Look to other industries for ideas to “steal, copy and integrate” into your events, delegates at MPI’s European Meetings and Events Conference were told this week in Budapest.
Speaking at a session entitled ‘Somebody must have thought about this before’, Hans van Grieken, vice president business innovation, Capgemini, said the ‘theory of inventive problem solving’ – known as TRIZ - had helped companies like Samsung to prosper.
“I had a client which was a dairy company. They had a problem with their whipped cream decreasing in volume and making their cakes look unappetizing even though they were still fine to eat. You’d think that was a very unique problem but when you look in other worlds you can find solutions. The solution was actually in a commercial fire extinguisher – it’s in the nozzle. You can enrich your clients’ meetings with this type of thinking.”
Van Grieken added that avoiding ‘mental inertia’ was key to true innovation. “Some ideas don’t come up because you’re trained not to let them come up, like taking electrical items into the shower. Philips invented an electric razor you could use in the shower, which has been very successful but most engineers would not think about this.”
He concluded: “Always be aware of the ‘Apple risk’ that Nokia experienced; when someone steps into your world with a new innovation and disrupts it. Make sure you’re prepared for it.”
Pictured: Hans van Grieken