The most important innovation session is not for creating ideas

This week I had the honor of sitting in as a participant at an Innovation Engineering RECREATE session.  It was lead by a team of very passionate and intelligent people whose company is fully engaged with Innovation Engineering. Quick background on the steps that lead to this session.

1. The leadership set a very brave and highly focused Blue Card.

2. The team delivered a collection of WOW! innovations that each included patentable technologies.  (FYI - the Blue Card required 70% or greater odds of patentability.)

3. They quickly found a way to build small quantities and to get them to market - being sold to real customers in a Learning Lab.

4. From the Learning Lab they took the top idea and did a RECREATE session to “kick it up a notch” - and get it ready for national expansion.

5. The did the work to get the innovation ready to go to market next month.

6. Today we took the next best idea and did a RECREATE on it - to create the next generation of products.

RECREATE sessions are an Amazing experience.   They involve taking everything that's been learned and doing a deep rethink, reinvent, recreation of the idea.  They’re about playing “king of the hill” with yourself.  They're about "future proofing" your idea.    They involve pushing yourself to go beyond good to GREAT.

They are also about getting everyone who will be needed to make the idea that has just gotten approval for development together - to talk about the whole idea - so to optimize the appeal, profitability, regulatory, etc. etc. etc.

The RECREATE session today blew me away. 

The people blew me away.  I've been doing innovation sessions for 40 years (UGH) - and today one of the team members presented a spark deck in a way I'd never seen before.  She presented what could have been "normal" in a unique step by step manner that made me think in a totally new way.  It rocked!

Frankly, when we first started doing RECREATE sessions I thought they would be difficult as people's egos would prevent them from letting go of their “baby”   I’ve been totally wrong.   Yes there are a few “speed bumps” and bruised egos here and there - however overall the MISSION to do as we say  “Cool Shit that Matters”  - overwhelms ego.

A the end of the day a Customer InterACT session -was held.  The people who had invented new ideas presented raw and rough prototypes of products / visuals / etc…to dozens of customers.   There was open excitement - spontaneous “fist bumps” as ideas were being presented.

Congratulations to the team for having the courage to let they “baby” be made better and better. It is that spirit of never ending innovation -  that guarantees this will be a huge success….