Innovation in Practice Blog

December 1, 2014

The Power of Patterns That Guide Our Thinking

Could creativity be as simple as following templates? In 1914 psychologist Wolfgang Köhler embarked on a series of studies about chimpanzees and their ability to solve problems. He documented the research in his book The Mentality of Apes. In one experiment, he took a newborn chimp and placed it in an isolated cage, before the newborn saw or made contact with other chimps. He named her Nueva.
November 24, 2014

Holiday Innovation: The SIT Patterns in Christmas Gifts

'Tis the season for catalogs, and my favorite is Hammacher Schlemmer, America's longest running catalog, "Offering the Best, the Only and the Unexpected for 166 Years." I was curious to see if I could spot any of the five patterns of the innovation method called Systematic Inventive Thinking (SIT). With eighty seven pages of cool gifts in the catalog, it wasn't hard at all. The hard part was deciding which ones to choose. Here are my favorites:
November 17, 2014

Innovation Sighting: Attribute Dependency in Smart Apps

Are online reviews going extinct? From Yelp to Amazon, reviews these days are good for just one thing: Seeing what others think of a product, service, or business. But are reviews really helpful? Could they be an outmoded one-size-fits-all solution in a world where a user's interests are increasingly customized and niche-specific? Are they going the way of the dinosaurs?
November 10, 2014

Teaching Creativity With a Story: A Lesson From Paul Smith

Creativity is considered by many to be a rare, elusive gift only musicians or bohemian New York artists possess. And to be sure, some people are born with more than an average amount of it. But everyone has the capacity to be creative. Many of us simply don’t call on it very often. When you intentionally call on that capacity inside, really call for it, you’ll realize it can be summoned.
October 27, 2014

What China Must Do to Innovate

Innovation is an essential ingredient to the growth and success of China's economy. The use of methods such as Systematic Inventive Thinking will accelerate that growth. But where should China focus its innovation efforts? Professors George Yip and Bruce McKern make the case that China should focus on the following:
October 27, 2014

Innovation Sighting: Task Unification in Kitchenware

Many "wearable tech" devices measure the calories you burn in a day. But weight watchers know that's only half the equation. You also need an accurate count of calories consumed. Now a new device will do just that. It's called Vessyl, a cup that will not only identify and track what you drink and how much of it, but also sense the liquid type. It will transform how we consume every ounce of liquid throughout the day.
October 20, 2014

Innovation Sighting: Subtraction in Email

The only thing worse than having too many emails is getting very long ones. When I open an email and see a long-winded message followed by a chain of other emails that have to be read as well, I dread it. After all, brevity is a virtue, and I value those emails that are short and efficient. Now there's a new app that helps manage the problem, and it is a great example of the Subtraction Technique, one of five in the innovation method, Systematic Inventive Thinking. It's called "MailTime." MailTime re-formats and summarizes your mails into a messaging conversation view. It redesigns the way you assign tasks helps you to track information easier.
October 13, 2014

Entrepreneur’s Library: Episode 5 – “Inside The Box” by Drew Boyd

Listen to the Entrepreneur’s Library: Episode 5 - "Inside The Box" by Drew Boyd.
September 29, 2014

Can Creativity Be Taught? Insights from Jacob Goldenberg and Others

Can creativity be taught? Here are insights from Professors Jacob Goldenberg, Rom Shrift and others on this seemingly elusive topic (from Knowledge@Wharton, August 27, 2014):
September 22, 2014

It’s Back! Innovation and Design Thinking MOOC

The course will help you master the tools necessary to generate new ideas and quickly transform those concepts into a viable pipeline of new products and services. Participants will learn the highly effective method of idea generation called Systematic Inventive Thinking used by many global firms across a wide variety of industries. They will also learn a suite of design thinking tools to take new concepts and put “life” into them. Generating ideas is not enough. Design thinking takes new ideas and sculpts them into market-winning products and services. Participants will learn the mechanics of each S.I.T. tool, and practice the use of each on a real product or service. Additionally, they will learn from a panel of seasoned practitioners and experts in the fields of innovation, new product development, and venture start-up.
December 8, 2007

Can you make me be more creative?

The key to becoming extremely effective at innovation is to learn all the tools and templates that help create an initial, undefined construct, or what innovation researchers call "the pre-inventive form." This ability to apply a template, then find a useful purpose for the for what comes out of that template is what allows one to innovate on demand. Templates "make" people innovate.
December 4, 2007

Why Innovation is Hard: Ten Most Popular Reasons

A systematic, routine to way to innovate can break through the challenges and perceptions that innovation is hard.
December 2, 2007

Innovation is a Skill, Not a Gift

Innovation should be viewed as a skill, not as a gift reserved only for special or uniquely-talented people. Innovation can be learned as with any business skill such as finance, process excellence, or leadership.