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Innovative Ideas

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  • #53887

    Arcchana
    Guest

    I am fishing for innovative ideas in a “Transformation team” which will help drive various initiatives when not on any assigned project within/outside the team. Please share your ideas and thoughts. Will be very useful. Thanks

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    #191836

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    I have no idea what you are asking.

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    #191837

    Arcchana
    Guest

    Thanks Mike for reading my post and coming back with your comment.

    Its like this. I am a Consultant in a Team of Business Transformation whose core function is to work on process improvement projects at a client location.

    However currently I do not have a project on hand and have spare time. So I was looking for ideas/initiatives that I could kick start and drive which will be beneficial to the team/organisation. Some of the key initiatives which are already ongoing are New Product development/White papers /Training on LSS.

    It could be very helpful if I could insight / few ideas.Thanks

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    #191842

    Ken Feldman
    Participant

    So let me understand this….you are a consultant getting paid by Clients to help them do business transformation so you come onto an anonymous website and ask strangers…and they don’t get no stranger than Carnell….to give you ideas. Since you are getting paid to do this, how do you intend to properly compensate Carnell or any other responding poster for helping you do the job you are getting paid to do?

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    #191847

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    If I get somewhere and they have no clue what is wrong I usually start with the income statement. Look for projects that affect cash flow. I haven’t found many managers that have a problem with you improving their cash position.

    If you are in a manufacturing facility just did through the trash and see what they are throwing away.

    If you need some help off line you can email me at [email protected].

    Just my opinion.

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    #191848

    Arcchana
    Guest

    Darth..Lets get this straight! I am not on an anonymous website but am on a site of great repute. From my understanding the discussion forum is an open form to seek and share ideas and enhance knowledge and skills for every individual.

    My only intention here was to see how I could better perform my job, by the way I am an employee of an organisation and not an independent consultant!!

    I will be glad if you could clarify what is it that I have done incorrect which has caused offence?

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    #191849

    Ken Feldman
    Participant

    I’m not offended just put off a little. You are correct in that we seek to share and enhance knowledge on this site. But you start off by stating, “I am a Consultant in a Team of Business Transformation whose core function is to work on process improvement projects at a client location.” Then you proceed to ask for ideas for projects without any context or perspective. That is not sharing ideas, it is asking for others to do your job. Then you say, “So I was looking for ideas/initiatives that I could kick start and drive which will be beneficial to the team/organisation.” Where have you given some thought? The question is so generic and general it is as if you haven’t bothered to try and think of things yourself. What kind of business is it? What are the client issues? If you had taken some time to formulate and develop your own ideas and then presented them for comment you would have received a more positive response. Carnell gave you a pretty good hint what you could expect by his comment as to what is the question you are asking. Finally, you will note as time goes by that most posters…Carnell is an exception…post under assumed names with no pictures. I don’t see a pic for you and not sure what an “Arcchana” is. So I stand by my statement that you are seeking advice on an anonymous site. It will take time for you to distinguish the posters of value and the hacks and BS artists. FM is trying to help distinguish by the “Reputation” and posting history for each poster’s profile.

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    #191850

    Arcchana
    Guest

    Thanks. Arcchana is my name and picture will be uploaded as soon as I have 1 ready with me. I have been a regular visitor to this site for long now but was trying to get actively involved in recent times.

    I was seeking ideas for initiatives other than projects and not ideas for a project itself!! And seeking help has been post application of thoughts but not able to come up with a concrete idea. Nevertheless its okay if you do not wish to share any ideas for an initiative which I thought I could kick start in my organisation.

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    #191857

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Arcchana – you will find that Darth can be a little prickly but that is because he is old. Once he settles down he can actually be pretty helpful! Just ask him about having Dr. Deming on his board. He likes to talk about that and then he calms down. It makes him feel better.

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    #191858

    Ken Feldman
    Participant

    Not having my prunes makes be a bit touchy. Many of the posters probably don’t even know who Deming was. Them young-uns don’t have a sense of history as us old-uns do. What’s up with the new avatar pic? Looks like J9 is tickling your private parts. Let’s see if FM will censor that comment.

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    #191868

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    I like that picture. (Avatar? I have never been in a movie)It is from that Project Bowl in Miami. The original has Bill Hathaway in it but if this gets back to what it used to be i wasn’t sure Bill wanted to be tied into some of the stuff that goes on here although I have won “Most Helpful Poster” unlike some other people I might mention.

    Just my opinion but it is going to take more than prunes to straighten out your attitude.

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    #191872

    Ken Feldman
    Participant

    Yeah yeah, but someone else was also nominated but your winning smile as evidenced from the pic got you the win. Avatar is what FM is calling the pics…not my term.

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    #191876

    MBBinWI
    Participant

    I swear Arcchana isn’t me. But if I knew it would have caused this muvh fun, I would have posted such years ago. Stans thumbs must be broken not to be in on this.

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    #191881

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    It was a clean win. Got the coffee mug and mouse pad to prove it.

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    #191887

    Ken Feldman
    Participant

    Are you sure it isn’t the mug and mouse pad that you picked up for Stan and Butler?

    MBB: never thought you were Arcchana but we did get a little rise out of RM with my comment about you and the book guy. That was fun. Maybe that’s why he is laughing in the avatar picture.

    From our favorite source of all knowledge:

    In computing, an avatar is the graphical representation of the user or the user’s alter ego or character. It may take either a three-dimensional form, as in games or virtual worlds, or a two-dimensional form as an icon in Internet forums and other online communities. It is an object representing the user. The term “avatar” can also refer to the personality connected with the screen name, or handle, of an Internet user.

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    #191888

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Are you still doing Wikipedia

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    #191896

    Ken Feldman
    Participant

    Source of all knowledge. Did my entire Dissertation research on there….oh wait, there were no computers when I did it. Had to use that Big Blue building with all the musty dusty books in them. Glad they tore that one down.

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    #191944

    John Nycz
    Participant

    Sorry to stray off topic (Ha) – Innovative ideas for transformation team: Using BI to target spot BPM opportunities(yes I throw that out to stir ?’s about what to heck is “Spot BPM”), and then finding innovative ways to get the IT piece done when your in-house teams are too busy or lack the expertise. There’s significant opportunity for LSS experts to add value where IT has stumbled with both BI and BPM! (Darth…I know who Demming was, and agree that Carnell is stranger…but Mike is indeed viciously effective at finding good work to do and dumpster diving!). Bottom line: Using technology correctly can be a transformation catalyst, but applying it incorrectly can also be just another IT problem!

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    #191951

    Ken Feldman
    Participant

    John, I hate to dispute you but if you knew who Deming was you would have spelled his name correctly!!

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    #191962

    John Nycz
    Participant

    Yeah Darth, I do that when I type fast, and admittedly, I left the “s” of Edwards in a paper once too!

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    #191963

    Ken Feldman
    Participant

    Yeah, we had posters on the old Forum who used to claim Dr. Edward Demming as a personal friend and associate. Kinda shot the credibility on that one. I will accept your typing excuse and if you claim Carnell is your friend and associate I should forgive anything given his grammar and spelling. :-)

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    #191967

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Hey we sell the idea of mistakeproofing and never convinced Mike to go the extra $1.98 for spell check.

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    #191968

    Michael Cyger
    Participant

    @Mike-Carnell, every modern browser comes with built-in spell check nowadays. If you mistype something in an input box on a web page, it will underline it for likethisyousdlfkj. (I’ll attach a screen capture for you.) You can then mouse-over the word, right click and the browser will suggest proper spellings of the word for you. Perhaps there’s someone younger in your household that can explain this to you? :) Ha!

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    #191969

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Cute. Yes there is someone younger but her IT guys asked to speak to someone younger too!

    I got this computer band new in 2001. I don’t think my browser does that. It keeps telling me there are downloads waiting. What do you think? download them?

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    #191971

    MBBinWI
    Participant

    Naw, why bother. Probably just a virus anyway. All technology peaked in 2001 (HAL told me so!).

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    #191975

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Do you think this stuff has changed much since 2001?

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    #191980

    Ken Feldman
    Participant

    Mike, is that 9″ amber monitor still working for you? I heard that they even have modems more advanced than the phone cup type. It’s scary. Every trip to Best Buy tempts you to buy something more advanced and complicated. Even though it has apparently been around a while, I was reading an article today on the “electronic wallet”. No credit cards, no money, just a phone. Wonder were ya put the condom if there is no wallet :-).

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    #191982

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    I actually still have a Commodore 64 with all the batteries with the shrink tubling holding them together.

    I did leave the Compaq with the orange screen at Motorola. Here is athought that let’s you understand how fast this stuff is rolling through is when I arrived at Motorola Seguin Texas in 1990 there were no computers with hard drives.

    During the Allied Signal deploymentwe were trying to download final reports over phone lines at 9600. That was pretty futile.

    I just got a credit card that finally doesn’t have the numbers and name embossed on the card. How many people still use those old machines (except cab drivers)? so why are CC companys still putting that much money into having cards made?

    We had the first real gas shortage in 1973 and we are just now making progress in alternative energy sources. Does that mean our priorities are on sending email more so than the environment? We have even invented texting in that time and still focus more on oil exploration than alternate sources of fuel.

    Just my opinion.

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    #192005

    Chadha
    Participant

    Arcchana,

    I suggest that you stop fishing, go to your Gemba and request innovative ideas from your organizational team members. Try to solve their real probems rather than trying to sell innovative ideas fished from some where else.

    BTW I loved the discussion that your innocent question generated.

    Best!

    Guru
    (Gurbachan Chadha)

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    #192006

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Why are you refering to it as Gemba? I have seen nothing from Arcchana that would indicate he is fluent in anything but English.

    See the post from a few minutes ago “Savings, savings, savings”

    Just my opinion

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    #192015

    Steve Clapp
    Participant

    Some of the best sources of innovative ideas are from 1) watching your customers use your product (see “ethnography”) and how they devise workarounds to circumvent shortcomings; and 2) mining customer complaints for what upsets them the most. At the least, open up more lines of communication between your organization and its customers (surveys, forums, blogs, facebook, click-to-chat, etc.) and you will get a ton of ideas…some leading to innovation, some just-do-its to fix obvious pain points.

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    #192016

    Steve Clapp
    Participant

    One more thought: as a customer, are you looking for your service provider to create the next big thing, or simply to do the little things right the first time? If you want to improve customer loyalty, improve your execution of the basic stuff.

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    #192018

    Craig Tickel
    Participant

    I think improving execution is a great innovative approach, but in our organization, most execution ideas are a “Who”, not a “what”.

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    #192026

    Stan Mikel
    Member

    You want innovation? Hire innovative people and get out of their way.

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    #192132

    Stan Mikel
    Member

    @iSixSigma Hey, why are you doing my job?

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    #192374

    Thomas A Ackerman
    Member

    Thought I would bring this one back to current status.

    I had a chance to meet with a few small manufacturers over the last few weeks and what I often heard was “…we try to innovate, but it is too hard or too expensive or too time consuming…” With the recent political discussions regarding manufacturing in the US (Is it dead? Can we bring it back? How do we helop it grow? and others), what ideas to people have to build innovation pipelines – what is the next big thing for company (stick any name here).

    As Six Sigma practitioners, we have the opportunity to help shape the future of any company…what are your thoughts.

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    #192375

    Gary Cone
    Participant

    @tomack Tom, I agree that we, as data driven businesspeople, have a chance to shape the future of any company. Note that I did not say Six Sigma practitioner because there are too many in the profession who are here for money not because it’s their passion. These folks shape nothing.

    I agree innovation is important but most companies need to start by fixing their broken systems. Lean and / or Six Sigma the way it is practiced does not necessarily fix systems. We in this community (some call it an industry but I disagree with that) need to start understanding robust systems instead of 3 -6 month BB projects or one week stand alone Kaizen events.

    After we fix our systems, we can talk about why companies aren’t smart enough to manage risk at the front end of the innovation pipeline or follow a disciplined review process (call it stage gate if you like). Most of the problem with innovation is we haven’t hired innovative people to do it and we don’t have the guts to say we can only afford x number of projects done well at any given time, so we need real decision making at the start and through out the process.

    Just my opinion.

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    #192377

    Thomas A Ackerman
    Member

    Gary,

    Great feedback..thank you. I agree with you on data driven businesspeople (“show me the data”). I also agree with fixing what’s broken…(process or otherwise). That said, I believe Robust sytems must be started now versus later (as in after the fixing) and takes a stong leadership to implement and sustain. Money is always tight, but picking the right ideas up front and knowing which ones make sense to take forward, again, show me the data, will help companies sustain their future.

    Your (or anyone elses) thoughts on how we make this happen.

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    #192378

    MBBinWI
    Participant

    @tomack – Any business today that complains that they don’t know how to innovate is just not trying. There have been many well researched and documented innovation progressions (look into something called TRIZ).
    Now, taking the path and converting it into what your specific product/service requires takes some smarts, but the paths are fairly well known.
    BTW – one of the most fundamental is: Performance -> Convenience -> Reliability -> Price, so if you’re at the stage where you think your only way to innovate is to reduce your price, then you’re a commodity and only one can be the lowest cost. And if you think that you’re there, then you should read up on Frank Perdue.

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    #192381

    Gary Cone
    Participant

    @tomack I guess I’d like to know what you think you are doing. If you are trying to guide us to your company’s solution, it’ll blow up in your face. You’re a guy who was working on a MBB six months ago and now you work for a company who tries to can innovation. I hardly think that makes you an expert. Go read books written about innovation in the past few years – most are a joke – especially those written by guys who run Six Sigma consultancies. Only one guy ever got away with that trick when he claimed to be the first to combine Lean and Six Sigma.

    A company without discipline cannot install a robust system now in anything. Six Sigma or Lean or DfSS or Innovation isn’t something you just go to, you have to learn your way there. The best consultants can help you find the path and guide you for the first part of the journey. They can even describe the solution to you but until you can see it yourself, it’s just parlor tricks

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    #192382

    Thomas A Ackerman
    Member

    Gary, Not pushing any agenda here…just trying to find out what works for others and what hasn’t worked. I have always believed in process (even before Six Sigma training/certification) and look for the best ideas to either implement or build on. The IsixSigma community, in my opionion, has always been out in front in providing ideas and suggestions. AS you have said, there are lotgs of books available for innovation, process development, Six Sigma, business growth, etc, etc,. Discussions like these should help us all learn form each other.

    Sorry if I offended you….

    MBBinWI, I agree TRIZ is a great tool and can help give suggestions especially when stuck and not sure which path (if any) to take. I don’t think it was pushed its use as hard as I should have in my training or project work.

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    #192482

    MBBinWI
    Participant

    @tomack – Triz is only one of a few dozen methods of innovating. Innovation is often just looking at a problem from a different angle which often provides insights to alternate solutions. The key is finding the different angles. There are several patterns of evolution which point to where the next solution is likely to be found. There are also frames of reference that can be used to evaluate problems which help to break paradigms.

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    #192486

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    @MBBinWI and @tomack Since Darth is off making roads or whtever he does when he disappears, from Wickipedia:

    Edison is the fourth most prolific inventor in history, holding 1,093 US patents in his name, as well as many patents in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. He is credited with numerous inventions that contributed to mass communication and, in particular, telecommunications. These included a stock ticker, a mechanical vote recorder, a battery for an electric car, electrical power, recorded music and motion pictures.

    I don’t think Edison was a TRIZ user. I might be dead wrong on this but I doubt it. Do you really believe you can take a bunch of people who have no clue and turn them into a creative force by teaching them tools? How many times have you seen people who have no aptitude show up in a SS class and walk out world class problem solvers?

    I think it goes back to Gary’s comment “hire innovative people.” It doesn’t work that or at least not very often.

    Just my opinion

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    #192488

    Eric Maass
    Participant

    Mike,

    You are correct…

    Thomas Edison could not have been a TRIZ user. Edison passed away in 1931. TRIZ was invented in Russia, starting around 1946… shortly thereafter, Josef Stalin sent the inventor of TRIZ (Dr. Altschuller) to Siberia….

    Dr. Altschuller’s research of patents, that led to the TRIZ approach, would very likely have included many of Edison’s patents.

    Best regards,
    Eric

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    #192489

    Gary Cone
    Participant

    @tomack No way you offended me. You’ll be crystal clear when that happens.

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    #192490

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    @poetengineer The remark about Edison not using TRIZ was a sarcastic one. Thanks for the information though.

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    #192491

    Eric Maass
    Participant

    Mike,

    Oops!! I missed the sarcasm…I guess you just come across as such a nice guy, it didn’t occur to me that you were using sarcasm. My bad! :)

    Best regards,
    Eric

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    #192492

    Mike Carnell
    Participant

    Clarification on the post on innovation tools. The last sentence should be that you are not going to transform people who are not innovative or at least not often.

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    #192495

    MBBinWI
    Participant

    @poetengineer – The sarcasm comes through much more clearly if you read Mike’s posts with a southern drawl.

    @Mike-Carnell – Totally agree. However, even good capability benefits from process. BTW – Edison was no genius, I could have come up with all of those if I had been born 150 years ago. Timing is everything!
    Just to prove my genius, here’s a recent conversation I had about my dog breeding efforts.

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    #192500

    Joan Ambrose
    Participant

    @Arcchana
    I would only add some very basic pragmatic suggestions that can give you the seeds of ideas to draw on:
    – Tour operations outside your own company, even outside your industry, with someone who can really show you the details of how it works.
    – Talk to people about the specifics of their company operations, transformations, innovations.
    – Bring those people into your operation, show them what you do, and see what they have to say or what questions they ask.
    – Read. Watch “How It’s Made”
    You get the idea.

    And, I can’t help myself:
    Deming, Shewhart, Ishikawa, Juran, Moss Kanter, Senge, Womack, . . .

    Pong.

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