Michael Plishka

Want to Uncover New Product Opportunities? Try Archaeology

I recently read this wonderfully provocative piece on how archaeology can be used as a tool for new product research. The crux of the paper is that insights into new product opportunities can be gleaned when we shift the focus off the consumer,...

Simulating Systems with This Intuitive (and Free!) Tool

Many years ago while working in the Rehab.-R&D wing of the Hines VA hospital, I was modelling how urinary bladders fill and empty. The goal was to better understand what was going on so that we could design appropriate interventions. I used a software...

Want to Share Data and Interact With it on the Web?

Well presented data tells a story. When viewers can interact with the data, it goes beyond storytelling and encourages discussion and a search for insight into why x happened to y but not to z. Enter Tableau Public. This free tool (yes, free!)...

G.R.A.S.P. The Solution – A Book Review

I had the privilege of recently reading the book, Grasp the Solution: How to Find the Best Answers to Everyday Challenges , by Chris Griffiths with Melina Costi. G.R.A.S.P. stands for the various stages and types of thinking: G-Generative R-Reactive A-Analytical S-Selective P-Proactive In general,…

The Fragile Muse and Respect for Creativity

Over at the Looper's Delight group we were discussing what to do with ideas that don't grow the way we expected, or wanted them to. Richard Sales of Glasswing Studios and Good Nature Farms (A farm/Creative sanctuary) then said the following: We have a...

Want to be Disruptively Innovative? Pass

You've analyzed the market, researched customer needs, and you've come up with some great ideas for new products. Shiny surfaces, high tech interface, and best of all, everything required to develop it is within your core competencies. But… Does the customer really need a $400...

Innovating For (and From) the Fringe

One of my favorite TV shows is Fringe. It's tale of parallel universes and the FBI's, Fringe Division team, and their fight against inter-dimensional, and/or high technology crime. The whole concept of the fringe, is a loaded one. It is the place where...

Designing Positive Experiences in a Doctor’s Office – One Bagel at a Time

It was a typical physical. The basic tests, some questions, some 'turn your head and cough'-ing, a blood draw and the removal of a dime-sized, spherical cyst from my right shoulder. As usual, the prep for the appointment included a fast from midnight. This...

You Don’t Have to be Brilliant to be Creative, Just Combinatorial

Was reading an interview with Maria Popova of Brainpickings.org and it dawned on me that I never shared her link with you, my Readers. Her website often has posts that can be quite thought provoking. Check it out. I do want to share...

Breaking Habits in the New Year? Innovate Instead

I entered the VA hospital, tired after a two and a half hour drive. I turned the corner and went to press the "UP" button. I pressed and the button didn't light up. I pressed again, but didn't really look closely at what...

Innovation Can Change the World When Spelled: L-O-V-E

Products and services have to obey the laws of nature. Some laws, like Newton's Laws, can not be avoided. Ignore them at your own risk. Then there are those Laws that aren't physical, but are no less real. These are laws...

Practice These Three Approaches for Increasing Creativity

When studying creativity, researchers measure certain traits that are indicative of creative thought processes in individuals. Three key concepts are: Fluency (the ability to generate multiple ideas) Flexibility (the number of relevant categories of ideas) Originality (the uniqueness of each idea) In general, more of…

Creativity: Left Brain + Right Brain = WHOLE Brain

Came across an article originally published at The Conversation.  With all the talk of right brain vs. left brain, it turns out that recent research highlights that creativity is a whole brain process, or more specifically, creativity is a function of efficient communication between hemispheres.  I blogged recently about using...

Want to Spark Innovative Thinking? Check Out “Exploiting Chaos” – A Free e-Book on...

I've always been a fan of Trendhunter.com and contribute on occasion when I'm able. Last week, Trendhunter Founder, Jeremy Gutsche, released his book, "Exploiting Chaos – 150 Ways to Spark Innovation During Times of Change," as a video enhanced, e-book. I read...

8 Tips on Creating Innovative and Engaging Products/Services

Was reading this article over at Writer's Digest about how to start a chapter in an engaging manner. The similarities between writing a story and designing an engaging product or service were striking. (Note: When using the word 'product' this also includes...

That’s YOUR Chunk of Open Office Space, This is MINE

In the past I wrote about the health impact of open plan office spaces and their impact on creativity. Now it appears that open office spaces, intended to foster interaction, instead foster territorial behaviours that undermine collaboration. Professor of Strategic Management, Stephen Cummings, who...

Interested in Open Innovation Models? Check This Out!

I was lying on the couch in the wee hours of the night/morning, flipping through various channels. I came upon a program on the Sundance channel and saw designers brainstorming, sketching, prototyping…. ….cooool…. I had stumbled upon: Quirky. Part open innovation, part reality TV, part...

Insights Into Innovation via the Way of the Mad Scientist

While at a client's the other day, a colleague looked at the collection of new and failed prototypes, bits and pieces of scrap, notes, Ziploc bags with components, and exclaimed, "Plishka, you're a mad scientist, man!" It wasn't the first time I've been called...

5 Tips for Building Sustainable, Innovative Communities (Chainsaws Included)

Pic Courtesy of coloradoouting.com What do you do when the trees in your city park are diseased and need to be cut down? You could cut them down and dig out the stumps… Or… You could have chainsaw artists come out and convert the stumps…

Small Changes in Design Can Positively Impact Customer Experience – Thoughts After the Storm

I don't know what chord the wind was playing, I only know it wasn't that "shoosh' sound that a breeze, even a strong one, makes. The haunting drone of 75+mph winds was punctuated by the snapping sounds of tree trunks and shuddering thuds...

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