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Innovation zig zag

Post Written By Sandie Glass, Owner of Innovation ROI

A Strategic Full Service Ideation & Research Company

We have finally made it through our Inspiring Innovation Journey. We are now at the end of the alphabet with the letter “Z” in our “Creative Thinking Kick Starter: 26 Ways to find Innovation Inspiration and New Ideas” book series.

Z is for ZigZag. I’d like to to discuss ZIGZAG in more philosophical terms as a way to creatively inspire innovation.

We’ve always heard that the fastest way to get from Point A to Point B is a straight line. But as we all know, it sounds great in theory, but it does us little good in life and in business. In fact, I bet if life actually worked that way, we’d actually be disappointed. Let me explain. Life is always full of obstacles, and the sooner we learn how to cope, handle and overcome those obstacles the better off we are. ZIGZAGS remind us that the learning of any experience is in the journey – and that journey is usually full of ZIGZAGS along the way. I believe our creative problem solving skills are based on a series of ZIGZAG information and brain connections inspiring innovation. ZIGZAGS give us the ability to look back and reflect upon what we’ve been through and help us better appreciate what we have achieved.

ZIGZAG is defined as:
• A line, course, or progression characterized by sharp turns first to one side and then to the other
• One of a series of such turns, as in a line or path
• To move in a zigzag direction

Here are some examples for ZIGZAG:

– Stock Market – This is a perfect example of ZIGZAG. Although we would prefer to see a smooth continuous line climbing higher in higher to reflect our increase earnings, the stock market is never that predictable. This ZIGZAG not only defines the state of a business stock, but it truly is a reflection of the way life and business operates – in a ZIGZAG pattern.

– Oil Drilling – This is the same process. When the drill hits bedrock and can go no further, they simply move the drill over a little so the line actually looks like a ZIGZAG when it’s done. It’s the natural path that business needs to take, and the path most of us will undoubtedly take in our lives.


inspiring innovation

– Bobby Pins – Yes, they actually have a ZIGZAG side to them. The ZIGZAG part of the pin “grabs” the hair beneath the section, and the smooth, straight part of the pin simply holds the hair down. Could your product benefit from a ZIGZAG element in the functional design?


inspiring innovation

– Missoni – This small Italian company was originally known for their vibrant, ZIGZAG sweaters and now has turned into a global fashion brand. ZIGZAG patterns have become a signature of the Missoni brand. You might remember their 2011 collaboration with Target, where their clothing line, ZIGZAG bicycles and place settings sold out instantly and made them a household name.


So how does this help us with innovation? ZIGZAGGING requires you to be nimble and flexible. Maybe you need to be more creative to “bootstrap” your finances, or maybe you need to take advantage of multiple opportunities, not just ONE. This concept is about inspiring innovation, ideas, and solutions.

ZIGZAG thinking is also called lateral thinking. The purpose of ZIGZAG thinking is to produce good brainstorming and ideation to create as many new ideas as possible. It is the brainchild of creative thinking, which focuses on what could be instead of what is. This “bouncing around” can be a great asset to the future success of your brand or company. It allows you to use both the creative and logical sides of your brain, inspiring innovation by encouraging you to combine more than one insight, trend, or thought together, and to come up with unique and provocative concepts and solutions. In ZIGZAG thinking you proceed by any means at hand, so long as new ideas and significant chance is the result. Following this principle can deliver success that is far beyond your initial plans and dreams.

We encourage you to go back through ALL A-Z blog posts. They all have their merits for inspiring innovation and could just promote the breakthrough you are looking for.

So what’s next? We encourage you to do one of three things: 1) Leave a comment at the bottom of this page so we know if we are providing helpful information to you, 2) Sign up for our FREE Report in the box at the upper right of the page and get on our subscriber’s list, and 3) Pick up the phone and give us a call. We WANT to help you succeed with your innovation efforts. Being stuck for answers can hold you back and we know there has to be something on your mind. How many people will give you their time for FREE to help you out – not many I assure you. Yes, we are unique and that’s what we want you to find out. We are committed to helping you grow your brand substantially through added-value products and services. That is what market leaders do, so let’s get started.

Innovation ROI is a leading up-front innovation consulting firm that has a combined 38 years of expertise collaborating with top corporate innovation teams to create incredible, actionable business—building ideas. You will get a Return On Insights through our Collision Point™ process, where INSIGHTS and IMAGINATION intersect to create powerful strategic ideas for success. Learn more about Innovation ROI at www.innovationroi.com.