Invisible Solutions: 25 Lenses that Reframe and Help Solve Difficult Business Problems with...
Stay, hungry stay, foolish. Unprecedented. Access to infinite, solutions, has led us to realize, that having all the answers is not the answer from. Innovation teams to creativity experts, to crowdsourcing. We've turned from one source to another spending. Endless cycles, pursuing, piecemeal, solutions, to each challenge, we face what. If your organization. Had an effective, and systematic, approach to deal with any problem, to. Find better solutions you, need to first ask better, questions the. Questions, you asked determine, the solutions, you'll see and which, will remain hidden today's. Show contains, the formulas, to reframe any problem, in multiple. Ways using. Twenty five lenses to help you gain different perspectives, with visual examples, and guidance it contains, everything, you need to master any challenge, apply, just one of these lenses and you'll quickly discover better. Solutions, apply, all of them and you will be able to solve any problem, in business and in life, we, welcome author of invisible, solutions, 25, lenses, that reframe, and help solve difficult, business problems, Steven, Shapiro welcome. To the show oh it's great pleasure to be here thank you for having me you start by telling us about your own story and particularly the existential, crisis, you've faced with your lien consultancy. Work you found yourself, working in a destructive, role rather, than a creative one there's, one of these things from my perspective I was doing some really interesting work it was back in the early 90s, when business, process, re-engineering. Was, a popular, concept. And so, the whole goal was to help companies, become, more efficient, help. Them redesign, their processes, from end to end, re-engineering. Became. An excuse. For downsizing, and so I would go into projects, and the CEOs. Would announce that they were going. To let. Hundreds, thousands, in one case 10,000. People would lose their jobs because of the result of the work that we were doing and I sort of had this existential meltdown where, I realized this, isn't the work I want to do anymore so I had a look at a different path then, the other thing, you had another land, through which you saw your new world was that, you felt being a left brain process, guy you, struggled with the chaos of innovation. And needed to find order, amidst a chaos and I thought here of the Thomas Edison quote, genius. Is 1% inspiration and, 99% perspiration. Because. We need left brained individuals. As much as we need the right absolutely. I think there is this misconception that. Innovation. Is a right. Brained creative.
Endeavor And. That is part of it but it is equally, a left, brained analytical, process, and what's. Happened inside of organizations is, they've confused. What, innovation, really is what the purpose of innovation is and as, a result I think we're not taking, full advantage of, the people inside of our organizations. We're, generating, lots of ideas without very little value we'll look at that towards the end of the today show because you give us all those frameworks, which are beautiful and beautifully, illustrated throughout the book but, before we go there the word innovation itself I know from calling this show the innovation, show it's, one of the most overused, abused. And misunderstood, words in business today and you say it's so pervasive and, hyped that the organizational. Antibodies. Want, to fight it you know how this works you go into a company and they say hey we're gonna innovate, and all of a sudden people start. To react negatively towards. It I mean it's not, as though most people, especially. If you're talking about mid-level, managers, inside of an organization they're. In the, mode of running, the business making. It efficient, trying to hit the numbers for you, know quarterly, earnings or whatever it might be and so you, know people reject. Innovation, but the problem, is. It's. Not so much innovation as the problem the problem is the, misinterpretation, of, what innovation, is and from. My perspective, innovation. Is not about novelty. It's, not about being different. It's not about change, for the sake of change it actually is about relevance. It's, about making, your organization. Relevant, in the minds of your clients, your consumers, your customers, because. If we do don't adapt, our organizations. To stay relevant at some point we're, gonna be in a position where we're out of business and we see this all the time in any industry I love the way you start the book you tell us about the challenges and biases, etc that get in the way and one, of those is past, experiences, so if we find a way to solve something that. Way becomes, a shackle, and shackles, us in our thinking and you, say problem-solving, can help us uncover better solutions, I would, actually say in some respects it's actually problem, formulation. Because, problem, solving, implies, that we know what the right problem is and I, think what happens is our past experiences, you just said our, past experiences, often lead us down the path of believing, what has worked in the past will work in the future in financial.
Services They'll always say past success, there's. No guarantee of future success and from my perspective it's actually much worse than that past, success is a pretty good predictor of future failure, because. What. Has happened, for us in the past typically. Becomes the decisions we make in the future but the world has changed and therefore they become irrelevant, so. For. Me this the shift that we have to make is to, make sure not, just that we're solving problems, because we, all are problem solvers but we're solving the right problems, and we're solving them in the right way and we're taking the time to formulate the problems so we get the greatest bang for our buck I love, the, research you share in the book here and used to talk about the Max Planck Institute and, that. When we make assumptions, our brain, reward, system is activated I thought this really interesting from a neuro physical, perspective yeah. The brain loves, to, be correct, and so. What ends up happening is the brain has confirmation. Bias which is basically what. We believe to be true is what we see and so we could receive evidence that's contrary, to what is actually. What. We believe but we will only see the parts of it that are consistent, with what we believe and so the brain gives us sort of this rush like. Anytime that it thinks that we, got even a small percentage, of it right if we're 99%, wrong but we were 1% right the brain is going to convince ourselves that we were 100% right and that's, why we ended up making bad decisions, is because you, know we, just. Because, you, knew, your, industry, knew your, customers, knew, your company, doesn't, mean you know them and so, we need to just get past all these assumptions that we build around our. Businesses, and our customers, and our competition, because, if we keep on living with those old models, which, we tend to do because we're in survival mode we're, was gonna be making bad decisions, so, let's start zooming into the book you break it into three sections section. One is all about asking better questions two, is the, twenty five lenses for reframing problems, and three, is challenge, centered innovation, but, let's start with the better questions, and there you talked about it defining, the problem, essentially and you say, here changing, the questions, you ask can, uncover questions, that, were previously hidden from sight and you give us the brilliant example, of airplane baggage this. Is one of my favorite. Examples only because I travel. A lot so it's something which I deal with on a regular basis, and I'll. Tell the short short version of the story is basically you. Know one of the airports here in the US had their, passengers, complaining that it took too long for their bags to arrive at baggage claim so they did. Some analysis, and they found that it took on average 15. To 20 minutes for the bags to get from baggage claim to the baggage carousel so, they decided, to solve the problem again everything is through the lens of the problem or the question is how, can we speed. Up the bags how can we speed up the bags and so they spent. A ton of money on faster, conveyor belts more baggage handlers, they got it down from 15. To 20 minutes down to 8 to 10 minutes. Awesome. I mean if you think about if. You were I'm. Trying to improve the, wait time for any kind of service, that you're offering you cut it by 50%. You. Would probably declare, success the. Problem is when they ask the passengers, what, now is your biggest complaint they were still complaining about baggage, claim and they realized, that they couldn't make the bags go any faster, without, spending a lot more money because there's a point of diminishing returns, than any investment, so. What. They decided to do and what they realized was is that, at this Airport it took the bags 8 to 10 minutes to get from the plane to the baggage carousel but. It only took the passengers. 1, to 3 minutes to, get from the plane to the baggage carousel so, instead of speeding up the bags they decided, to slow down the passengers, and they literally reconfigured. The airport, so, that it would take the passengers, 8 to 10 minutes to get the baggage claim their bags would be waiting and they were happy and what, I love about this example, there's. Lots, of different ways we could slice this one if we had more time we could actually spend a whole hour just talking about this one example. But. Look if in, Business. Week to spend all of our time trying to speed up bags cuz we think that's what the problem is, but. What if there are other opportunities like reducing. Wait time it's. Not the same as speed of the bags because wait time is made up of the speed of the bags and the speed of the passengers, or, what if we slow down the passengers, or what if we change to words and it went from you, know how do we reduce, wait.
Time To how do we improve the wait experience, well that's a completely, different question and now, we're not looking at airports, we're looking at places like Universal. Studios and Disneyworld. Who are masters, at the weight experience. So these. We can change one or two words in a problem statement and have a completely. Different range, of, possible. Solutions and that's what we don't do is we don't take enough time to. Step back and ask am. I asking, the right question, and in this world of change that's. The thing to do isn't it I love the ways for the listeners that 25 lenses, are clearly. Communicated. And you, can walk through any problem, first, to define the problem and then to look at possible solutions that you would not have thought of absolutely love, how you put the book together but. One thing I thought was really interesting under, the step, known as problem definition, is, how. You ask, the question is, really really important and when. It comes to the word inquiry, I thought this was really interesting the word inquiry spelt with an eye is very different, than the word enquiry, spelt, with an e because, one is more asking. In an accusatory, way such. As the Spanish Inquisition or, such, as where were you last night at 3:00 a.m. and then, enquiry, is more to draw out it knowledge to understand, the other side of the bridge for example I thought that was really interesting but, because of this you talk about how. You ask the question being. Ultra, important, the, questions. We ask totally. Change, the way we see the world and, look. I'm not saying that we need to take. Days months and weeks and use the problem, reframing, as an excuse to not move forward, but. The problem, is we, are. We. Make decisions quickly and often, we don't realize that and we move in a direction that might be the wrong direction, and it, could be one word. One, word in a problem statement can completely, change the, meaning, of the, problem can completely change the, way we see the problem and it can change completely, the range of solutions that we're gonna develop so, we need to at least take a little bit of time to step back and just change. The words think, about the words I mean some work that I was done at NASA they, went from how do we get clothes, clean to how do we keep, clothes, clean, that's just changing, one word in the question yet. When we get, clothes clean we're, talking, about cleaning, after the fact cleaning. Fluids, whereas how do we keep clothes clean means preventative. Ly how, do we prevent them from getting dirty in the first place which means now it's a material science problem that. One word completely. Changed, the range of solutions of that they would consider for the problem this is where you talk about the brain does not like abstraction, so we need to train the brain and frame questions and challenges, strategically. You, played this out in the book about the Exxon, Valdez, tanker disaster, which, spawned two decades, people looking, for solutions, but, then when they reframe the question they. Came up with a social in a very fast period of time yeah, I think this is a super, powerful, example. The, story is in 1989 ten point eight million gallons of oil seeped, into the icy waters of Prince, William Sound in Alaska when the Exxon Valdez tanker crashed and if, you know, what happened they were trying, to clean the water and the, problem was the temperatures were below freezing and it was in an enclosed area inside of a sound, which is basically land all around and. For. Nearly two decades they, were trying to clean, the. Water but, every time they tried to extract the oil water mixture, it would freeze so. For nearly two, decades for nearly 20 years from.
1989, To 2007. They. Spent millions and millions of millions of dollars trying to solve the problem how can we prevent an oil water. Mixture from freezing, and they didn't get a solution and, it was only 2007. When the oil spill recovery Institute. Partnered. With a crowdsourcing, platform called, InnoCentive, did they find a solution and what. Was quickly discovered is that the. Problem, actually had, nothing to do with, oil water. Or temperature. It was actually a common fluid dynamics, issue called viscous shearing and viscous. Shearing just basically means any dense, liquid that's. Put under a force or acceleration. Will act like a solid. And. When. The, question was reframed. To how do we prevent viscous, shearing from, happening, a. Solution. Was found in six. Weeks it, cost twenty thousand dollars a guy, who provided the solution john davis happened, to work in the construction industry and he was always working at how does he prevent cement, chutes from clogging and, he. Realized that cement. Chutes clogged it, similar to the problem that was happening in alaska, and so he had this little device that would vibrate the molecules and. So, he took that device that he developed for cement chutes brought. It to alaska made some modifications to it and he solved a two decade old problem so it was in the reframing. Of the problem, that. The solution was found and for. Nearly. Twenty years they were asking the wrong question and therefore never got a solution, you mentioned earlier on changing. One word can have a massive, impact and that, may. Feel abstract, to people but this was proven, in a great case to do you give which is of a custody case but, love have you shared this with our audience sure. So the study basically, it, was a scientific study it's not a real-world study, and what, they did was they created this, child custody case was only child custody case two parents, parent. A parent be the, way they would describe parent a was pretty, vanilla, basically. Someone who had, an average income an average, relationship with the child pretty. Much average everything. Average social, life, whereas. Parent, b has, some notable strengths, and some notable weaknesses, so powered be actually, financially. Was doing very well but, as a result traveled. A lot parrot, b had a great, great relationship. With, the child but, was also busy so didn't always get to spend as much time so notable strengths and audible weaknesses, and so, the researchers, asked. Potential.
Jurors, Which. Parent. Should, be awarded custody. Ended up happening was in most cases, people. Decided. To choose parrot, be, what's. Interesting is when they changed, the question to which, parents should not, be. Awarded custody most. People said parent. B which means the parent a should, actually be awarded custody and what was happening was is when you ask the question who should be awarded custody the. Brain was looking for the positives, and when they looked at parent a there, wasn't a lot of positives or negatives but. Parent B had a lot of positives, and so they decided to latch, onto that person whereas when you asked who should not be awarded custody the, brain looks for the negatives and in, this case parent, B in addition, to the strengths also had a number of negatives they traveled a lot and they weren't around those, one words they, so, powerfully, impact, not, just the solutions. But, they impact, decisions, they impact, the people we work with and we just don't take enough time to. Think about the power of the words the questions in the language that we use when, we're having conversations when. We're trying to solve problems or when we're trying to formulate problems this, to me is the most, important. Step of the innovation process and the one we tend to get wrong I think, it's fair to say that we've framed the problems that, we all encounter, with innovation, work so, let's look at how we can reframe any problem using the twenty five lenses and before. We explore the lenses and we, won't get through them all by any stretch of the imagination but, how do we use them well. The, first, step in reframing. Is to first of all make sure you're asking the right question, because if solving the wrong question will never yield the right solution. So that's the first step. Is to make sure we're asking the right question, an important question a question is going to move, the needle and then we need to reframe, it and reframing it involves, challenging, our assumptions, because, we tend to make a lot of assumptions about, the, problems we're trying to solve so we need to make, sure that we've really, looked at the problem and challenge. Those assumptions and I find these 25 lenses are a really, powerful. Way, to, challenge. Our assumptions I think, of the lenses sort of is like a mental kaleidoscope, but Mark Twain and the, beginning of the book I have a quote from him and he basically says basically, if we're trying to solve a problem there's. Nothing, new but. We're just sort of taking what's been there those as he described the colored, of glass and we just keep on turning them and twisting them until. We see something we haven't seen before and so these 25 lenses are that mental kaleidoscope, that way to take a problem. And look, at it from a slightly different angle and there's 25, different ways to. Look. At a problem and what's really interesting is even though there's 25, different, lenses. Those, 25, different lenses, could yield, fifty. Or a hundred different, reframes. If. You take the time to do it because each lens is so, rich and so deep that you could actually take one question and reframe it multiple ways it's. So valuable for one of the key skills of the times we live in which is critical, thinking even as an individual, but then for groups of people bringing. These lenses, to them to look at existing problems totally reframes, them and opens, them up to new ways of thinking I love the potential, of this but, you grouped them into five categories let's, share those categories, and then we'll get into each category separately, sure, so the, first category.
Is. To. Reduce, abstraction. And what I mean by that is if, something's big broad and abstract, like how do i improve revenues, or how do i improve productivity, anytime. We have those broad questions, they're not going to yield very valuable solutions so we need to break them down so the first ones are all about, reducing. Abstraction. The. Second sets of lenses are all about increasing abstraction. So in situations where something's too specific. The. Next ones are all around changing perspective, which means we're gonna look at it from a slightly different angle, which might give us some insights another, one is switching elements. Like the baggage claim instead, of speeding up the bags we slow down the passengers, and then, the last set. Of lenses are all around zeroing, in to make sure we're actually. Solving. The right problem. For, the right business, because if we're solving the wrong problem it doesn't matter let's, start with the reducing, abstraction, and the first one of these lenses is leverage, and you talk about using this to, solve for the greatest impact and I love the example you gave of a nonprofit organization. Innovating. The education, system which seems like a massive, task absolutely. So trying. To solve the problem how can we improve the education, system is a big, broad problem so trying, to reduce the abstraction. Is. Certainly a good play to start and what's interesting is the, first place we went to with this one is actually a different, lens so if you ask the question how. Do we improve the education, system one thing which becomes apparent is not, only is it a broad question but it's also a means to an end so. The result, lens is actually where we started, and the, result lens says what's, the outcome what's, the goal why are we doing this and so the reason why we have an education, system is actually to improve a child's learning so. We went from education, system to child's learning and then the next step is to. Then. Break that down further and we use the leverage lens and, so the way to improve a child's learning they talked to scientists, and and researchers. And one, of the things that was discovered is that the number. One greatest, impact, on the child's learning is positive. Parental, involvement so. The. Decision, was made to solve for that problem how do we get. 100%. Positive. Parental, involvement very. Different than the, education system, and a. Solution was found in a matter of weeks in Bogota Colombia with a very clever solution. And, and the, point, is that you, know if you try to solve the education system, you've, got teachers, teachers, pay classroom, size infrastructure. Technology, nutrition, I mean there's literally hundreds, and hundreds and hundreds, of different factors that could be solved, in trying to solve that big problem yields. A lot of wasted energy then the next one you talk about is to deconstruct, and, this is where we break things into smaller parts and you give the example of a hotel trying. To improve the guest experience I love this one if, a hotel is trying to improve the guest experience there's, in the way started off was they just asked how do we do that and you get hundreds and thousands of different ideas and most or a little value and one.
Of The things which they realized well let's break it down break, it down and the, whole deconstruct. Lends the, deconstruct, lends basically said what are the parts, parts. Could literally be parts like parts of a car they, could be parts. Of your, customers. Market. So segments. Or, it could be steps. Of a process so in this case it, was deconstructed. Down into steps well what happens so somebody goes, online and they reserve a room and then they get to the hotel and they check in they. Stay, at the hotel they have room service they, have all the other things that go along with them they check out what they realized is that for them, the. First experience, and the last experience might be the most important that check-in and the checkout were, very important, so they spent a lot of time and money trying. To perfect. The, check-in checkout process. As, opposed to trying to deal, with every other single checkpoint, or every other point in the process, those, were the two so when they deconstructed. It they started to see where could we focus our energies that might have the greatest impact so, the next one then lens, 3 of this. Section, is reduce, and this is where we are there drop. Expectations. We, simplify, and this, ones are so important, you say that we, should use this when stretch targets and complexity, are not producing, the desired results, and you give the example of a sports manufacturer, setting a sales target to be achieved at all costs, and that, can be dangerous because it can really sway, behavior, yeah, we have stretch goals and there's a reason for stretch goals but stretch, goals also can, at times create. Behaviors, that are not consistent with what we want because people then do, anything and everything to optimize, the. Goal around. The goal rather than what's best for the company, and I, think it's just important to sort of step back just for a moment to say that stretch. Goals are great, very. Powerful, during the innovation, process, because. It shifts, the way you think, in the way you see the world but. If you use stretch goals too much it actually creates, these, dysfunctional, behaviors, and so this one company, sporting. Goods company was at an event and. They. Said you have to sell 1 million dollars of product that's the goal you're, not leaving this event till he said 1 million dollars and they sold nine hundred thousand dollars of product quickly, easily I mean it was like just printing, money but that last hundred thousand dollars proved so. Difficult, but, because the goal was 1 million they. Actually, ended. Up losing so, much money on that last, $100,000, to hit the million dollars in sales that, it impacted. Profitability, so they hit one number but they negatively, impacted, another number and so we just need to recognize that anytime we're working on something it's. Not necessarily, the best thing to increase, complexity. Or increase the numbers and another, perspective. Which I love is quote from the author of the little prince who said, perfections, not attained, when. There's no longer anything to add but when there's no longer anything, left to remove, and I. Think that's brilliant because we are so focused on what, do we add what do we add how do we get bigger how do we get better but, to me sometimes, simplification. Is the best innovation, how do we step back and actually say what, do I remove, from. This particular situation. How. Do I make it simpler, so it's more accessible, that, more people can use it and there's, just so many fantastic examples, of that a great example you give to bring this one's life is the Nintendo, Wii system, go, back to 2008. Nintendo. Unlike. PlayStation. Decided. To instead, of increasing, the quality of the graphics and increasing, the sophistication, increasing, the power machines they, decided, to make, rudimentary. And crude graphics, they made it accessible, and the intent Nintendo, Wii was basically. Designed to be used by anybody from 8 years old to 18 years old by changing. The interface and what's, amazing is the in the year of the launch of the Nintendo Wii they. Sold more than Xbox, of Playstation, combined, because. Of that accessibility. Others. Caught on they started to prove their interfaces, the same way in terms of making it easier for people to use and what's, interesting now is if you look at it, most.
Of The money in gaming. Is actually, mobile, games on your, phone so, if you look at your phone right now and all the games that you have on there that's, where a lot of the money is being made well, those are super, simple, user, interfaces. They've made it as accessible, as possible so sometimes, accessibility. Is the, best innovation, because more people can use it tightly, linked. To this one is the next lens which is eliminated. And I often, think about this for example in the airline industry getting, rid of baggage. Fees for carry-on luggage for, example is really really, difficult it's really difficult, for businesses to let go of clunky experiences. Where they make money and you talk, about this lens of getting rid of and he give their brilliant example of self. Cannibalization, or, self disruption, from, the tobacco industry, you know the tobacco industry, controversial, interest, reform, for, a number of reasons but one. Of the things which, I thought really was quite fast. Quite bold was. Philip, Morris International decided. That they. Publicly, stated, they publicly stated, that in, the future I don't think there was a specific date set but in the future. They. Will eliminate. Cigarettes. From, their portfolio, now if, you think about a company, like that you know I think was 98%, of their revenues are, coming from, cigarettes, so they spent, so, much money whose about 2.5, billion, dollars. Develop, developing a device called IKOS and and IKOS is a device. I've had a chance to see it I've been actually in a room with, a couple hundred people using. It and you couldn't even smell, smoke but it it is burning tobacco so it's not eliminating, tobacco but, it's eliminating cigarettes, and I, was just just, approved in the US, by the FDA for sale, and their. Goal is to get out of the cigarette business, eliminate. The cigarette business completely which is quite. A bold statement and again, it's a controversial, one but I think it was a very interesting, play, to. See how do we. Basically. Get out of the business we are currently in completely. And I think it's a very bold move when something that you have to do in terms of opponents you know you can't, stress this and off to businesses, that if you make those decisions in times, of scarcity you're gonna hang on to that revenue at all costs, how do you see this play out with the businesses you work with the challenge, these days is. And. It is actually later lens we might not have a chance to get to but there's the real business, lens and I think that is, when. You think about. What. Is a really, incredibly, powerful, lens that to me is one of the most powerful ones because the real business land says what business am I really, in. Like. Kodak, were, they in the film business, or. Were they in the capturing. And sharing moments. Business. And if. You think you're in one business and the world changes, like film went to digital well then, that it, doesn't really it. Doesn't help you very much because. You're. Gonna be focusing on the wrong problem so I think making, sure we're asking the right questions around our business our industry, am I in the tobacco industry, am I in the cigarette business these. Are all important, questions and. Every company needs to be questioning, what business they're in because there's new competition, it's always gonna challenge it and there's, always gonna be shifts, and buyer behaviors. That. Are going to impact, whether or not people want or desire your products and a great way lens you helped us to do this with is the, hyponym lens, we have to use more specific, words and you, give the great example, of the word move earlier, you, talked a bit in the book about how to move, a heavy item and changing, the language here, can give you a totally different results I think, its first important, to define what we mean by a high poem we. Know what a synonym, is a synonym, is a word that is of the. Same level of abstraction, so. They're similar they're basically, words, that have the same meaning, a high. Bonum means, that it is something that is reduced. Abstraction, and some of this more. Specific. Than, the original one so the word move if you, were to look at some of the high poems for move and. I provide some dictionaries where you can do this there's spread, carry float, glide, fly, push.
Roll And ski and so, if you take one of those instead of saying how do I move. A heavy item. Maybe. I'm going to how do I spread, the, heavy item which, then means well we're increasing, the surface area which might impact. The pounds, per square inch or, how do we glide it well if we're gonna glide, it that means that we need to somehow reduce the friction so. Each of those words going to open up a new range of possible, solutions and. Sometimes. Synonyms can do that I mean so just changing, one word can, have a huge impact on the possible solutions I was really struck by this throughout the book is the, power, of language because it really frames. Our thinking and it becomes so important even from a creative writing perspective but. Moving on to the next section six, seven eight nine and ten are all about increasing abstraction. When the problem is too specific because it's almost, the opposite of the last section now, we won't have time to explore them all but let's share the goal of this phase and then perhaps just one of the lenses I picked, one out and it's mainly for their corporate innovators. Who are listening today and this, is the concern. Reframe. Lens because this one's so important, because so many businesses, experience. A doctor now and the team someone who says, we tried that before yeah, so so first of all the this, category, of lenses, is about, increasing, abstraction, this is when we're asking a question that's too specific. Too narrowly defined, or as is, the case quite often is a solution. Masquerading. As a question so a lot of times we ask questions but they're really answers, framed. As questions and so what. We need to do is figure out a way of increasing. The, abstraction, so. They're less specific. For. Example, the, analogy, lens is. The one that was used for the Exxon Valdez what is it like who else has solved a similar problem, and if you think about that well, who else has solved the problem, of viscous. Shearing well that was increasing. The abstraction, at some level the. Concern reframe, is a super, simple one and it's one that I really like because. What, ends up happening is you're in a meeting and. Inevitably. Somebody will say we. Don't have enough money or. We. Don't have enough time and, the. Concern, reframe, basically, says how do we take a statement, how. Do we take a concern.
And Reframe. It as a new. Opportunity a, new question so, instead of saying you know, we don't have enough time all. Good questions start with how can we so how can we do, it in less time how, can we. Find. The time if it's about money instead. Of saying we don't have enough money he's like how can we do it for less money how, can we raise. The money how, can we partner with someone so that it doesn't, cost us any money and we give them a share of what we create. Every. Statement. Every belief, every assumption, that we have is, really. Just an opportunity if, we take the time to reframe it and flip it around you mentioned, there analogy, and I thought this one was really interesting because I'm. A huge fan as you are of diversity. Of thought neuro diversity within teams and mixing. Different industries, and how innovation, happens at the intersections, and this. Kind of sparked this idea to me that if we look for. Someone else who may have solved. The problem we have we, can come up with new ideas and a great example I wanted to share with you was when, I heard word it was a team looking for an IOT, Internet of, Things solution. To solve when pollution. Happening they, shared this problem. With at, bio Marine team and one, of the bio marine team, suggested. That actually you know what opens, when there's, pollution in the water are mussels so the actual mussels, open up and that, actually can tell you that, there's pollution in the water and I, thought it was a great example of bringing two strains. Or two disciplines, together to, come up with a new solution. Using. The analogy frame biomimicry. Is a great one, I mean gas pipeline, engineers, one of the challenges, they face is, pipelines, crack break and leak so, they talked to cardiologists, to understand the way the body, operates, and how do you seal cracks so if you get a paper cut you don't need stitches you don't have to go to the doctor it seals itself and so. Using. What you were just describing biomimicry. Which is how can a business understand what happens in you, know the world of biology well. That's fascinating and I think all those analogies, open, up some huge. Huge opportunities, in fact one of my strongly, held beliefs is any problem, you're working on any problem.
If, You ask a question there's two words you, will find a solution eventually and the two words are who. Else, who. Else has solved a similar problem, not the same problem but a similar problem in a different area of expertise, it could be in biology it, could be in a different industry it could be in a different area of expertise, but asking that who else question is so powerful. It's the the fastest, way to find at least the kernel, of a solution that you can use for any problem and just while we mentioned language because you mentioned hypo, NIMH but, in this category you also have hypernym. Where, maybe we should share that one as well to complete that circle, sure, so I bonum, means to reduce. The abstraction make it more specific hypernym. Means, to raise, it up so to me that the simplest example of this is if. You think about a. Poodle. Or dog, Chihuahua. Well, the, hypernym. Of that would be dog, and the hyper name of dog would be animal, and so, you can keep on going up in each of those open things open, up your opportunity, so if you went to a shelter and, you had your heart set on a chihuahua, and. There. Are no chihuahuas you're gonna leave empty-handed but if you open up your mind and say well I want a dog or, I want and well I'd be open to a cat or a ferret well, that changes things and so one of the examples that I like as, a relatively recent one which is the second largest producer of, chicken. In the United States is Tyson, and they've always thought of themselves as a as a meat company. Because. That's what they did they had meat that chicken was their main thing but that other meats and they, decided they're gonna become a protein company. Protein, is a. Hypernym. For. Me. And if, you think about what that opens up well, meat implies it comes from an animal but, protein, doesn't necessarily, come from an animal and they've now watched a, couple of new different, business lines focused. Around. Animal. Free protein, based, shrimp. And other types of proteins, that have nothing to do with animal meat but are actually based on other other. Types. Of, materials. So I think it's really interesting is, if you think you're a meat company you're gonna be thinking about cattle, and chicken and pork and things, of that nature changing. The one word opens up a whole new range of opportunities, I love this because if your organization. Then are all engaged, in this they'll, all become sensors. For our spotting opportunities and, then you can bring those ideas back to base and we'll, cover that at the end because we don't want as you, say in the book waiting, which of a quantity, of ideas we want quality ideas from the quantity but, let's jump onto the next five lenses and these ones are all about changing perspective, to. Help us consider, their challenge with brand new ice just. Five different ways to look at a problem one, is the resequenced, lens which is about the timing a lot, of times we will have a problem statement that implies, something. Has to happen before, something else or it has to happen after something else but, what if we predicted. Instead. Of waiting till we have all the information what if we predicted, and forecasted.
What's Going to happen or what if instead, of predicting, we postpone do we waited so we had all the information what if we did things in parallel so the timing, and sequence e can be really important, there's the reassign lens which is about who does the work and. Then there's a couple of others access emotion, and substitute, which are just these. Are all different ways to take the problem statement and look at it from a different angle to get a different range of solutions one. Of the ones I just love to hone in on is access, because people. Have heard of the access, economy, but, may not entirely, understand, what that frame means and I think it's so helpful the way you articulate. This in the book a lot, of times we will use words that imply ownership. Like, we have to have it as something, which is you, know back in the days you might own a DVD or, you might own a CD. Or if you want to go back you might own an LP, and then. You could own, tracks. You're gonna iTunes and you buy a song, but you still owned it of course now in the world of music a lot of people are going towards Spotify, and things of that nature where, you. Are renting it you, are getting access to it you're able to play it without actually owning it and there's. Some fascinating examples. Of this one of my favorite examples, is actually, not I mean it's very easy to think about these things in the digital world but the physical world we tend not to think of it quite as much one of my favorite examples is a, company. Called freedom Boat Club and the freedom Boat Club basically. Gives you access to the water instead of buying a boat you. Get, a subscription, and. Subscription. Is a form of access you get a subscription to boats and it's not just one boat but it's many boats and it's not like you just have a limited, amount of access you have unlimited, access, you. Only have a limited number of reservations, and actually, when I lived in Boston a friend of mine had this membership and it was great because we, were on boats all the. Time. She. Only got two reservations, so. Once, one reservation was used she could make another reservation, so they managed, the, capacity. The, utilization through, reservations, but we had unlimited access so. You can give people access to even physical. Items. The. Same we do with like Spotify if, you're very clever about it I thought about this one deeply, from a business. Perspective so, from a disruption perspective, and businesses, having their eyes open for what's come and then the line the edge behaviors, were starting to see and, one of these things is these connected, services, by car companies, for example, subscription. Programs, are starting to open and, businesses. Who are involved, in cars and car manufacturer, etcetera needs to totally rethink what. Does that mean for them as a result of this access lens absolutely. I mean if you think about in some respects, I mean uber is a form of access we've got access to someone else's car and someone, else driving us and so that's a form, of access you don't have to own a car because you can now have access to a car, as. Cars. Especially when, we get to the and. And there's even a. Car. Appear. To peer types of environments, for car rentals so I have a car in my driveway it. Sits there 90%, of the time what, if I gave somebody access, to it so there are versions. Of that and. Then once we get into autonomous, vehicles there's gonna be the point where you basically on, your phone push a button a car, shows up in your driveway you get, to hop in and it takes you wherever you want to go so all. And that's why the real. Business lens is so important is because if you, think you are in the business of just selling cars and you were selling them to individuals. That. Might be shifting, maybe were no longer selling cars to houses, and individuals. But we're selling them to brokers. We're selling them to drivers, we're selling them to others. Who actually manage, the whole flow. Of the cars but, they're not their own in fleets rather than by individuals, so understanding. Your industry is so important, the next five lenses then are about switching, elements particularly, the flip lens all of this this is where you solve for a different factor and you, alluded, to this one earlier on I loved the example you give the whiskey glass to last, diameter, challenge, so all these switching elements basically says instead of solving for this we're gonna solve for that and the baggage claim example, instead of speeding up the bags we're gonna slow down the passengers, anytime, there's multiple, parameters, instead. Of solving for the one you thought was the problem solve for the other one the, the example, that you're referring to is one a client.
Of Mine has, a bar, that is a, whiskey. Bar that's what they're known for and I'm. A scotch drinker and I like to drink it neat that's me but. You, know if you drink whiskey and. You're somebody who likes it with rocks with, ice you, want, to. Have it as a sphere, not. As a cube, and, the reason is the sphere has the lowest surface area so we'll melt the slowest, so. It's not watering down your whisky and the. Other key thing is to make sure that, the. The ratio. Between the, ice sphere, and the glass is just perfect. And so. This. One bar the. Challenge, they had was because, of their glasses they needed two and a half inch ice spheres. To. Have the ice be the perfect ratio and they, were spending, $30,000. A year. Basically. Trying, to manufacture, these. These. Ice spheres buying. The buying, basically. Two and a half inch ice cubes and then, manually. Shaving. Them down into spheres it was very expensive now they could do two inch ice. Cubes, ice spheres for free because, there were molds but there were no two and a half inch ice molds. That would allow them to do this so, they were trying to solve the problem how do we produce these, two and a half inch ice, spheres for less than $30,000, and they weren't getting anywhere and then, somebody had the, interesting, Epiphany. The interesting, realization, which was well. Instead of trying to focus on the ice what if we focused on the glass and, they. Basically, replaced the glasses with, slightly smaller glasses, so that the two-inch ice spheres. Would work they, didn't spend any money on ice anymore and they. Had the perfect ratio so we can solve for one problem versus another problem, and again these seems, simple when they're already selves but when you're so attached to a way of doing things it's very difficult, to get outside which is what the lens does it gets it helps you get outside your own head and see it from a totally different perspective one. Of the ones I love and it's, a real tenet of innovation, is conflicts, solving, conflicts, where it's not this, or that but it can be this and that and I loved the example he gave here which is gieux looks so. There's a number of products that do this I actually was just in the store the other day and there was a spackle, for, patching, holes and walls it does the same thing and the problem is if you are painting. A white ceiling. With. White paint well you don't know if you missed spots and, so. It could be uneven and then when it dries it looks terrible, so, that you know that the challenge, was how do we. You. Paint, white on white, and. The. Solution that they came up with was well it's, gonna roll on pink, they. When. The paint goes on the ceiling, it is actually, pink, in color and as it dries it, turns white and so, they solve that problem. That paradoxical. Of the. Conflict, of white-on-white, by. Changing. The color and having, an adaptive, entually so I think that's a really you know it's a very powerful one conflicts, or we, look at conflicts, we look at constraints, as being bad when, it comes to innovation but, I've actually think conflicts, and constraints, are the, key to driving some of the greatest innovations the other kind of paradox you mentioned is performance, paradox this is where we need to shift the focus if we're having issues hitting.
A Certain goal changing. What's measured for example I love. This one this is actually, worked in motorsports. For, a number of years when I lived in the UK worked for a race, car team and I remember having a conversation with, one of the guys there and I was always fascinated with the pit crews and, the short version of the story is that you get pit crews to go faster by telling them to go fast and they, do it over and over and over and over and over but. There's a point where they can't go any faster and what. They found was the way that they could actually get them to go faster, is to, tell them that, they weren't going to be measured on their speed, but rather on their style so as they're changing the tires as they're, doing maintenance on the car whatever their role, is and the pit crew they were to think smooth and they. Were gonna be evaluated, on the smoothness. Of their movements, and they. Were to go fast but they were to go smooth and. Interestingly. When, they were focused not on speed. But, rather on style and smoothness they, went faster, and this to me is the paradoxes. We, sometimes, push our teams we push our people to go faster and faster and faster yet. There is a point, of diminishing returns and, what. We need to do is back off and recognize, that that increased, stress. Actually. Reduces. Performance, so that performance, paradox, is basically. Sometimes the best way to hit. The goal is to not focus on the goal and the reason why I love this particular. Lens is because, it is the whole point of the book, sometimes. The best way to find a solution to. Your problem is, to not focus on the solution, but. Rather to, step back and focus on the question or the problem and that. To me is that really the key the book so I think there's a very powerful lens. From a whole variety perspectives. And then the last category the last five lenses are all about zeroing, in on the opportunity, and you've referred, to the real business lens but, let's perhaps the overall, goal of these and then maybe you're a favorite, out of these five the, five lenses are the real problems, lens making sure we're solving the right problem the real business, lens means, are we in the business we think we're in the, insights, lens which. Is basically. Around making sure we have the data because if we're if we don't have the right data if we don't have the right insights, we might be solving the wrong problem then. There's the observation. Lens and the observation. Lens is well. Sometimes data can fall short of giving us real insights. So, maybe we need to use ethnography. And observe our customers, and then, there's the variations, lens and the variation, lens basically, says don't design. For a one-size-fits-all, solution and, so. If you ask me my favorite of those I think they're all, incredibly. Important, but, the variations. Lens has yielded some really, really incredibly. Powerful, solutions, and I, actually learned, about this lens about, 30 years ago when I was a computer programmer and, I, remember my boss said designed. To handle, the exception. Not. For. The exception, and I. Remember what I was doing is I was basically creating. Complex, code, for the exception, that was so complex, that it, bogged down all the other standard. Processes, but if we designed, to handle those exceptions, not for them we, now create multiple, variations, of the process, if. You think about for example. You. Know claims processing. For an insurance company if you design, to handle the exception which is the complex, plane claim, then, every. Single claim is going to be handled, in a very cumbersome, long manner, but. If you design a handle the exception you might assume that both. Claims are simple in fact one, company did this sixty percent of their claims were SuperDuper simple so, they just had a generalist. A, lower. Paid person, who was able to basically take it process it boom it's done 60, percent of them done and then, the really complex ones needed specialists but they didn't have specialists, on everything so that variations, is I think is so powerful to. Recognize, that sometimes the best solutions, aren't, one size fits all but rather a design, to deal with each situation uniquely. The last section of the book is about, creating, a culture of innovation by, leveraging quest and challenges, you, start this section by sharing how many idea, crowdsourcing.
And Initiatives, fail, and how, that can actually demotivate. Businesses. And people within the business and, oftentimes. Businesses. Suffer from what is called mob sourcing, I want, to be clear I'm a huge, fan, of crowdsourcing, when. It's done right, and. It really comes back to the question if you think about most crowdsourcing. The questions we ask are big broad and abstract, so. We might use a suggestion, box mentality. Where. We ask our employees our customers our partners you, know how can we improve the business now if I ask a question like that I'm. Pretty much guaranteed to get thousands, of ideas of which maybe two will be valuable so. It's. It's not so much that crowdsourcing is bad but the way it is typically, implemented, because, of the questions, that are asked. Doesn't. Work and mob. Sourcing, is basically says that, people. Are going to, choose. If, we allow people to vote people going to choose, solutions. That actually serve their own. Personal. Interests, rather than necessary, the greater interests, of the entire company there are four steps you identified, two the metaphorical, innovation, funnel and they. Are conception, submission, elimination. And selling they are absolutely, key I'd love you took us through these four, steps so. If we come back to that suggestion, box mentality. Where. We say give us your ideas opinions. And suggestions, there. Are these four steps that you mentioned so but the first step is the the conception, we conceived the idea so, we're sitting, around and we're thinking oh man there's got to be a better way to do this and we come up with the idea and it's pops into our head but it's just a thought we. Don't do anything with it but just a thought and then at. Some, point we need to submit it which means we have to take the time to actually, submit it into the idea management, system or into the suggestion, box or whatever tools, are being used now we're, increasing the amount of time so conceiving, an idea that's just sort of a thought bubble submission. Means we're taking more time to actually write it down the. Elimination means. What we're going to do is say we're going to eliminate the, ones that don't work, and. From. My experience, and based. On a number of different. Studies out there on. Average. 99. To, 99.9%. Of. Ideas, that are submitted don't get implemented. So. That means we spend a lot of time thinking, about the problem submitting. The problem and eliminating, the problem and then eventually, once. We get the solution, the idea that we like we need to sell it and unfortunately. Things. Still fall off the, cliff during, this step because you, need to find somebody I've, got this great idea a new way of doing something now.
I've Got to sell it to somebody inside the company and if nobody inside the company who has money is interest. In it it dies and. So this is a traditional, way of working, as we basically have created. 99.9%. Waste. Of the. Time thought, about thinking about the problem submitting the problem evaluating, the problem and selling the problem and it recreates. Such a low, level, of value for the organization and it creates frustration for. The people who are submitting there's something called idea fatigue idea, fatigue is where people keep on submitting ideas getting. Rejected submitting. Ideas getting, rejected and this happens over and over and over and I've seen in every, company. That I've worked with idea. Fatigue sets in at some point and then, they need to shift to something else yes so frustrating, and I work in innovation, work and organization, development like you do and one of the most frustrating, things is when, you do a workshop or you do some work with a client and it's a big splash and everybody's excited and engaged and, then nothing's, done with the work maybe, it's a paper or business model or whatever and it's put in a desk and nothing's ever done with it and so demotivating. For the people who have worked on it who, saw this is at Limor of hope for the future of the organization and, here. You share your, CCI, approach, on your fast innovation, process because these, are ways you can see to overcome, these challenges CCI. Is challenged, centered, innovation. And basically what it means is instead of centering, the work around ideas. We're. Going to Center our work around the question and, if. You think about it with. Suggestion. Boxes idea centered, innovation. Basically. Each, idea, is evaluated. On its own merits, how complicated is going to be to implement how much values are going to create. Are gonna get housed who's gonna support it we, need to get the funding, and the resources and, all of that with, challenge centered innovation we flipped the whole thing on its head we. Start with it a question an important, question a well framed question, something. That if we solve that would move the needle for the organization, but, before we start asking for solutions. To. That question, we. Define. The evaluation, criteria, how. Will we know when. We have a good solution this allows us to be objective. In the, evaluation, process we, also have evaluate. Tors identified. Upfront who have context. Who will then be able to make some of the best decisions but. Equally important we have sponsors. Owners. And funding. And. All the resources necessary identified. Upfront so, we don't have to sell it we, don't have to go through the whole process that we went through previously, where, the great ideas that actually did get submitted wither on the vine we. Know this is something we need to solve we've, got the executive, support we've got the financial support we've got the resources lined up and now, we move forward and when I worked with companies applying this challenge, centered innovation, approach, one. Of my clients who measures everything. Found. That, compared. To their idea, driven, innovation Pro approach, it. Was driving a minimum. Of a tenfold improvement. On ROI because they eliminated, all the wasted energy they. Eliminated all the time spent on things that were low value, they, were only focused on things that created high value, and the, implementation. Was faster, because everything, was lined up beforehand, because once they found a solution that met, their evaluation, criteria, they started to work on it and, it doesn't mean that you don't have ideas, you know sometimes I I, come across as ideas, are horrible you should never do it and that's not really the case you want both but you want have the right balance and the challenges, should be in the forefront and the idea should be in the background not, the other way around which is how most companies do it that's the ccle approach and then you explain, your fast FAS, T innovation, process as well it's great to get a top line of what that is so fast dance for focus ask shift, test and.
It's Really key components, of challenge centered innovation, focus means when. You're asking, questions, focus. On the areas which you're gonna have the greatest impact and from, my perspective those are your differentiators. The, reason why people do business with you so I say innovate, where, you differentiate. You can't be the best at everything if you do you'll be the best at nothing and therefore, focus your energies on those differentiators. The. Ask is what we've been talking about how do we ask better questions as. A means of driving better solutions, and there's a in the book I talk about the places to look for those questions, the. S. Is the shift which is about shifting, your mindset this, is where we find solutions, and. In order to shift our mindset we, need to ask that who else question that we talked about before, look. Elsewhere, to find the solutions because one of the things we know is when people, are cut from the same cloth when we are like, if I'm working on a sales problem, if I, ask a hundred sales, people, to solve, a sales problem, and I'm not getting a solution adding the hundred and first sales person will not make one bit of difference but, if we add somebody from marketing, and product development and maybe somebody from you, know biology well maybe we're gonna find an interesting solution we hadn't considered and then, the last part of this and I think this is really important, is the, T and the fast which is test. These. Days everybody, is talking about failure, like failure is a good thing if we aren't failing, we aren't innovating, and look, I think we've over glorified, innovation, I think we've taken failure, to the point of absurdity. Failure. Is an inevitable. Outcome it, is not the, desired, outcome. So. What we need to do is become masters at experimentation. And if we become really good at experimentation. We'll, be able to test our hypotheses. Reducing. The risk of failure, and to be clear if you have a hypothesis. I believe this is a great idea and you run an experiment and you test it out and it proves it is not a great idea that is not failure. From. The perspective, of experimentation, that was a successful. Experiment. Where. Failure happens, is I have, an idea I have a solution that, actually is not, good it will, fail, I run. An experiment, on it and my, experiment, for whatever reason, tells me hey this is a great idea. Then. I move forward. Failure. The experiment. Failed, to give you the correct insights, so, failure is not the goal failure. Happens, but we want to mitigate it as much as we can beautiful, and one of the ways you use the lenses on yourself was when you were writing a book and you asked yourself a, question, which, is what, do I want to do here and it, led to building. This platform and, the, book and a. Podcast, that's on the way where, can people find out more about the book the platform the podcast so, the easiest, place is just to go to invisible, solutions. Book.com that's, invisible solutions, book comm there, are videos there where I tell the entire baggage, claim story there's, a whole bunch of other videos which might be of interest to you so, there's a lot of good, free stuff that you can get there also author, of, invisible. Solutions, 25, lenses, that reframe, and help solve difficult business problems, Stephen Shapiro thank, you for joining us oh it's my pleasure this is great.