Think tank techniques

5 Big Biz Think Tank Techniques by Chris Penttila gives a quick overview of how larger companies are using innovation centers to encourage and implement new ideas.

"1. Combine ideas. Xerox Corporation looks for intersections between ideas and how they might merge. “Several ideas could get combined in a next-generation offering,” says Tom Kavassalis, vice president of strategy and alliances for the Xerox Innovation Group, which drives Xerox’s R&D-based innovation. 2. Think backwards. McDonald’s innovation team thinks in terms of “backcasting”—starting with an end product in mind and working back toward the basic idea in a way that’s practical from a cost and technology perspective. 3. Do rapidprototyping. McDonald’s puts ideas through rapid prototyping that can last as little as one day. “What we try to do is to get from the blackboard to 3-D as fast as we can,” says Koziol. 4. Create an internal incubation fund. Xerox sets aside funds that encourage employees to network and chase ideas that otherwise wouldn’t have a budget. “We’re interested in thinking of new ideas that are different from ones we’re currently funding,” Kavassalis says. 5. Take it online. Idea management software is automating the innovation proc-ess. “Everybody can contribute all the time,” says Anthony Warren, director of the Farrell Center for Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Penn State."

Why do I blog this? some elements to keep in mind and apply in our work processes. Foods for thoughts for LIFTLab.