Out of the Cave and Back Again

Out of the Cave and Back Again

PDMA Carolinas | August 16, 2022

Access the Presentation

Can you believe that it is possible to improve your innovation systems by utilizing a set of lenses defined in a piece of ancient Greek literature that is over 2000 years old? In this engaging session you will learn about four levels of understanding that are defined in Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave.” These levels of understanding can be classified as the Imagine, Believe, Know and Reason lenses. We will travel through the stages of learning from being captives in the cave, working our way up and out of the cave and then, by design, intentionally returning to the cave. As we work through the definition for each of these lenses, you will then see how these lenses can be readily applied to many aspects of your current innovation culture and processes.

Some of the key areas where these lenses can be applied include:

  • The definition of your corporate Vision, Mission, and Value statements.
  • Improved understanding of your company’s level of innovation maturity.
  • Creating increased empathy for your customer’s point of view.
  • Generating parameters and guidelines for the evaluation and prioritization for your product roadmap.
  • Better clarity of the risks and challenges associated with your new product development processes.

Through this journey, it will also become clear to the attendee that the levels of Imagine and Believe are centered on an opinion driven decision process. The levels of Know and Reason are focused on data driven decision making. By recognizing the lens that individuals are applying to the decision-making process, attendees will learn how they can use this understanding along with their own self-awareness to better communicate and to reduce tension in the organization. Join us on this entertaining and informative excursion into the teachings of ancient Greece and their practical application to today’s dynamic and ever-changing innovation environment.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the four levels/lenses of understanding from Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” of Imagine, Believe, Know and Reason.
  • Be able to apply the lenses to their innovation program to reduce risk and improve the effectiveness of their programs.
  • Recognize how the lenses can be applied in both their personal and business lives to improve their communications with others.

About the Presenter

Bill Reid

Bill Reid has over 30 years of experience working in all phases of product development and helping companies bring new products to the market. Bill’s career incorporates experience with large multi-national companies including Ford, General Electric, General Motors and Covidien. Furthermore, Bill has extensive experience with companies as small as single entrepreneur start-up ventures. Throughout his career, Bill has found enjoyment in being able to teach others about innovation methods.

Bill is a certified New Product Development Professional through PDMA with degrees in mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering. Bill is named as the inventor or co-inventor on 22 US patents. Bill’s passion for innovation and creativeness extends beyond the workplace to his hobbies where he is an award-winning homebrewer who has had a beer featured at the Great American Beer Festival.

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