The Innovation Picture Technique is a way of shifting your point of view. The notion behind it is that in trying to solve a problem you will have well-trodden paths, which you regularly follow and those paths will lead to a particular set of solutions. Problems which you find hard to solve are likely to be ones, which do not work well with this set of solutions. If you can move your thinking to a totally different place, then you are more likely to come up with a solution. To use the technique – look at the picture. Scribble some associations you think of – anything, however bizzare. Look at the picture as a whole and in bits. Use these associations to generate ideas around your original problem. Don’t try to make the ideas you generate sensible or workable. You can move them towards practical solutions at a later stage. This technique is about moving away from your current mind set more than moving to a solution.

This week’s “Innovation Picture” is a combination of various symbols and pictures.
What each picture/symbol represents – is upto you. Taking off from the “Random Picture Technique”, the point is to get you thinking away from the “well-trodden path”.

Break down the picture into parts. What does each part mean to you? How does each part represent the current problem/situation at hand? Write down whatever comes to your mind about the picture – it doesn’t have to make sense. In fact, it does not have to be related to the problem in your head at all. Just write down what comes to your mind. The associations cane be made later. This time, I’ll define a minimum number of steps.

1. Look at the picture.

2. Write down a minimum of 10 words, which describe the picture (maximum could be anything, the more the merrier!).
— You could ask yourself questions like “What does this remind me of?”
— “What is this?”
— “What place is this from?”
— “Which planet is this from?”
— It could be a list of things, animals, places, objects, anything that the picture reminds you of.
— There are no right or wrong answers.

3. Now, describe each word that you have listed.
— Literally, put adjectives before the words that you have come up with.
— For example, in this particular picture, one of the symbols is supposed to be of fire.
— Describe “fire” – hot, red, in this picture it is black and any other “adjectives”, which can qualify the words.
— The adjectives need not necessarily present a fact – you could also qualify the fire as “digital” – wierder the better.
— Dig out atleast five adjectives per word/symbol/object.

4. Now think.
— Using the adjectives that you have generated, how can each one be fitted with the current problem at hand?
— For example, using the fire adjective “digital”, what aspect of the current problem can be digitized? Where can you exploit technology to give you an answer?

One more thing. If you want a short report and some analysis and questions generated from my side, e-mail a short description of the problem, list the elements involved and also the words/thoughts that you have generated using the picture. Try it once and if you like it and want more personalized attention, we could work out something. I could also e-mail a detailed list of steps to follow to help you to get better results using the above technique.

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