29 Ago

Innovation by helping others to innovate

Innovation by helping others to innovate

Nobody can argue that an innovative idea can be successful if this idea is used by others, this is the customer traction called by Bill Buxton on his “Long Nose of Innovation”.  Recently it got my attention a tweet  from Amy Wilkinson, Harvard Senior Fellow and author on entrepreneurial leadership, that quoted Brian Tracy “Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others” Well this quote fits the innovator dilemma on being successful, holding this idea on mind let me elaborate:

When an idea comes and becomes a tangible object, technology or service it has to be useful to somebody else to complete the cycle of an innovative idea, innovation stands for something new that has a value to others, well we need to help others to use our ideas then the Long Nose of Innovation (Bill Buxton) is completed and then is when an idea becomes an innovation.

In the automotive electronics industry we need to look for assembly solutions for our microelectronics products, we start with assembly concepts that become assembly stations, those concepts becomes an build of process for our specific application, then we try to make sure our build of process becomes an standard across our product lines, this concept make us competitive, because we are disseminating concepts full fill our five start challenge:

1)      Stable. Application is a proved solution and is a repeatable process.

2)      Flexible. Application can be easily modified to embrace similar products.

3)      Error Proof. Station ensure the process is completed before leaves the station using simple error proof strategies.

4)      Cycle time effective. Application has short cycle time, or its low cost allows meet cycle time with multiple cells. 

5)      Low cost. Application is a low cost if comperes with full automatic applications.

 At the end the innovator has to look for ways to advertise his idea and make sure is adopted as a stable and flexible solution at a very competitive cost, so that we innovate helping others to innovate then our ideas become a commercial or business success.

Do you have an experience like this? Please let us know your success histories, they are always welcome.

 

References

  1. Buxton, Bill. “The Long Nose of Innovation”  http://www.businessweek.com/stories/2008-01-02/the-long-nose-of-innovationbusinessweek-business-news-stock-market-and-financial-advice  January 2008 USA, recovered August 2012.
  2. Marin, Mario. “Five Star Challenge” November 2008. Delphi Automotive Systems. USA.
23 Ago

Close the loop

Close the loop

At some point of time we are asked to complete a task, either home (Honey’s do list) or at our job. In our job we are asked to complete something related to our areas of competency, they can be problems to solve related quality, equipment performance, equipment malfunctions, cost reduction, cycle time reductions, safety or elimination of waste. These areas of opportunity are generally pinpointed by someone and delegated to somebody, and they are expected to be completed or followed up, worse case delegated to somebody else, whatever is the case they must be completed, not forgot neither ignored. This process by control systems analogy is called “Close the Loop”

Our ability to close the loop can make a difference between a trusted employee and employee who is not trusted, because sometime those tasks can be critical for those who identify them, due to normally those who work every day in the same area can develop “workplace blindness” and only be perceived by out siders, being safety issues the most critical.

Employees that are good at close the loop have the following characteristics:

  1. They are highly accountable; nobody doubts they will full fit their commitments.
  2. They are selected to complete critical task; nobody doubts they will be successful on complete them.
  3. They are very often recognized by their achievements.
  4. They always close their circles effectively, meaning they are not open again by asking feedback on their actions to close them.

Employees who are not good at closing the circle have the following characteristics:

  1. They are not accountable, meaning that we doubt on select them to complete a task, because we are afraid task won’t be completed.
  2. They are not trusted.
  3. Generally they are not object of recognition.
  4. They never make sure their actions were effective, normally they never come back because they are afraid become accountable by their actions.

The bottom line here is that we need to ensure we full fit our commitments, close the loop, because failing on doing so can drive on consequences on the perception of others to our performance. Failing on close the loop at home by no paying services, credits or taxes on time can drive on penalties losing money and trust. Failing on close the loop on our jobs may drive us to head the employee black list or those who are on development programs, ending on being let go to persuit other oportunities some place else.

How good are you to close the loop? Do you identify at your job people is good at close the loop and those who don’t? Let us know your opinion, it is important to us.

References:

  1. Marin, Mario “Cierra el Circulo” https://innovando.net/cierra-el-circulo/?preview=true&preview_id=266&preview_nonce=1588707199 February 2012 Mexico. Recovered August 2012.
  2. Bolander, Jarie “6 Steps to Closing The Loop” https://innovando.net/wp-admin/post.php?post=266&action=edit#wpseo_linkdex February 2010 USA. Recovered August 2012.
21 Ago

Innovation, is part of a Schedule?

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!

 

References

  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.
02 Ago

Innovators Manifest

Innovators Manifest       

Our minds are destiny to novelty otherwise is conformism, there is nothing wrong with it, but we can push ourselves to achieve greater tasks that demand compromise with a cause of our own. Those who embrace the challenge become creative minds, innovative subjects, innovators, willing to excel on their task with the reward of a problem solved.

Innovators never give up and bravely accept the challenge, knowing that will succeed on their enterprise or at least show the way for others to succeed. Problems are an endless front, that is why we must be prepared at any time to embrace the challenge.

Innovators and creative minds are elected for the most important task, where conformist are set aside to let the other build the way.

Conformist has the choice to awake and understand they can also be part of the challenge; there is not small or bigger challenge, as a child all of us started crawling and end up running at some point of our lives, so there is not a rush.

Creativity and Innovation is a novel task that results on a better live for all of us, because we are destine to change, because nothing last forever and we must be ready to find other ways to prevail.

Everything has a time to pass including or home planet which sooner or later it will fade away by the flames of our dying start but before that happens we must find the way to a new home, for now we have other mundane task to achieve to make our home a better place for our childs.

I encourage you to unveil your eyes and find out a challenge or your own, reward may come or not, but the fact is that every step forward is better that step backward to find your place on your job, enterprise or home, do not be afraid of failure because such failure does not exist, there is just better ways to achieve.

Once you find out that there is nothing can stop you then you are welcome to the team of creative and innovator folks, usually called trouble makers, who we want to change the world by solving one problem at time, welcome to the team.

 Dedicated to Garret John Loporto

 http://www.wayseermanifesto.com/

 

21 Feb

Think Out of The Box

Think Out of The Box

Think Out of the Box

Think Out of the Box as strategy to overcome paradigms

We need to think out of the box! use to say my best mentor ever, when we were facing complex problems on the manufacturing of automotive micro electronics and we needed non-Orthodox solutions, but what exactly means Think out of the Box? Few years ago I found my answer on an unexpected item, in a drawing my daughter draw in her painting classes when she was a child.  On her crayon drawing she drew a fish tank or a fishbowl, but what about that? What is so special about it and what it has to do with thinking out of the box? If we take a closer look we will see that this fish tank has two storeys and she provided to the fishes a door between storeys! I never considered a fish tank with storeys neither fishes may need doors to cross between them, so she thought totally out of the box!

It is evident that a child has very few paradigms, to become aware that fishes do not need doors and that there are not storeys on the ocean, rivers or lagoons, but she did not care and she let her creativity loose while painting this interesting fish tank, that by the way is one of my treasures that I keep from my daughter childhood and I have the proud to share it to you on this blog entry.

Think out of the box is left behind our paradigms, Edward DeBono (1970) propose provocations to put aside our paradigms, associating or connecting random words with ideas may help us to find creative solutions to problems we are facing, and these ideas may lead to unexpected results. These provocations are very well described on DeBono’s Lateral Thinking Book, he indicates that people use to think vertical, meaning building up ideas within their paradigms, then provocations lead us to think lateral, thinking lateral allow us to have fish tanks with storeys and doors to help fishes to transit between them just like my daughter did. 

DeBono said that thinking out of the box lead us to generate unusual ideas that changes concepts, perceptions and rules resulting in fresh creativity. At the end the concept of thinking out of box must be part of or language on the creative and innovation enterprise path in order to take apart our paradigms in the generation of new ideas that could lead to creative and innovative solutions to our problems, so then I invite you to Think out of the Box!  

Have you thought out of the box recently? Do you feel free to think out of the box at work? Please share your experiences, your feedback in important.

References:

  1. De Bono Edward “Lateral Thinking” Harper Perenial First Edition, 1970 USA
  2. De Bono Edward “On Creativity Thinking” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjSjZOjNIJg December 2006.
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