Parallel thinking. Lateral thinking. Random word. Six thinking hats. These are just a few of the theories and tools developed by Dr. Edward de Bono. Dr. de Bono is one of the foremost authorities on creative thinking. He was born in Malta in 1933 and is a PdD in medicine. After practicing and researching medicine, he moved to how humans think and create new ideas.
The market is getting increasingly competitive and dynamic. Consumers are inundated with a constant flow of information. It is becoming harder to get people’s attention and turn them into qualified sales leads. Worse, marketing departments are operating with smaller budgets and bare-bone teams. So, how do you get through all the noise to reach and engage with customers? Inbound marketing.
Product managers are the tip of the marketing spear. You develop overall product strategy, identify target customers, develop positioning and messaging direction, and create the roadmap for sales and marketing teams. As the unnamed (and often unheralded) marketing expert within the company, the product manager is tasked to ensure customer-focused products are developed and effective sales and marketing tactics are deployed for optimal market success.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but brainstorming is not very effective for developing new ideas. Most research on idea generation has shown brainstorming typically does not result in valuable ideas (Schirr, 2012). Most brainstorms are usually just a group of people haphazardly sharing ideas (Jones, 1995). Even with all the research on the flaws of brainstorming, it is still widely used in most organizations (Sutton & Hargadon, 1996).
A key driver of statistical significance is sample size. One issue with statistical significance is that with a large population, you will most likely determine statistical significance (i.e., any difference or any correlation will be significant). The differences between any sample means will be significant if the sample is large enough. However, when conducting real-world research, statistical significance does not always equate to practical significance (or vice versa). You need to ask the question, “Can you use the statistically significant (or insignificant) results in a practical, real-world application?”
The following is a speech from Abraham Lincoln. It is probably a good idea for everyone to revisit Abraham Lincoln's words from January 27, 1838. Lincoln was presenting this speech before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois. As times are pretty crazy, it is always a good idea to go back and study a little history form one of the U.S.’s greatest presidents.
Like with most skills, it is helpful to study and attend training classes to accelerate their learning. MR includes multiple specialties and requires a variety of skills (e.g., designing questionnaires, interviewing, creating reports, moderating focus groups). The more you can improve your MR skills, the greater insights you will uncover to make better decisions. Also, a team that can conduct high-level MR will gain increased market understanding compared to that obtained through a third-party vendor that is not familiar with your products or industry.
The following article was first published in the July 1945 issue of The Atlantic Monthly. The author, Dr. Vannevar Bush discusses innovation and basically defines the internet. This is an excellent read which outlines the future about 50 years before it arrived.
The following is a lecture from the founder and President of Polaroid, Edwin Land. Land presented this in 1957 at MIT. The title was "The Idea of a University in an Age of Science". Edwin Land was one of the most important inventors and social advocates of the 20th century. This lecture demonstrates Land’s forethinking and his ability to envision a future beyond the status quo.
Developing creative ideas to build innovative solutions requires changing perspectives and looking at the world through different lenses. Edward deBono coined the term “lateral thinking” to describe a way of thinking which leads to a wide-range of insights for developing creative ideas. Lateral thinking is a great skill to acquire to ensure a holistic view of issues and foster innovation. It helps us answer the question, “Why didn’t I think of that?”
Vertical thinking is how most of us see the world. It is typically a structured process which looks for a defined answer through sequential steps. Each step must be relevant to the previous to move forward. The focus is on finding the correct answer and typically avoids creativity and experimentation. Vertical thinking is about analysis and judging ideas.