A 5-step approach to innovation

"Testing is the science of innovation," says Filene’s Erin Coleman.

Erin Coleman challenged CUNA Management School students to “dip your toes in the water of innovation” Thursday in Madison, Wis.

Coleman, senior impact director for the Filene Research Institute, took students through several innovation exercises and outlined the Filene Method of innovation. The basic components of this are:

  • Insights. Identify a problem to solve by collecting data and seeking patterns.
  • Ideation. Take what you’ve learned and come up with ideas to solve the problem.

    Most people consider this to be brainstorming, Coleman says, but the Filene Method has rules for ideation, such as deferring judgement, encouraging wild ideas, building on others’ ideas, staying focused on the topic at hand, and using visuals to encourage creativity.

    “Think first of who we solve for, and then viability,” Coleman advises.


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