A frequent topic of this blog is innovation management. ECM and KM can and should be leveraged as ways to incite innovation in an organization, but innovation is a discipline in and of itself. Today I saw an article about a form of innovation that is literally, as we say here in Boston "Wicked Pissa."
Apparently scientists at Ohio University are developing technology that will convert human urine into hydrogen fuel that could power, for example, cars. Yeah, wicked pissa - on so many levels.
As it relates most directly to the focus of TakingAIIM - it serves as yet another example of how looking at a situation differently can provide the impetus to opportunity and innovation. You can look at waste, for example not as a problem, but an oppportunity. In an earlier post I addressed the same issue - turning so called waste into product - using a similar example, scientists harnessing the energy in feces, aka poop, as fuel.
As I asked in that earlier post, the question you need to ask yourslef is, "Is there waste in your organization? Is it time, paper, bits of plastic, scraps of wood, nuclear active material …? Of course there is waste , and often projects are focused on eliminating or minimizing waste – of all kinds. What do you do with it? Carefully dispose of it? Recycle? Turn it into product?"
But of course, the next question to ask yourself is - "How do we do that?". Innovation can be a corpoate asset, a structrued and disciplined practice. Allow your organization the freedom and structure to promote innovation. Its not serendipity. It is disciplilne, a way of thinking about and viewing different situations. Methodologies and tools such as SCAMPER, FORCE FIT, Morph Matrix and TRIZ, for example help to expose opportunities lurking within situations. Tools such as BrightIdea, Spigit, Imaginatik, and training from organizations such as IAI and Smart Storming, can facilitate and promote the very processes behind innovation.
The approach isn’t new – just ignored too often. Henry Ford turned waste from the production of automobiles into charcoal briquettes. Dunkin Donuts turns donut waste into "munchkins."
If your organization has not attempted a structured and disciplined approach to innovation management, "urine" for a surprise.