Solving the Right Problems with the Right Ideas


John Gerrie, the founder of KN3W IDEAS® is not your typical innovation guru. He has John Gerrielived with the real challenges of managing major global brands and businesses, with board or management committee responsibilities across 4 continents. He understands how innovation can drive a company’s success, and he also understands how often businesses can get bogged down and waste valuable resources picking the wrong ideas to work on.

Picture courtesy of Reckitt Benckiser plc,

Most recently John was the head ‘ideas-guy’ at Reckitt Benckiser plc, a global consumer goods company with dominant market positions in over 60 countries with global brands like Dettol®, Nurofen®, Mortein®, Lysol®, Harpic®, Vanish®, Airwick®, Woolite® Finish®, Gaviscon®, Lemsip® and many more. Reckitt have been the star performer in their sector, with double digit earning growth for the last 10 years driven by an innovation program that delivers close to 40% of its net revenue from products launched in the past 3 years.

John was the architect of the Reckitt Benckiser front-end of innovation process, and led an ideas team that delivered over £750m in new product ideas annually.

Since leaving Reckitt Benckiser, John has been researching and testing a new approach to the front-end of innovation. A more reliable and consistent way of finding the right things to do, with less wastage working on the wrong things. And working on the wrong things is not that uncommon. Several major studies and John’s own experience confirms that on average about 46% of the projects in most company’s innovation pipelines are the wrong ideas, ideas that will never make it to market, or will fail after launch.

And the reason is simple;

Problem KN3W IDEAS Solution
Start with an idea
We start with an idea. So often under pressure to come up with the big idea, we jump to conclusions, we think we understand how the idea will appeal to the customer, without really understanding what the customer needs, or more importantly, what problems the customer wants to solve.
Start with a problem
That is why KN3W IDEAS starts with the problem not the idea. By getting behind the issues in the business and into the heads of your customer the KN3W IDEAS process uncovers the right problems to solve.
Fixed Thinking
Fixedness. Like it or not, our thinking is inadvertently limited by our experience, our environment and our beliefs. This human phenomenon is sometimes labelled paradigms, stuckedness or fixedness – “a psychological inertia that prevents us from being able to easily see new ideas and solutions beyond our experiences, knowledge and beliefs”
Systematic Thinking
That is why KN3W IDEAS uses systematic problem solving and not brainstorming. The KN3W IDEAS systematic problem solving technique has its foundations in TRIZ, and identifies the blocking and enabling factors and the contradictions present in every problem, and then uses a set of twelve operators to trigger thinking that is not limited by fixedness.
Thinking Alone
We simply do not use the whole organisations brain. Why? Human nature, egos and competition. More often it is the way we work, particularly in typical brainstorming sessions where often the loudest voice dominates and the more introverted participants are left without being heard.
Whole Team Thinking
That is why KN3W IDEAS uses a patent pending tool kit containing a set of templates and tools designed to get people thinking together, in an environment where everyone has their own thinking space, but experiences, ideas and thinking are shared.


The KN3W IDEAS process helps organisations not only to think differently, but to think together to pick the right ideas earlier in the innovation process so that valuable resources are not wasted working on the wrong ideas. KN3W IDEAS combines the best elements across a wide variety of innovation theory and techniques into one easy to use process, all driven through a set of patent-pending templates and tools.


KN3W IDEAS Patent-pending WorkGroup Toolkit

Kn3w Ideas Collection

Solving the right problems with the right ideas

Facilitator & Practitioner

Become a KN3W IDEAS facilitator or practitioner

KN3W IDEAS the book
More than just a book - a whole KN3W was of thinking

A great introduction to this unique new problem-led front-end of innovation technique. The book is also a complete DIY guide to running your own KN3W IDEAS workshop because it contains a complete set of the patent-pending KN3W IDEAS templates and tools, and a step-by-step classroom in a book tutorial – everything you need to start picking the right things to do – now!