Merriam Webster includes a definition for a blueprint as, “a detailed plan or program of action“. Collins defines a blueprint as, “an original plan or prototype that influences subsequent design or practice“. We offer a blueprint for innovation that meets both definitions, providing a clear way to act on your ideas that you can use to develop a culture of innovation in your organization.
Innovation needs to be a creative endeavor so it would appear that a blueprint would restrict creativity, resulting in less innovation rather than more. Yet we have found that the opposite is true –innovation flourishes in a well-defined sandbox that focuses teams on the things that matter to the organization. In ͞The Discipline of Creativity, the MIT Sloan authors describe boundaries as critical for connecting ideas to action.
The foundation in our blueprint starts with looking at your customer’s job to be done, the task they are trying to complete that you want them to hire your solution to help them with. This allows you to develop empathy by asking why.
why is your customer doing things the way they do?
The walls of your sandbox are built from your operational strengths. These are the areas you are proud of, that make you unique, where you have a competitive advantage. They allow you to build and deliver solutions that no one else can match. They provide long term stability and a basis for growth for your business.
We build from that foundation through hypothesis testing, testing assumptions about your customers. What are their problems and what really helps them to solve them? What is feasible for your operation to deliver? Is there a business model that viably delivers long term sustainability?