Thursday, August 23, 2012

Innovation Fridays at Garage Games

Digital Journal sends us to video game company Garage Games, which has implemented Innovation Fridays to give employees time and space to work on creative projects of their own devising. We wholeheartedly applaud this decision; it's our experience that giving time and space for individual thinking is an essential element of the innovation process. Kudos to Garage Games.

Friday, August 17, 2012

More on Six Thinking Hats: The (Non)-Musical

Quick follow-up to my previous posts (here and here) on Asher Treleaven's Six Thinking Hats stand-up comedy routine.

First, the Guardian reviews Edinburgh fringe. Of Treleaven's show, they say, "Not many comics could get away with introducing their show as 'like a comedy TED talk', but Treleaven always walks a fine line between the intellectual and the physical – he sums up his show as 'Daddy issues, juggling and ball cancer'. It's a slick blend of physical comedy, beat poetry, circus skills and some nicely crafted lines – he describes a fellow performer as 'the sort of woman who would try to give you echinacea for Aids' – but you can't help feeling at the end that you wanted to know more, or at least to see beneath the carefully polished surface."

Second, the Independent gives Treleaven a column in which he muses about art vs. sport, or the decision to attend Edingburgh fringe vs. the Olympic Games. He also summarizes the different hats, although I fear he rather makes a hash of yellow and black. It's completely wrong to call the yellow hat "speculative creativity," whatever that means. Regular readers of this blog know that the yellow hat represents benefits and positive outcomes, not creativity (whether speculative or otherwise).

As for the black hat, Treleaven calls it "the Black Hat of critical thinking and decision-making," which is both imprecise and flat-out wrong. The statement is imprecise in that the black hat is "critical thinking" in the sense of "criticizing" or "identifying problems," not in the larger sense of "logic and analysis" (which in fact is a property of all six hats). Furthermore, the statement is wrong in that the decision-making hat is the Blue Hat, which controls the thinking process and determines next steps.

On balance, however, I'm still endlessly entertained by the idea of a Six Thinking Hats stand-up routine (or, for that matter, a Six Thinking Hats musical), and I do hope to catch a performance sometime. Has anybody seen the show? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Blind 'I' of DMAIC

Shameless plug: there's still time to register for our free, one-hour webinar, The Blind 'I' of DMAIC. This webinar explores the connection between innovation and process improvement. Our Master Trainer has decades of experience applying Edward de Bono's thinking tools, Six Thinking Hats and Lateral Thinking, to Lean Sigma programs at blue chip companies.

In his experience, most process improvement initiatives are extremely good at DMAC - in other words, at defining the situation, measuring variables, analyzing the data, and controlling the new solution. Where they fail is the "I" - the improvement. Most Lean Sigma programs spend very little time thinking about how to improve the status quo process - instead, they implement the first solution that springs to mind.

This webinar will teach process improvement professionals how to apply Six Thinking Hats and Lateral Thinking to DMAIC programs to radically improve the quality and efficacy of operational improvements.

The Blind 'I' of DMAIC is Thursday, August 16, at 11:00 Central. Register today for this free process improvement innovation webinar.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Six Thinking Hats: The Musical

No, not really. But Australian humorist Asher Treleaven is back in the news with his stand-up routine based on the Six Thinking Hats. Treleaven is performing at the Edinburgh Festival, and the Huffington Post brings us an interview. We first wrote about Treleaven's Six Hats routine back in April.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Disney's Top 10 Innovations

Staten Island Live has a feature on Disney's all-time greatest innovations. And no, I don't see the connection between Staten Island and Walt Disney, but let's just glide right past that question.

Anyway, it's an interesting article. Several of these innovations have become so commonplace that I had no idea that Disney had invented them. Nor, for that matter, did I even consider them particularly innovative. But then, what's that old chestnut? "Every great idea is obvious in hindsight."

Saturday, August 04, 2012

How Edward de Bono Saved Olympic Swimming

Again, I hyperbolize.  But Scientific American has a lengthy article about innovation in swimsuit technology. Following the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, officials banned a performance-enhancing swimsuit that was either credited or blamed (depending on one's perspective) for breaking record after record.

In response, swimsuit maker Speedo had to rethink swimming technology. Amongst the techniques they employed? Six Thinking Hats

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

How Edward de Bono Saved the Olympic Games

Okay, okay, I confess: "saved the Olympics" is a bit melodramatic. But according to the Malta Independent, "Peter Ueberroth, who was in charge of the [1984 Los Angeles Olympic] Games, developed a new way of thinking about financing them and for the first time in history, the Games were profitable. Asked how he came up with these ideas, he attributed the results to Edward de Bono’s philosophy of lateral thinking."

Is there any truth to this story? I have no idea. But if true, it would be a fantastic success story. I'm very curious, so I asked the Times to share their source material.

The larger question is whether hosting an Olympic Games is in fact a profitable endeavor. In 2009, the New York Times asked several economists to answer his question. Their panelists largely agreed that, with few exceptions, the Olympic Games is a money-losing venture for the host city. It makes you wonder why more cities don't follow Los Angeles' lead and apply some Lateral Thinking.