Henry Ford said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

This quote has always reminded me that true innovation is more difficult to obtain than most realize. If we simply ask our customers what they want, the ideas are usually derivatives of what they buy now. The momentum of the grind of day to day life does not usually allow the customer to give great insight into what you need to innovate. You need to drive innovation from inside your team. To assist your innovation building, you need an Innovation Process. In my last Blog, I suggested the book The Map of Innovation by Kevin O’Conner . In this book he notes that you need to do only a few things well to be an effective Innovation team.

These things are:

1. Create a large number of viable ideas (by team brainstorming);
2. Pick the right idea ( from your best ideas);
3. Create a highly focused strategy to bring the ideas to market (with the IMAP);
4. Get the money to fund the project (by writing a great business plan), and;
5. Hire the right people to implement the idea (great people can do great things).

This simple but effective method will help your completions and clarity. O’Connor’s experience is especially helpful since he has started and run three large companies based on this method. In his opinion, “ideas are cheap” and the hard parts are development. This is what motivated him to write this helpful guide.

In our industry, we are in need of more ideas and more development. A great start was revealed recently by iLumtech Inc. They have demonstrated a unique fenestration idea (shown on the LinkedIn group Fenestration Innovation, “Innovative illumination for door handles.”)

“ILumTech is moving the door handle out of commonplace obscurity into the limelight by giving it a chance to make the next step in its evolution. We can do this based on our extensive lighting know-how, a brand new functional concept: the illuminated handle. With a very clever construction, we have managed to create a compact and discreet design where the handle houses a light source, batteries and ambient light sensor, all behind an easy-to-remove end cap”

Please offer some of your ideas by commenting below, and see 60 more ideas at Fenestration Innovation on Linkedin.


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