Innovation requires creative approaches to problems

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photoBill Huseby

Over the past 10 years or so, there has been a movement by large and small companies alike in the U.S. to reduce head count. This push has been driven by the need to become leaner, or to “do more with less.”

Companies have significantly reduced their workforce by becoming more efficient in the manufacturing arena, consolidating services such as accounting and human resources across divisions as well trimming other nonessential functions. As a result, a void has been created when it comes to the engineering functions that create, develop and deploy the products that are the lifeblood of the companies.

At Sigma Design we believe we can help fill the void. Critical to being able to assist companies with their product development needs is to create an environment that fosters a collaborative atmosphere as well as an open client relationship. That relationship puts a premium on Innovation and Imagination has well as staying focused on the task of delivering on schedule and within budget.

Often these are conflicting requirements.

Being innovative and imaginative, which can be key to developing efficient and cost effective solutions to a problem, can take time and money.

One way to help mitigate this conflict is by looking at other industries and products outside the immediate task at hand for proven ideas and solutions that can be leveraged. This comes naturally when a company “goes to the outside” for help. By encouraging cross-fertilization of ideas and being open to trying new approaches the results can be rewarding, financially as well as by leading to a quicker time to market for a company’s product.

“Innovation and imagination” not only come from the engineering solutions but also the approach one takes to solving problems.


Bill Huseby is CEO of Sigma Design Inc., a Vancouver-based vertically integrated design and development company. A Stanford University graduate, Huseby spent 16 years at Hewlett Packard as an R & D engineer and as a leader of several manufacturing engineering teams.