When I made case for systematic innovation in consulting, I did not recommend any specific method set. The one that I am trained and have practiced is called TRIZ (aka TIPS/Theory of Inventive Problem Solving). Its basis is patents, it provides many methods to define a problem, find and resolve any of the 39 parameters trade offs / contradictions with 40 principles, recommend solutions for standard problems from its 76 solution portfolio, predict product/system from its 8 evolution trends. All the good things. From trizindia.org we have chatted on beginner questions to Dr Ellen Domb one of the few articulate world leaders in TRIZ based innovation as a podcast in 2 parts (Part 1 and part 2).
But it all comes with a few catches, if you cannot get the language of TRIZ, you cannot apply easily, if you do not apply you cannot learn, and if you never learn, you are always running short on good ideas. So really the facilitator’s role in TRIZ first is demystify, handhold in using the methods, never give out an idea even as an example, and mostly be silent, listen and ask questions. If the method is so systematic can I not get a machine to do all this in a flow, certainly possible and that route has been taken up by a few researchers.
As a leader it is necessary to make that time for your team to learn. And once that happens, some test the waters, some believe, some suspect, some ignore,
some really apply and when they do and get an idea that they never thought was possible beyond what was already told by the ‘resident genius’….. it starts to happen again and again.