A Process* for Improved Creativity, Innovation and Quality Don Ermer, Ph.D., P.E., & CmfgE Procter & Gamble Professor Emeritus in Total Quality Departments of Industrial & Systems Engineeringand Mechanical Engineering University of Wisconsin-Madison 608-262-2557 firstname.lastname@example.org “Inspiration from Usual Sources: Integrating Innovation Into Your Work” University of Wisconsin-Madison Memorial Union November 9, 2006 *Who said “Every Activity, Every Job is Part of a Process”?
Creativity, Innovation and Improved QualityNovember 9, 2006Prof. D.S. Ermer Table of Contents Topic Page I. Introduction a. Product/Service Quality b. Proactive Prevention c. Directed CreativityII. Four Phases of Directed Creativity: Similar to PDCA Cycle a. First Step – Preparation by Changing Your Mental Attitude b. Second Step – Stimulating the Imagination c. Third Step – Development d. Fourth Step – ActionIII. Summary 34591011151618
I. INTRODUCTIONa. Product/Service Quality • Need to deliver a quality product/service • Need to improve process productivity • Need to prevent production/service problems and product defects • Need to join your daily work and improvement work • Need to stress that improvement of the process is everyone’s job, and not focus on the results
I. INTRODUCTIONb. Proactive Prevention • Process Improvement and Control by Statistical Process Control (SPC) • Product and/or Process improvement by Design of Experiments (DOE) • Product and Process Design by Robust Parameter Design (RPD):1. Product and Process Designed Together2. Design insensitive to manufacturing variation3. Product insensitive to user’s misapplication
I. INTRODUCTIONc. Directed Creativity • “Creativity is the connecting and rearranging of existing knowledge to generate new, often surprising, ideas that others judge to be useful.” (Paul E. Plsek, Creativity, Innovation, and Quality, 1997, American Society for Quality (ASQ), Milwaukee, WI) • Creative thinking requires that we focus our attention to do something different (for example, the Apple mouse was innovative – a practical application of a creative idea – because it significantly improved the user interface – not computing speed or power)!
I. INTRODUCTIONc. Directed Creativity, Continued • Plsek defines three fundamental principles as the basis for creative thinking • Attention (new mental model) – something different: cellular phones for photos, activity-based costing, “I-pod”, etc. • Escape (new mental process) – e.g. mental escape by affinity process: forces you to diverge your ideas and then converge them; also change seating arrangement, or put your head down • Movement (new location) – for example, the use of “Retreats”: getting away from the usual workplace for dialogue (note – not discussion). Another example is brainstorming – keep moving.
I. INTRODUCTIONc. Directed Creativity, Continued • New Mental Model–System Thinking • A conceptual framework of the wholea. Connectionsb. Relationshipc. Interactions • Studying the whole to understand the parts • Understanding the system
I. INTRODUCTIONc. Directed Creativity, Continued • New Approach(Use “Pictures”) • Silence(What’s Your New Mental Picture)
II. Four Phases of DirectedCreativity (Innovation versus Creativity Alone) • Similar to PDCA Cycle 1Preparation 4Action 2Imagination Development3
II. Four Phases of Directed Creativity (Innovation versus Creativity Alone) • First Step – PREPARATION: CHANGE YOUR MENTAL FRAMEWORK • Most significant step for innovations is the result of much thought over a long time. • Involves a change in our personal lifestyles, so that we observe more. • The absence of purposeful preparation is why it’s difficult to be creative and innovative. • Affinity Diagram (Diverge and then Converge) • Retreats (Change Venue) • Silent Time (Heads Down For Two Minutes)
II. Four Phases of Directed Creativity (Innovation versus Creativity Alone) • Second Step – STIMULATING THE IMAGINATION • By analogies. Some examples: • Pringles potato chips came about in a search for an analogy to solve the problem of broken chips – leaves in a scrapbook must be moist when pressed. • Benchmarking by Xerox of L.L. Bean’s warehousing operations, where they learned something useful by exploring the common area between the two companies – warehousing – while temporarily setting aside the differences. • Plsek describes the use of excursions to generate creative analogies – a health care organization sending team members to visit the Mall of America in Minneapolis looking for customer service and communication ideas.
II. Four Phases of Directed Creativity (Innovation versus Creativity Alone) • Second Step – STIMULATING THE IMAGINATION - Continued • Need to every once in a while break out of our everyday patterns • Different way to work • Different time for break, lunch or exercise • Different leisure activity • What personal patterns can you change to be more creative and innovative? • What can your organization change in the management system to help you be more creative and innovative?
II. Four Phases of Directed Creativity (Innovation versus Creativity Alone) • Second Step – STIMULATING THE IMAGINATION - Continued • By visualization (Travel Agency example): • Skit (part of cinematics or role playing) • Christmas Card • Moving up the “corporate ladder” • By Picture
II. Four Phases of Directed Creativity (Innovation versus Creativity Alone) • Second Step – STIMULATING THE IMAGINATION - Continued • By reversals – Plsek’s “Accounting Firm”: • How to decrease customer satisfaction. • We could: • Raise our prices • Make clients wait longer • Make a lot of errors • Insult our clients • Embezzle funds from our clients • Embezzlement is actually a common problem in small start-up firms, so we’ll offer special assessment and a consulting service to install checks and balances to reduce their exposure to potential fraud.
II. Four Phases of Directed Creativity (Innovation versus Creativity Alone) • Third Step – DEVELOPMENT • Face the test of practicality • Hopefully based on quantifiable data • If a creative idea is really innovative, then there is no way to really evaluate it with complete objectivity • New ideas are also usually uncomfortable, since they are proposing a new paradigm. • At least half of the Battelle research staff thought xerography, which was invented by Chester Carlson in 1937, was a stupid idea. “It just goes to prove that if you’ve got something unique, you don’t take a poll.” said Russell Dayton, Battelle Engineer in 1944. This year, trillions of copies! Reference: “Making Copies,” pp. 91-97, August 2004, Smithsonian.
II. Four Phases of Directed Creativity (Innovation versus Creativity Alone) • Fourth Step – ACTION • The bridge between mere creativity and the rewards of innovation • Creative ideas have no value until they are put into action • Hard to accurately imagine something that has never been done before – need the physical experience • In real estate it is location, location, location; in adopting new ideas it is communication, communication, communication • Use Cinematics – role playing, to act out the new proactive process of product quality and process productivity
II. Four Phases of Directed Creativity (Innovation versus Creativity Alone) • Fourth Step – ACTION, CONTINUED • Idea Box Exercise (see limitations in third step) Challenge Idea Design a New Quality Improvement Tool Parameters Approach Analysis Criteria Variations 1234567 Use I.T.Use ColorsUse Pictures Data DrivenAnalytical Effective
III. SUMMARY • Four Phases – preparation, imagination, development and implementation – are a model for Directed Creative Thinking. • Directed Creativity is a powerful and purposeful process for generating new ideas for product quality and process productivity when it’s consciously applied. • The underlying process of directed creativity involves finding something to pay attention to, escaping the usual way of thinking, and continued mental movement.
III. SUMMARY, Continued • Analogies can be very effective in directed creativity, but they are hard mental work for some, and a few minutes of silent time for people to reflect can be very productive and lead to creative innovations. • Innovative ideas are a product of our mental processes, and when improving product/service quality we need to understand these mental processes: • Understanding the mechanisms of our mind is critical to successful application of directed creativity for improved product/service quality.
III. SUMMARY, Continued • We have the ability to temporarily break out of our everyday pattern to make the creative mental connections required for innovative thinking. • Creative thinking for increased product/service quality is a balance of analysis and imagination for which we can prepare through: • Attention – increased mental focus • Escape – more observations • Movement – additional mental movement (of the world around us) • The nine-dot problem • The challenge is to connect the nine dots with four straight lines without lifting your pencil from the paper once you’ve begun. • Repeat the challenge with 3 lines; again without lifting the pencil. Then do it with one line.
III. SUMMARY, Continued • Plsek’s Solution to Nine-Dot ProblemPuzzle is source of the expression “Thinking Outside the Box” • There is no solution if we confine our thinking (and our lines) to remain inside the box. • The key point is that the box that confines us is not even real. • We assumed it – there was no law that mandated it, no instruction that required it. • Correct Graphical Solutions: 3 4 1 2
III. SUMMARY, Continued • In the four-line solution we escape the imaginary box restriction. • In the three-line solution we escape both the box restriction and the assumed restriction that the lines had to pass through the centers of the dots. • In the one-line solution we escaped the assumed restriction of a skinny line.
III. SUMMARY, Continued • CCI PledgeI (insert your name), pledge to consciously apply the ideas of collaboration and creativity to generate an innovative quality improvement process for my organization’s management system, where at least 85% of the quality and productivity problems reside. I will practice continued mental movement by trying new ways of thinking, for as Deming said, “It’s not working/thinking harder, but working/thinking smarter that leads to continuous improvement.” SO DO IT! • Results of “survey” – your styleCommunicator (C)Director (D)Integrator (I)Thinker (T)
BIBLIOGRAPHY • Deming, W.E., The New Economics, MIT Center for Advanced Engineering Study, 1993. • Nadler, Hibino and Farrell, Creative Solution Finding, Prima Publishing, Rocklin, CA, 1991. • Plsek, P.E., Creativity, Innovation, and Quality, ASQ Quality Press, Milwaukee, WI, 1997. • Senge, P., The Fifth Discipline, Doubleday, NY, 1990. • Wycoff, T., Mindmapping: Your Personal Guide to Exploring Creativity and Problem Solving, Barkley, NY, 1991.