How to Solve an Innovation Problem

Innovation is a word too used and abused nowadays. Innovation refers to newness that succeeded in the marketplace, and not just in a single workplace, but in reality most companies are just playing catch-up to others and package it as innovation. This especially happens when there are issues that need addressing and companies try to solve them while calling it challenging boundaries — but these might just be limited to their own boundaries. 

So how does one solve an issue in a way that isn’t just a band-aid fix, and becomes a sustainable long-term strategy instead? And, more importantly, do you make it fresh in your industry?

Last March, we held the Mansmith Innovation Summit and Awards to recognize the Filipino innovators who have gone above and beyond to do this in their organizations. Other than this two-in-one seminar and awards, we wanted to go a step further with our advocacy and created the Mansmith Innovation Challenge to accompany it. It was our first time holding such an event, as we wanted to give more opportunities to those with the potential to think up innovative solutions to business issues.

Contestants were tasked to solve business cases provided by our sponsors. Key representatives acted as judges for each case, and they evaluated each contestant’s solution according to four criteria:

  • Executive Summary – In the participants’ own words, how well they summarized the contents of their entry
  • Key Insight – How they identified a penetrating new truth and the most pressing issue to solve in the case study
  • Big Idea – Their game changing concept, grounded on insight, that serves as a unifying force behind a brand’s marketing effort.
  • Innovation – How their proposed solution is considered an innovation, a reconfiguration of what to start and stop doing in order to be different in a different way in the entire industry and not just the company, and its effectiveness and efficiency. 

Watch the video below to see what the judges were looking for according to these criteria, and how the Mansmith Innovation Challenge winners found their innovative solutions.


JOSIAH GO is the course designer of the 55-video Business Model Course, the first in the Philippines and in Asia. A deep dive into the Mansmith Business Model Map, it’s set apart from other similar models by adding two new building blocks: value chain and reconfiguration (for innovation). Learn more at


The search for the 4th Mansmith Innovation Awards is ongoing. Send your application/nomination here:

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Josiah Go features the movers and shakers of the business world and writes about marketing, strategy, innovation, execution and entrepreneurship


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