Today I wanted to talk about conception. Not the conception in love making but the conception of an idea and innovation. Like everything, everything starts somewhere and innovation is no different. Conception is an innovation skill that enables you to create the meaning and motivation behind an idea. If you don't have a good reason to motivate, it's unlikely that you will innovate.

The conception point of an innovation is a combination of a variety of factors it includes:

  • Your Motivation - the way you are doing it
  • The Function - the essence of how it will work
  • The Brief - the explanation of it all to give the big picture behind your upcoming innovation

 In design thinking there is a classic saying that form follows function. Simply put your reason for creating a design is the motivation that determines the final form. While there can be some exceptions to this rule or credo, most of the time it stands true.

A powerful example of this is the not-for-profit behaviour change company called 'We Are What We Do'. In 2004 their mission was to look at effecting change tobetter the planet and the life of it's occupants. Not an easy thing to do with a limited budget, and being a non for profit to boot. The solution, createa burning mantra concept and the innovative idea will come. And yes the idea did come, in the form of a book called "Change The World For Ten Bucks" . The book had the most simple of premises. Save the planet, and doing it cheaply.

Did the book sell? You bet, it had sold 50,000 of them before even going to print. All because of its clear. simple, unmistakable concept. A concept so powerful and inviting that they even managed to get the Australian prime minster of the time to endorse and launch the book. The organisation is still around today staying true to their cause.

The question is what's the clear concept you have behind your innovation? What's been coming first? Has it been trying to focus on the 'form' of the innovation or the reason and motivation for innovating?

A great conception leads to world class innovation.
Cheers,
Nils
Nils Vesk
Innovation Architect (p)1300 139 272

Nils Vesk is an innovation architect who applies the process of design thinking to the business of generating and realising ideas. Click here to find out more about his book Ideas with Legs