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The Innovator's Toolkit: 50+ Techniques for Predictable and Sustainable Organic Growth, 2nd Edition by Neil DeCarlo, Philip Samuel, David Silverstein

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Technique 17

Creative Challenge

Sacrifice the sacred cows.

 

The goal of creative challenge is to question the current solution for a particular job to be done (JTBD). If you think about it, the world is full of solutions that challenge the status quo. Electronic airline tickets are quickly replacing traditional paper tickets. E-mail and Internet marketing are threatening to usurp direct mail. Downloadable MP3s are making CDs unnecessary, just as CDs made cassettes and albums obsolete.

Creative challenge helps you investigate the necessity, validity, and uniqueness of the current solution or approach. As such, this technique can be extremely helpful during the idea-generation phase of your innovation project—and can give you the impetus you need to discard your current solutions in favor of ones that are more ideal.

Background

Creative challenge is not a rapid-fire brainstorming technique. Rather, it leverages a different approach called E/R/A:

  • E: Can we eliminate some element of the current approach?
  • R: What are the reasons for the current approach?
  • A: Are there alternatives to the current approach?

Using E/R/A, you challenge the reigning beliefs, assumptions, and limitations relative to the status quo to create a list of innovative ideas that will increase your innovation's Value Quotient (see Technique 4).

You can follow up creative challenge with Functional Analysis (Technique 15) to improve insufficient functions or eliminate undesirable ones.

Steps

Scenario: Credit cards ...

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