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Innovation Department/team

Innovation Department/team

| On 01, Jan 2010

Message: 1444
Posted by: livestosurf
Posted on: Friday, 10th October 2008

What is the best makeup for an innovation department/team? 

I am most curious as to whether or not having people from support services such as accounting can be useful?  So many people have that right-brain mentality, but innovation so often seems to rest with the left-brain employees.

Message: 1445
Posted by: J. Kurtis
Posted on: Friday, 10th October 2008

I'm sorry I do not have the answer to your question, but it reminds me of a similar one of my own.  In an accounting department you have people who do A/P, A/R, a controller, a CFO – pretty clear levels of experience and education.  Is there anything similar for innovation?  Can I be a beginner?  Pass an intermediate test?  Become an advanced scholar?

Message: 1446
Posted by: Jack Hipple
Posted on: Tuesday, 14th October 2008

Depends upon what the goal is! If it's a short term crisis where immediate innovation is needed and the box for action is limited, then “left brainers” have to be part of the team. If it's a longer term horizon where more “out of the box” possibilities are allowed, then more “right brainers” are appropriate. It's always best to have some of both. The problem here is that most organizations have no clue as to what they are and assume that any team that is assembled will see all possibilities. There are a number of psychological assessment tools that can be used to determine both social and problem solving styles of teams and individuals. Unfortunately, most of these are used only for individual coaching and counseling for career growth and not used for team dynamics.

Message: 1447
Posted by: Claude Meylan
Posted on: Wednesday, 15th October 2008

A very good question indeed! I don't pretend to have THE answer, but there is surely a need for clarification. First, I dare say people don'work with only half of a brain! Other explained it with choosen words and arguments: there is no proven link between cognitive style and insight problem solving (see Diane Marie Steele Further, recent studies about brain functioning with help of tomography don't support the difference between left and right as an evidence. So, as a practical result, you may expect value ideas from eveybody, the assumed dull one included! (…) It doesn't make the team, for sure, but leadership and motivation are probably key aspects more than team configuration…

Message: 1454
Posted by: albert
Posted on: Tuesday, 21st October 2008

Very interesting discussion on this forum! At least that is what I think of it. I surely do not have the answer(s) cause of inherent complexity of the subject, but that is not preventing me to post a potential clue(s) in the thread.


For the past decade I have worked as Design Engineer in a rather large company, but in a rather small department of 50 people. During this time I was working in different roles (content expert, project manager, tool expert É) within project teams and wondered about effectiveness of one team and failure of another team.


Most frustrating for me were teams that were working on rather big projects in which everybody agrees with everybody else. There is definitely something fundamentally wrong in this kind of situations Ð why does the team exist at all? There is no information flow (communication) going on. You can feel discontent at a deeper level. A prominent cause for this effect may be an experienced, authorative leader blocking communication at the root. Or people unaware what is expected from them in the team Ð only the project manager seems to know in his hidden agenda.


Another situation is when there are strong opponents within a team discussing differences in perspectives taken to the personal level. There is definitely energy potential in the team, but chaos is harming the end result Ð poisoning the team, kill it.


Tension, bipolarity in a team is very usefull, but should be harmonized by design & leadership (sense, control & act) to get contextual results as needed/envisioned; erecting systemic changes in short period of time by directing resources (material, energy, money, people, information É) at the right time in the right place. 


People do have unique qualities in know how to direct resources by experience and communication means. These values are important building blocks in project design Ð a structure that transforms reality. A lot of failure occurences can be prevented before even starting the project by design. An important aspect in the design, and that is oftenly forgotton, is time for acknowledging peoples values.


However when using a dynamic design (little changes can have a major impact), and projects for sure fit in this category. Strong leadership is needed to sense flow blockages in project’s throughput. Decisions should be made on what to do about these events to counteract/solve issues. Even when this is taken care for, project managers are just people, failures can escape their span of attention, needed to be fixed afterwards.


A pittfall for leadership seems often to be micromanagement, a natural tendency of leaders to mingle, with good intentions, into affairs distroying unique values of teammembers and so obtaining a less effective project team; counterproductive at the end.


Hope above is a clear explanation (was a little bit longer then I intended it to be) on my perspective on designing bipolarities in peoples capabilities forming a team and the role of leadership in teaming.  Looking forward to additional arguments and arguments opposing, because that is ÉÉ.

Message: 1470
Posted by: Nikolai Khomenko
Posted on: Wednesday, 5th November 2008

Original education techniques that was used by Genrich Altshuller was oriented to develop both left and right hemispheres way of thinking. For instance he uses paintings of Nikolai Churleonis, who was famous Lithuanian composer and Artist. Those painting were used to teach to Classical TRIZ System Operator. During last Altshuller’s public trainings he started to teach Classical TRIZ and its instruments by developing Story lines of Fairy Tales. It was just two trainings done in 1986 completely based on these educational techniques.

Modern TRIZ courses do not have those educational techniques now. One of the reasons is that educational techniques that was developed by Altshuller is too much unusual for adults who suppose they know how to teach people to solve non typical (creative) problems with less trials and errors. As a result now appear image that TRIZ is just for left- hemisphere development way of thinking.

In OTSM-TRIZ based pedagogy we do use both kind of training. Kids do not argue agents right-hemisphere techniques of education to Classical TRIZ and OTSM. The most advanced system of those creative training based on OTSM-TRIZ proposed by Tatiana Sidorchuk and was a subject of her Ph.D. This is for Preschoolers. For school most advanced names on this subject are: Alla Nesterenko and Galina Terekhova. This was a subject of their Ph.D. projects.