Just finished reading Seth Godin’s blog entry on embracing process to improve performance, and boy, has he hit the nail on the head:
Process often gets a bad rap by “creative” and “service” professionals who see intuition and unstructured thinking (out of the box) as their stock and trade. But the truth is many companies best known for innovation employ a very structured process to get there. TRIZ, often described as the “Six Sigma of innovation,” has been quietly used by companies like Avon, DuPont, Pfizer and Toyota to find their next “big idea.” Samsung has recognized their TRIZ team for saving Samsung “approximately 120 billion won (roughly US$ 91,200,000).” Ontech’s self-heating container was developed using TRIZ. The structured innovation process is quietly thriving in the most innovative companies—and should certainly be considered by all those leaders who claim that innovation is their first priority.
Seth is right… process will leverage both our individual and collective intuition. Structured innovation processes allow us to make the breakthrough moment more commonplace, and, by training others in our organization in the skills, create a culture of continuous innovation within our organization.
Somehow the concept of using process as a creative tool becomes quite powerful when communicated by someone renown for creativity, like Seth Godin.