Interactive Workshop

systematic innovation    Discovering Product + Service Value with Systematic Innovation


Doug Engelbart didn’t invent interactive computing — he discovered it.

He discovered it… systematically.

Identifying patterns of design and innovation that are common to various contexts and applying them within a product category, or even across product categories, is a cognitive strategy that enjoys an advantage over processing each creative opportunity in isolation from previous ideation.

This workshop challenges conventional thinking about innovation / creativity.

The Problem / The Opportunity

Innovation is the primary source of revenue growth in dynamic markets. Some participants grow synthetically by acquisition; organic innovation is the primary basis for competitive advantage in technology-based markets. Markets are moving ever more quickly and innovation is becoming ever more resource-intensive. There will be winners and losers — not all participants will move at the same pace. Organic innovators need to innovate efficiently by making innovation more repeatable across time and more scalable across the organization.

The Solution — Systematic Innovation

Systematic innovation presumes the repeatability and scalability of innovation — instead of presuming innovation as a black box with limited accessibility to obscure practitioners who practice magical arts.

How This Workshop Works

This one-day workshop is structured in two parts. In the first part, we’ll review the history and theoretical foundations of systematic innovation. This foundation will provide the basis for the practical exercises that follow.

  • We’ll introduce the concept of systematic innovation and identify the various genres of systematic techniques
  • We’ll explore the emergence of systematic approaches; we’ll investigate the potential advantages and disadvantages of various approaches; we’ll compare systematic approaches to un-systematic approaches in terms of quality and quantity; and we’ll compare the theory to our practical experience
  • We’ll consider systematic and un-systematic approaches in the context of individual and communal innovation; we’ll also consider the relevance of systematic and unsystematic approaches for radical and incremental innovation
  • We’ll distinguish discovery from invention and we’ll apply principles of systems engineering to the innovation process; we’ll explore innovation as a system in the context of its sub-systems and its super-system

We’ll also review two case studies in systematic innovation:

  • a patent-pending invention in the user experience domain
  • a patented invention in the user experience domain that has generated significant royalties

In the second part of the workshop, we’ll conduct a practical exercise in which we’ll apply the concepts and principles to actual problems / opportunities in the participants’ domains. Participants are invited / encouraged to bring a sample of their current workload to share with the group. We’ll review the array of possibilities and choose at least two examples to process as a group; we may divide into sub-groups and process more examples concurrently. We’ll also discuss organizational / cultural strategies for diffusing this approach to innovation.

Proposed Audience / Expected Outcomes

This workshop is relevant for product managers, product designers, and product developers who are “directly” responsible for product / service innovation. It is also relevant for team members who are “indirectly” involved in promoting innovation and team members who aspire to become more directly involved in the practice of innovation.

It equips these participants in the following ways:

  • Gain practical access to the broad field of systematic innovation with the ability to investigate / activate it more deeply
  • Bridge gaps / eliminate barriers to previously undiscovered territory
  • Differentiate opportunities and separate signal from noise in the opportunity landscape
  • Focus resources / cognitive energy on fewer, more sustainable ideas
  • Gain access to a more robust and repeatable approach to product / service innovation and an innovation practice that scales more effectively across the organization

Please contact us to learn more about our approach to experiential learning in this domain or schedule an interactive workshop for your team.