Aha! moments in innovation

John W Lewis's picture
Chat Date: 
Thu, Dec 15, 2016

We've all had them, those so called "aha!" moments. These are the sudden realisations that we can do see something that we could not previously see, that we understand how something works when it had all seemed confusing, or that something that seemed impossible is possible after all.

In some cases, we are simply seeing what other people had seen, and had been telling us about, for some time. In other cases, we see opportunities that no one else has seen and we feel like Archimedes shouting "Eureka!": the scales fall from our eyes, and whole new possibilities open up.

Hopefully most of these are good moments, although there is probably little fundamental difference between the "aha!" and the "oh shit!" moment (when we realise that something bad is going to happen), expect the desirability of the likely outcome. But let's focus on the positive "aha!" variants for this chat!

References

Eureka effect https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eureka_effect

Questions

Let's discuss the phenomenon of the "aha!" moment also known as the "Eureka effect" during #innochat on Twitter on December 15th 2016 at 12noon Eastern time based on the following questions:

  1. What role does the "aha!" moment play in innovation?
  2. How would you describe "aha!" moments that you have had or that you know about?
  3. When does the "aha!" occur in an innovation: at the start, end, or some other stage in its development?
  4. How can innovation occur without "aha!"s?
  5. What can we do to enable, encourage, or otherwise increase the number of "aha!" moments?

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