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1. Build on your company`s strongest assets. Understand what you do better than anyone else, and capitalize on it. Are you best at introducing new technology, or at adapting and perfecting existing concepts? What are your brand and company equities, and how can you fully exploit them?
2. Nurture a climate for innovative thinking. Be open to ideas from anywhere in your organization. Since all of your employees are also consumers, tap into their rich experience. Develop a culture that rewards creativity, risk taking and innovation.
3. Pay attention to the mavericks. If you surround yourself with people who all think alike, "groupthink" may limit your ability to explore outside "safe and acceptable" thinking. Seek out or hire people who are different than you, and listen to them.
4. Trust intuition. When you are searching for new ideas, break away from traditionial, linear thinking. Tap into your and others` intuition with analogies, music, storytelling, drawing and games…and see what comes up. Let the wild ideas fly without judgment at first.
5. Mine the gold in "off the wall" ideas. Dig into the stack of "rejected" product ideas from previous brainstorming sessions and examine them in light of today`s circumstances. There just might be a couple of winners which were ahead of their time when first conceived. Dust them off and see how they might work today.
6. Focus on solving problems for solving problems for consumers and customers. People are looking for complete solutions that save them time.
7. Every new product needs a champion and a sponsor. A passionate champion will take ideas from conception to implementation, absorbing the hits and stumbles along the way. In innovative organizations, executives encourage intrapreneurial champions and become their sponsors.
8. Fail fast and glean insights from every failure. The marketplace is the ultimate judge of success. If a new products doesn`t cut it in extensive research or in-market, cut your losses quickly while learning everything you can from the experience. In every failure, there are valuable insights.