ANALOGY AS A TOOL FOR COMMUNICATING ABOUT INNOVATION
Cynthia Sifonis (),
Adrian Chernoff () and
Kevin Kolpasky ()
Additional contact information Cynthia Sifonis: Department of Psychology, Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan 48309, United States of America
Adrian Chernoff: CEO, RubberBandits™, 6672 Gunpark Dr., Suite 201, Boulder, Colorado 80301, United States of America
Kevin Kolpasky: Design and Technology Fusion Team, General Motors Research and Development Center, 30500 Mound Road Warren, Michigan 48090-9055, United States of America
Many techniques have been developed to enhance innovative thinking within a company. However, many innovations never make it through the development process due to the difficulty inherent in communicating new ideas to others. This article discusses the obstacles to innovation that occur during the development process and how these obstacles can be overcome through the use of analogy. Described is an empirically derived seven-step process for constructing suitable analogies for communicating about innovations. The use of the seven-step processes to develop an analogy to communicate about an automotive "step-rim" innovation developed by General Motors and the lessons learned during the development of the analogy are also discussed.