Portland, OR (PRWEB) August 29, 2006
[Innovation has become the number 2 differentiator in today's business landscape, immediately behind communication skills. But trying to innovate when hours run long and the creative well runs dry is a challenge over 68% of leaders face on a regular basis. New software solutions and creativity methods have come to the rescue, and are available at very little cost. The net result: More creative innovations in less time. ThoughtOffice is one such solution used by startups all the way to Fortune 500 companies and universities.
"What we're seeing is individual innovation and creativity becoming key factors in total personal value" says Mark Alan Effinger, CEO of ThoughtOffice, an innovation and brainstorming software company. "Individuals who innovate are tending to make more money, and produce better, more measurable results... whether as CEOs, or even line employees. And it doesn't seem to matter what sparks the innovation -- just that there IS a steady flow of ideas that can and are implemented".
"Innovation in a box" has been a missing link in the creative process. Since individuals tend to develop ideas using radically different methods, how can a leader grab innovation and make it do their bidding any time, any place?
"The 'trick' to creativity appears to be 'connecting the dots'" says Martin Grossman, an award-winning writer who is frequently tapped for his creative perspective on business problems. "By starting with your problem, defining it, and then doing stream-of-consciousness processes to step away from the problem one increment at a time, people often find the solution 3-5 levels deep. The near solutions are common. Real innovation comes just a few "a-HA" moments later. Helping leaders get to that point is the real opportunity".
Mindmapping, Brainstorming and Associative Thinking tools all provide ways to get the innovators edge. These software solutions hot-rod the creative process by giving the issue a starting point, then "surprising" the mind with unexpected elements that help induce new ideas. Like Emeril's "BAM!" during a cooking session, or looking out the window during a test, your mind suddenly finds ideas that have been smoldering in there for days or even decades, but had no application until now.
"We believe the Associative Thinking process provides the fastest, most all-inclusive and fully creative method of innovation possible today" comments Mr. Effinger. "By asking lots of relevant questions around a situation you crisply define it. Expanding on it with dozens to thousands of one-step at a time related thoughts provides the a-HA! moments that bring the innovation to life. It's no longer a problem, but a series of near and far solutions. Lots of them, so you have plenty to pick from, combine, and explore. That's the trick: having enough raw creative material to get the job done regardless of resources, talent and time".
Effinger points to ThoughtOffice Innovation Software, the suite of innovation tools his company makes, as one way to get to these innovation breakthroughs.
"We worked with a couple of hundred real experts; business executives, coaches and consultants, advertisers and marketers... in both the creative and linear business areas that are most critical to success. Then we had them compose hundreds of questions each to help clarify and define how they think when solving a problem" Effinger says. "Then we added what's called an Associative Thinking engine that looks at words and ideas using 'six degrees of separation'. Explore over 9 million words, lyrics, quotes, and images, all triggered from your initial problem or ideas, and you'll find a massive number of real-world solutions that you might never have seen without the exploration. You already use this process when you're solving problems. ThoughtOffice just makes it faster, easier and gives you lots more to play with".
If innovation is the #2 most critical point in making money, then it makes sense to bolster that portion of a business or individual. Whether with software like ThoughtOffice, taking a hot shower or a long drive, it's important to find and use innovation tools to increase our potential.
ThoughtOffice Innovation Software begins at $97, with expert business topic plugin modules addressing 13,700 questions across 17 different topics on business, consulting, coaching, advertising, marketing and general creativity areas starting at $29 each. A complete suite to address every area a CEO or creative needs to know sells for less than $500, with free upgrades for 6 months. A free trial version for Mac OSX and Windows XP is available at 15-day trial.
A new program from ThoughtOffice called ThoughtOffice v2.0 will be released in December 2007. The program has over 9 million associations and images, and includes rhymes, song lyrics, famous quotes and options to create storyboards and other presentation media to help share innovations and ideas. The program will be offered as a free upgrade to eXpertSystem v7.3 owners (v7.3 has been shipping since April 2006).
ThoughtRod.com is a software development and marketing firm that creates solutions for content creation, enhancement and delivery. The company founders have been training clients and developing software and hardware solutions since 1987. The ThoughtOffice software suite solves problems and act as creative catalysts for organizations as diverse as NASA, Homeland Security, major Universities, leading Advertising Agencies and thousands of Executive Coaches and Consultants. The company can be reached at http://www.ThoughtRod.com or by calling 360-312-4312.