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Methods applied: Focal and Skice

Why Focal?

Any individual or organisation may be confronted with complex problems that seem impossible to solve. In such situations, the “usual” means to act on the problems seem inappropriate or irrelevant.

Quite often, this situation is due to a poor representation of the context of action. By redefining this context, new means of action may emerge.

Our cognition (the way we think) is constrained by the context in which we think. Context is nothing but a category and our thinking is structured into categories. When we face a given stimulus, our brain spontaneously activates the category that seems most obvious to it. The brain then sees only what is available within this specific category, masking information in neighboring or distant categories. We become partially blind.

By deliberately trying to visit other categories, we are actually accessing their information and are seeing possible new ways of doing things. We have unbridled our brains from the constraint of a non-optimal category.

What is Focal?

In response to this peculiarity of our cognition, Focal is an analytical method allowing navigation in a chain of categories (or contexts) to identify new levels of context offering new means of action.

How does it work?

Developed by SKEMA professors, this method is based on effectual logic, which analyses a succession of means and effects without the constraint of an a priori hypothesis of the final solution.

For further information:

The Skice method

Why Skice?

You have an innovation project, even at the idea stage. You ask yourself questions such as: "Should I go ahead or not?"," Did I forget anything important?". Skice allows you to verify that the innovation project is feasible or not.

What is Skice?

Skice is a coherence index to measure the gap between a mental projection of a potential innovation and the reality of a market. It acts as a fantasy detector of this projected image. It also allows you to detect the strong and the weak points of the project, those on which everything is going well and those you need to pay attention to.*

Skice is an expert system that integrates the cumulative knowledge of 10 years of research on entrepreneurial cognition.

The core of this system was the subject of a doctorate thesis, defended in 2010, by Dominique Vian, associate professor of entrepreneurship at SKEMA Business School. Skice was created at his initiative.


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