Innovation - Start with Stimulus

How do great new ideas get born?  NOT by sitting in a cubicle, and not even a bunch of folks sitting around a whiteboard doing "brain dumps".  Best ideas are born from Stimulus.

Stimulus means being in the real world, experiencing, digging, learning, using your curiosity.  It might be learning about new technologies, or listening to customer needs, or watching how products get used, or examining societal trends.  When we have rich stimulus, and are encouraged to think about how these might intersect with innovating in our business, often a creative spark happens, and a new idea is born.

Our Leadership Team is more focused than ever on getting stimulus and doing continuous learning, with the goal of increasing innovation activity in our organization.   This week we all spent some serious time touring a major university's athletic facilities, understanding some leading-edge material research and development, and having dialogue with a Dean of Engineering on emerging trends.

We also had done a lot of homework and research over the last several weeks, and brought it together in an organized and collaborative manner, and generated lots of fascinating new ideas on how to take our business to a new level.  New products, new services, improved processes, and even new business models.  We have a talented and committted group of professionals here, and when you combine stimulus with permission to create, great innovations can happen!  I can't wait to see where these ideas go - and what new ones come up as we go along.