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Crack the Innovation Code

Do you remember the show MacGyver? MacGyver was a government secret agent who would continually trouble-shoot his way out of threatening situations with a sense of resourcefulness that would leave you in awe. In the show’s pilot alone, MacGyver managed to:

  • Disarm a missile with a paper clip.
  • Make a timed diversion using matches, string and a rifle.
  • Light a cigarette with a hidden laser.
  • Use cigarette smoke to detect a laser.
  • Use a mirror from a pair of binoculars to make a laser destroy itself.
  • Raise a fallen I-beam with a knotted fire hose filled with water.
  • Test heat on a door using a stick.
  • Pull wires out of a control panel to start fans in a gas chamber.
  • Stop a sulfuric acid leak using milk chocolate bars.
  • Make an explosive using sodium metal and a cold capsule.
  • Signal his status by blinking a light in Morse code. 

So what can we learn from this master of improvisation? When it comes to innovation, the Fuzzy Front End is often best tackled with a variety of seemingly disparate ideas, thoughts and experiences—which can work together to solve either immediate or future problems.

Some of the techniques we use at Ideas To Go include:

Most of these methods work by first leveraging what you (or your consumer) already know. But the MacGyver-esque magic lies in their ability to reframe the known—and then vastly broaden your perspective—helping you conceive of brand-new ideas that also strategically address your business challenge. So, armed with a few creative thinking tools that unlock innovative twists on conventional ideas, you’re sure to discover a wealth of solutions that even a brilliant secret agent would admire. 

©2013 Ideas To Go, Inc. All rights reserved.

Jill Reiswig

Jill Reiswig is the Content Marketing Manager at Ideas To Go, an innovation agency that works with Fortune 500 companies in ideation and concept development to incorporate the voice of the consumer.