Innovation in Practice Blog

October 23, 2017

Innovation Sighting: The Subtraction Technique and the No-Huddle Offense

Few activities are more iconic to American football than the huddle. Bill Pennington, in his New York Times article, “Ready, Set, Gone! The N.F.L.’s Disappearing Huddle” […]
October 5, 2017

Look Inside a Woman’s Purse

By: Tom Ewing, Senior Director, System1 Group “First I look at the purse” sang Motown’s The Countours. Kelley Styring, principal of InsightFarm, would sympathise. In 2006, […]
September 18, 2017

Innovation Sighting: Task Unification and GladWare Containers

GladWare containers have become a common household item. Most kitchens today have that designated drawer filled to the brim with self-stacking plastic wonders and the infamous […]
September 5, 2017

How a Creative Legal Leap Helped Create Vast Wealth

By Tim Harford, BBC World Service, 50 Things That Made the Modern Economy In 1911, someone asked Butler to name the most important invention of the industrial […]
August 29, 2017

Design Thinking for the Greater Good: Innovation in the Social Sector

Facing especially wicked problems, social sector organizations are searching for powerful new methods to understand and address them. Design Thinking for the Greater Good goes in […]
August 21, 2017

How a Case of Laryngitis Helped Me Find My Voice and Grow as a Leader

By Deb Gabor As a brand strategist, author, and public speaker, I rely upon my voice and storytelling ability to make a living. I’ve observed that […]
July 24, 2017

Should Innovators Reveal How Much They Let Technology Make Creative Choices?

Is it true? Do the most creative people generate ideas straight out of their heads without any outside help? That’s what most people would tell you. […]
July 3, 2017

Innovation Sighting: Attribute Dependency and The Total Eclipse of the Sun

The United States Postal Service has just released a “first-of-its-kind” stamp that changes appearance when you touch it. What has inspired this small nugget of innovation? […]
June 16, 2017

Innovation Sighting: Attribute Dependency and High Heels

A great example of the Attribute Dependency Technique can be found at My Place Café & Bar at the Hilton Osaka hotel in Japan. Attribute Dependency […]
June 9, 2017

Innovation Sighting: LG’s New Smart Vacuum Doubles as a Home Security System

The rush to put new technology in the home is heating up like never before. Challengersinclude Amazon (Echo), Google (Home), and soon we’ll have Apple’s Siri […]
February 24, 2014

Innovation Sighting: Getting Your Competition to Promote You

How do you get your competitor to promote your value proposition? DHL did just that in the highly competitive package delivery category. Shipping companies compete on the basis of speed, convenience, and reliability. So the race is on to prove to customers which company is the best performing. In this campaign, DHL spoofed its competitors like UPS to broadcast that it's faster.
December 23, 2013

How to Target Your Innovation

Companies get better results from innovation by targeting initiatives at the right places. Here are six areas to focus on:
November 11, 2013

Innovation and Design Thinking: Building Innovation Capabilities

How does a company build enough innovation capability to be the leader in its industry? That was the focus of this week's discussion in our course, Innovation and Design Thinking.
November 5, 2013

Can Blackberry Dig Themselves Out of the Hole?

As Albert Einstein noted, one cannot solve a problem with the same thinking that created it. That seems to be Blackberry’s predicament as it faces another drop in its stock value. However, with a fresh investment by Fairfax Holdings and a new CEO, Blackberry may have time to reinvent its business model. The new leadership team will need to think differently. It is a perfect time to apply systematic innovation tools to create a new future.
November 4, 2013

Innovation and Design Thinking: Picking the Best Ideas

Systematic methods of innovation and design will help you produce a pipeline of ideas. But this creates a new, maybe tougher problem for the practitioner: How do you pick the right ideas to work on? Filtering ideas is an essential part of the innovation process. You want to make sure you spend your time only those ideas with the most potential. Here's a sample of opinions from our student/practitioners on how to do it:
August 19, 2013

Bloomberg Business Week: Inside the Box

Most people think innovation starts with a well-defined problem, and then you brainstorm a solution. Try the opposite: Work backwards by taking an abstract, conceptual solution and finding a problem it can solve. By constraining and channeling our brains, we can make them work both harder and smarter to find creative solutions—on demand.
July 22, 2013

Strategy+Business: Thinking Inside the Box

Books about business innovation seem to arrive as quickly as ideas on a whiteboard in a brainstorming session. But Inside the Box: A Proven System of Creativity for Breakthrough Results (Simon & Schuster, 2013), by Drew Boyd and Jacob Goldenberg, jumps out for its counterintuitive take on creativity.
May 27, 2013

How Companies Incentivize Innovation

Ninety percent of companies do not ‘as of yet’ have a formal mechanism for incentivizing and rewarding innovation but believe “it’s something we should be doing better”. That is one of the many conclusions in SIT's latest Insight Paper, How Companies Incentivize Innovation (April 2013).
May 14, 2013

The Stereotypy Trap

Struggling retailer JC Penny hired former Apple executive Ron Johnson as the CEO to save the company. Seventeen months later, he was ousted in what many consider a colossal failure. Why? Not because he failed to take action, but rather because he tried taking the same actions that worked for him at Apple. He was guilty of a managerial bias called stereotypy – the tendency to believe that what worked for you in the past will work for you in the future.
April 29, 2013

Innovating in Human Resources

Systematic Inventive Thinking is not only for inventing new products and services. You can apply it to a variety of functions and processes. SIT is based on the idea that mankind has used distinct patterns when creating new solutions or innovations. These patterns are embedded into the products and services you see around you. The SIT method structures your thinking and channels your ideation to take advantage of these patterns by re-applying them to something else. Consider the human resources function of an organization. Here are suggestions of which SIT technique to apply in a variety of HR activities: