What is the good idea?
Heathrow Airport is tired of late-coming passengers inconveniencing everyone. Flights are often delayed when gates are left open in the hope that the last stragglers eventually make it in time. Those that don't make it also cause delays because their luggage must then be offloaded from the plane.
To solve this problem, Heathrow has introduced "positive boarding", a technology solution which helps to track the location of passengers.
Under the system, passengers are given tickets with a barcode which they scan at various gates located in the terminal building. After each scan, the system works out whether the passenger is going the right way, and whether or not they will make it in time.
If the passenger has limited time, then the system tells him to proceed straight to the gate.
If he is in the wrong terminal, the message will give him instructions where to go instead.
And if a passenger tries to go through security with less than 30 minutes to flight departure, then he is instructed to return to check-in as it's too late. The airline will then start unloading his baggage to avoid any delay.
It's a win for the airline, it's a win for the passenger who gets information to help him go to the right place, and it's a win for the other passengers who are no longer inconvenienced by late-comers.
NOW APPLY THE 'STEAL-THE-CORE' METHOD
We identify the core or essence of the good idea we see in a different environment, and then see if we can 'steal' or adapt it for our business or environment.
What is the core?
What is the essence of the good idea?
What is the underlying principle which makes it a good idea?
Apply the 'Steal the Core' Method
After using your product or service, are then any poor outcomes which could have been avoided if the customer was given advice or guidance earlier on? Are there any triggers that could enable your customers to make better use of your product or service? If so, can you give your customers the opportunity to interact with you following one of these triggers, so that you can give them advice to self-correct for a better outcome? Can you give your customers a way to check their progress during the process of using your product or service to avoid unnecessary nasty surprised at the end?