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How to innovate when my core work is support?

I have to innovate to meet my KRA. However the core role I do is support. I don't know where to start? Isn't innovation more relevant for development/design/creation work than support?

Specialisations were built at work to improve efficiency. Not to cripple human potential.

As one does one kind of work, there is a propensity to get comfortable with it.

However it doesn't mean one is incapable of doing a different kind of work/ thought/action.

Many of us who have two hands have a preference to use one over the other. However, it doesn't mean we are incapable of doing anything with the other hand. The other hand may not be as efficient or fast, but it would work and get better with practice.

One of the models that is easy to use to get started with innovation is SCAMPER. It helps you add lateral thinking to linear thinking.

SCAMPER stands for

  • Substitute

  • Combine

  • Adapt

  • Modify/Magnify/ Minify

  • Put to another use

  • Eliminate

  • Rearrange

If you are someone supporting an existing product or service, pick one of them and run through the steps.

  1. Substitute:

Some questions to ask yourself:

  • What about this product/process/service can I substitute with another to make it more efficient/effective?

  • What input can I substitute?

  • What tangibles (physical characteristics) can I substitute?

  • Can I take something in Product A and substitute it with something from Product B?

2. Combine

Some questions to ask yourself:

  • What can I combine in terms of features/people/processes to create a unique output?

  • Where can I connect the dots?

  • What can I merge?

3. Adapt

Some questions to ask yourself:

  • What 20% can I change to get a different 80%?

  • What can I change to suit a different customer segment?

  • What part of a current feature can I change?

4. Modify

Some questions to ask yourself:

  • What can I magnify?

  • What can I minify?

  • What I can make stronger?

  • What features can I add more?

5. Put to another use:

Some questions to ask yourself:

  • What alternate use can I think for my product?

  • How would a different target segment use it?

  • What new ways can I use the same product?

6. Eliminate

Some questions to ask yourself:

  • What can I remove from my service?

  • Where can I reduce cost?

  • What will a minimalist remove from my product?

7. Rearrange

Some questions to ask yourself:

  • How to rearrange the parts to yield to a different outcome?

  • What if I change the starting point of the workflow?

  • Can I change the schedule?

You can find more interesting information on SCAMPER here.

What models do you use to start your innovation?

What works for you the best?

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