actions, it used to be within 24 Hrs. range, however after Toyota’s events with brakes that turned on customers deaths, problems with imminent impact to the customer demands immediate response, within same shift problems is acknowledge, and if you wondered, yes normally this happens Friday 4:00 PM, the engineer’s curse.

The solution of the problems for sure follows a structured process, specific issues on the industry that involves variables can be solved by six sigma methodologies that are applied by green belts or black belts, sometimes problems are so complex that requires solutions based on design of Experiments (DOE), they may be another technologies such Shainin that are more related with parts and the characterization of bad vs. good parts with the idea to identify differences may drive to the problems.

As conclusion there is nothing wrong with a scheduled “Ideation” in order to keep the flame of inspiration within the enterprise, however the need to create ideas and innovative solutions to daily problems has no schedules and engineers had better have an inspiration back up can be used Friday’s afternoon if engineer is willing to go home early for supper.

Have you experienced the engineer’s curse? Let us know your histories they are always welcome!



  1. Brands, Robert “Can Innovation Be a Structured Repeatable Process?” http://www.innovationexcellence.com/blog/2012/08/15/can-innovation-be-a-structured-repeatable-process/  August, 2012 USA. Recovered August 2012.
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