FROM BUZZWORD TO BLUEPRINT: Unbounded Thinking’s Structured Approach to Innovation




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In the broad and often nebulous world of innovation, one company in Alberta aims to change how we think about innovation with its unique approach: Unbounded Thinking. With a mission to transform ‘innovation’ from a vague buzzword into a scientific discipline, the team at Unbounded Thinking brings a refreshing perspective to the conventional approach of organizational innovation.

Unbounded Thinking identified a significant gap in traditional organizational structures. They often need a more well-defined approach to innovation. They simply do it at random or in short spurts. Many organizations cannot harness the full potential of their assets. Amid an ever-increasing rate of change, this lack of structure can be detrimental to an organization. As co-founder Shannon Phillips puts it, “It might work, but it’s not sustainable…or repeatable.”

The cornerstone of Unbounded Thinking’s approach is its focus on Human-Centered Innovation Management (HCIM). Rather than viewing innovation as an optional add-on, the team believes in establishing an innovation ecosystem that acts as a vital survival mechanism for organizations. This means innovation is rooted within the organization’s framework, influencing each decision, strategy, and interaction.

Freeman Beals attends a local Innovation Rodeo event – Calgary, Alberta

Unbounded Thinking’s approach hinges on three fundamental pillars – People, Change, and Systems.

People form the first core of their triad. They believe every individual has the potential to contribute to innovation. They work closely with organizations to nurture creativity and collaboration. The goal is to enable each member of an organization to become an integral part of its innovation ecosystem.

Change, the second core element, is pivotal in Unbounded Thinking’s approach. They underscore that successful innovation requires significant changes to existing ways of doing things. Effective change management is critical to ensuring these changes are not only implemented but also sustainable. They provide strategic guidance to ensure organizations can navigate this transformation smoothly and maintain their momentum even in the face of uncertainty.

Shannon Phillips explains a Pilot Program to a group of business owners. Cochrane, Alberta.

Systems, the third core, relate to the larger context in which organizations operate. Unbounded Thinking helps organizations understand the complexities and interconnections of their operating systems. By doing so, they can identify potential challenges or opportunities that may influence future growth. The company guides organizations in crafting strategies that address immediate goals and set the stage for long-term innovation.

By focusing on these aspects, Unbounded Thinking can help organizations streamline their approach to innovation. They open the door for organizations to not only achieve a higher return on innovation but to accurately measure it as well.

But how do organizations attain this?

Group community discussion around pain points felt by local business owners – Cochrane, Alberta.

Unbounded Thinking is focused on the ‘how’ of innovation with software that effectively allows any size organization to measure their Innovation Maturity Level. Then through AI-generated inputs, turn that data into a custom Innovation Blueprint. Enabling organizations to stay competitive in an ever-changing landscape without the budget of Google or Microsoft.

Through their unique, human-centered approach, they are redefining the science of innovation and proving that with the right strategies, innovation can be a well-managed, predictable, and high-return investment.

At its core, Unbounded Thinking is about ‘making innovation simple.” Through their commitment to teaching, guiding, and demystifying innovation, Unbounded Thinking is shaping the future of the innovation ecosystem in Alberta and beyond.

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