Creating the future is fun! One of the most enjoyable and profitable uses of a proven decision pattern is as an innovation framework. If your organization is looking for disruptive, game-changing innovations that propel you to a new competitive position, you need a way to stimulate and align breakthroughs that span multiple business and product decisions.
Start by making your current strategy visible as a Decision Breakdown Structure (DBS) baseline. That’s a pretty simple process if you use a proven decision pattern supported within the Decision Driven® Solutions Framework (DDSF). Each decision is a fundamental question/issue that demands an answer/solution. So you already have an AS-IS or incumbent answer to each decision in the pattern; capture it in a few words as the “committed” alternative for each decision.
As you capture this baseline, be on the lookout for decisions where you are feeling some pain; where the current answer isn’t performing very well. Perhaps it was a fine solution for a while, but it’s been overtaken by competitor moves or changes in your industry (or soon will be). Perhaps it’s been a so-so part of your business where mediocrity has ruled from day 1. By the time you’ve captured your decision baseline, you should be able to identify 5-10 decisions that provide you with a HIGH innovation opportunity; use these decisions as the brainstorming nodes for which you will generate new and disruptive alternatives.
Because each decision is a well-framed question that “begs” a particular type of answer, this brainstorming is highly efficient and focused. I once facilitated a 2 day Decision Driven® Innovation workshop with 20 participants; 10 each from two Fortune 100 companies that were hoping to do some collaborative technology, product and business innovation. We identified 8 decisions with a high innovation opportunity and proceeded to brainstorm 30-60 new alternatives for each decision. We then did a first pass through each decision to pick out the best-of-the-best ideas and threw them into 2 buckets: truly disruptive game-changers and low-hanging fruit (easy to implement ideas that extended their existing technology, product and business roadmaps).
For each of these promising alternatives we then moved to adjacent decisions within the Decision Breakdown Structure (DBS) pattern and asked “If I could do X (promising alternative), what new answers would it enable for this decision?”. This led to another burst of ideas across multiple decisions; the ripple effect of a disruptive or next-step solution in one decision flowed to others.
Finally, we looked for synergistic combinations of game-changers and next-steppers and built them into multiple scenarios of the future. Because these ideas were conceived within a proven decision pattern, we could then use the same Decision Breakdown Structure (DBS) as an evaluation framework to launch the due diligence to study each scenario.
If you use the Decision Driven® Solutions Framework (DDSF) to do this multi-decision innovation blitz, you get the additional benefit of an integrated roadmap view of your data. Each decision and alternative can be aligned-in-time on this roadmap with other ideas within the scenario.
Decision Driven® Innovation is an advanced use of decision patterns. Decision Driven® Solutions offers innovation workshops to facilitate this process. With web technology, these sessions can now be done quite effectively as a series of e-meetings. If you’re interested in this service, or ready to capture your AS-IS state in a Decision Breakdown Structure (DBS), please contact the Decision Driven® Solutions team at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to start your free trial of the Decision Driven® Solutions Framework (DDSF).