You can start by looking at how new technologies have affected some sectors but not others. Mobile technology, for example, has revolutionized food delivery and taxis - two common urban services. What other services do we use in cities that could benefit from mobile devices? I have seen an SMS service that enables you to find a public toilet! That’s a service which certainly did not exist before, and a very useful one. Look to expand technologies which have been successful in one sector to new sectors which are still lagging behind.
When I was learning to draw a chair using negative space, in essence I was learning to draw the opposite, the “not-a-chair” if you like!
Personally, I find this technique very useful in innovative thinking too. Take a familiar problem or a familiar solution and simply imagine what the opposite would be. From there, you may find a new insight into how the problem works and how you can shake up the space. For example, I always enjoy having this discussion with people creating new products and services.
I will be speaking to the Boston TDWI Chapter on Thursday June 18 at the Roscoe Brady Lecture Hall (Genzyme Center) about “Business Discovery & The Analytic Organization”. I hope to see you there! Click HERE to register.