Questions for Motorola Solutions' Maria Thompson?

As the Chair of the Back End of Innovation Conference I have the distinct pleasure of being able to ask the incredible line up of speakers some questions, for you, and for me, and get to what’s most interesting. We’ll be sharing your questions with the speakers, and and do live blogging while we’re there to cover their highlights.  We’re getting the ball rolling with someone we’re very excited to talk to: Maria Thompson, Innovation Instigator, Intellectual Asset Management, Motorola Solutions, and self proclaimed innovation mentor, who will be talking about “directed innovation” in her presentation,  Predictive Innovation: Directed Inventing to Ensure Generation of High Value Ideas.

In more than 15 years of planning, conducting and facilitating more than 100 inventing sessions, Thompson has found one major truth: garbage in = garbage out. The yield of novel, patentable ideas from ad hoc brainstorming sessions is predictably low. The Directed Innovation methodology includes preparation and pre-work in the planning phase that focuses the ideation phase participants on the most important and fruitful problem areas to generate novel ideas. Measurements are pre-defined and used throughout the process to assess the value of problems, as well as the ideas generated.

Your Questions for Motorola's Maria Thompson

Here are my top questions for Maria — please send us yours by posting a comment. We’ll do our best to get the answers posted here after the conference and in our BEI Conference Recap.

1.  What does an innovation instigator at Motorola Solutions do?

2.  How is Directed Innovation (a new term to me!) different than iterative prototyping?

3.  There has been a lot of press of late about the importance of patents to a corporation’s overall value.  How do companies develop an effective IPR strategy?

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Julie Anixter is Chief Innovation Officer at Maga Design and the executive editor and co-founder of Innovation Excellence. She worked with Tom Peters for five years on bringing big ideas to big audiences. Now she works with the US Military and other high test innovation cultures that make a difference.

Julie Anixter




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No Comments

  1. Sarah Miller Caldicott on August 1, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Maria is an outstanding innovation resource, and will bring tremendous value to the BEI conference. Here are a few questions for her Q&A roster:

    1) How is the trend toward developing products in overseas markets first versus the US impacting innovation effectiveness?

    2) What role do social networks play in the back end of innovation?

    3) How do you rate virtual teams versus live teams as effective drivers of the innovation process?

    Looking forward to a fabulous BEI event.

    Keep innovating…Sarah

  2. Julie Aniter on August 1, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Thanks Sarah! We will share these with Maria!

  3. Rami Levy on August 1, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Maria is a friend and former co-worker of mine, and I’m happy to hear she will be presenting at the BEI.

    A few questions for consideration:

    1. Within the context of a Directed Innovation session, how do you handle ideas that may not be patentable, but could still represent value to the corporation?

    2. Directed Innovation sessions create intense focus on a particular area of discussion. How do you handle the “serendipitous” ideas that may spawn from such a session, that are only tangentially related to the focus area?

    Good luck!

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