There’s a great article by Louise Maynard-Atem in the latest OR Society Impact Magazine where she discusses the innovation process and its relationship to Operational Research. You can download a PDF here or view the whole magazine here.
I found it particularly interesting because I run a 1-day “Creativity and Innovation” workshop for public sector analysts and researchers and we cover similar thinking and approaches.
Louise describes a generic innovation process covering:
- Identifying the problem
- Research and validation
She also makes the point that there are feedback loops between each of the stages so that learning is built in and you can “try hard, fail fast”.
The OR approaches that are of relevance include Problem Structuring and Reframing from Soft Systems Methodologies and Multi Criteria Decision Analysis for prioritisation of ideas.
The main thing I would say is missing from the article is a discussion of how to create an environment where people can be creative and innovative. I’ve previously written about the importance of leadership behaviours and I use the following 3 circles of knowledge and skills to describe what’s needed. Models, frameworks and tools aren’t enough.