Innovation in Practice Blog

October 15, 2018

Running Effective Innovation Workshops

I’ve mentioned in a previous post that innovation is a team sport. The strongest teams are characterized by functional, gender, and cultural diversity among its members. And, […]
October 3, 2018

Training Your Team to Innovate

To drive innovation across your company, you must train your employees how to innovate. Innovation is a skill, not a gift, and it can be learned […]
September 24, 2018

Motivating Innovative Behavior

Innovators are at their best when they feel a sense of purpose. As a marketing leader you play a key role in that dynamic. Innovators have […]
September 17, 2018

Creating a Culture of Innovation

There have been times I sat down with a client and I told them, “your organization is very innovative”, but they don’t believe me. I tell […]
September 11, 2018

3 Ways to Improve Team Innovation

The most powerful innovation comes when teams work together. Driving innovation means getting individual employees to be more innovative, but it also means getting high performance […]
September 10, 2018

Now Live: Value Proposition Surgical Robotics Simulation on Harvard Business Publishing Website

This valuable simulation was recently published by my friend and colleague, Marta Dapena-Baron, of The Big Picture Partners. This multiplayer training simulation brings to life the […]
August 31, 2018

Keeping Your Innovation Momentum

At some point in your journey to drive innovation, you’ll want to take a deep breath and ask – what happened here? What have we achieved? […]
July 23, 2018

Swiping the Blank Slate: Accelerate Your Career Success by Jumpstarting Innovative Thinking

By Nurit Shmilovitz-Vardi We’ve all been there. Your manager assigns your next project, handing you the relevant materials along with the following demand: “This needs to […]
July 9, 2018

Breaking Fixedness: Saving the Boys of the Thai Soccer Team Trapped in a Cave

News of a boys soccer team trapped in a cave in Thailand brought back memories of the Chilean miners trapped 2,300 feet underground in August 2010. […]
June 25, 2018

Making Big, Bold Assertions to Drive Design Strategy

By Jon Kolko Design strategy is built on assertion. On the way to a great design strategy is the creation of a series of value assertions: […]
January 13, 2014

Systematic Innovation at the Consumer Electronics Show

One way to develop your expertise in SIT techniques is with pattern spotting. A key premise of SIT is that for thousands of years, innovators have used patterns in their inventions, usually without even realizing it. Those patterns are now embedded into the products and services you see around you, almost like the DNA of a product. You want to develop your ability to see these patterns as a way to improve your use of them. There's probably no better place to practice pattern spotting than at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). In last week's CES in Las Vegas, "manufacturers demonstrated a range of previously mundane but now smart, web-connected products destined to become part of daily domestic existence, from kitchen appliances to baby monitors to sports equipment," as reported in The Independent.
January 6, 2014

Innovation Sighting: Task Unification and CAPTCHA

You’ve experienced this dozens, if not hundreds, of times. Before being allowed to enter a website, you must type words written in a bizarre, distorted script inside a box. Dr. Luis von Ahn, a professor in the Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University, estimates that people decipher script like this more than 200 million times a day. He should know. He invented the system. Captcha, as it is called, protects websites by demanding that visitors take a simple test that humans can pass but computers cannot. Captcha, in fact, is an acronym for Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart. It requires website visitors to interpret the text correctly and type the right letters before they can enter the site.
November 7, 2013

Now, Twitter Must Grow

It's official. Twitter is a publicly traded company, and it will face constant pressure to innovate and grow. Let's look at how innovation methods can be applied to Twitter to find new opportunitues. We'll apply the five techniques of Systematic Inventive Thinking to Twitter. Our goal will be to create new features and innovations with the main Twitter platform as well as to create completely new applications related to Twitter.
October 31, 2013

Introducing: Innovate! Inside the Box

Authors Drew Boyd and Jacob Goldenberg today announced the launch of a new app that supports the innovation/creativity system outlined in their groundbreaking work: Inside the Box: A Proven System of Creativity for Breakthrough Results (Simon & Schuster, 2013). Innovate! Inside the Box enables users of Systematic Inventive Thinking (SIT) to employ the method more productively. The new app places SIT’s five innovation techniques – Subtraction, Division, Task Unification, Multiplication and Attribute Dependency – at the user’s fingertips to quickly generate creative ideas and new-to-the-world innovations. In addition, users can document their projects as they build their pipeline of ideas and inventions.
October 7, 2013

Inside the Box: How to Use the Innovate! App

The new Innovate Inside the Box app facilitates the use of the creativity method, Systematic Inventive Thinking (SIT). It explains each of the five techniques (Subtraction, Division, Task Unification, Multiplication, and Attribute Dependency) and allows users to generate creative ideas and innovations. This app is ideal for readers of “Inside the Box: A Proven System of Creativity for Breakthrough Results.” The app is available for iPad 2 or 3. Learn more about it at the Apple iTunes Preview. Here's how to Use the App:
September 30, 2013

Massive Open Online Course: Innovation and Design Thinking

The University of Cincinnati's first Massive Open Online Course begins next week, October 7th. The course is free and open to all. In this course, participants will master the tools necessary to generate new ideas and quickly transform those concepts into a viable pipeline of new products and services. They will learn a 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.
September 25, 2013

Inside the Box: The Two Rats

In June, Jacob Goldenberg and I released our new book, Inside the Box: A Proven System of Creativity for Breakthrough Results. It has since been featured on the front page of Wall Street Journal and numerous other publications and media outlets. Recently, we each did live webinars talking about the project. Take a look at both webinars so you can learn why I am called "The Street Rat" and Jacob is called "The Lab Rat." Both titles are well deserved! We hope you find these useful.
September 9, 2013

Inside the Box: Applying Attribute Dependency to Pinterest

Pinterest has joined the elite group of social apps along with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, and Google Plus. "Pinterest is a Virtual Pinboard that lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web." How popular is it? It is the fastest site ever to break through the 10 million unique visitor mark. A report by Shareaholic claims, “Pinterest drives more referral traffic than Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube combined.” As of May 2013, Pinterest was valued at $2.5 billion. There are many creative ways to use Pinterest. New apps are emerging around it much like what happened with Twitter. But to maintain growth, Pinterest needs innovation. Let's apply Attribute Dependency, one of five techniques of Systematic Inventive Thinking, to Pinterest.
August 26, 2013

Launchpad Opens Doors for Great Consumer Product Ideas

Launchpad (www.launchrightnow.com), a product design, development, and collaborative resource hub, wants your ideas. Founded in January 2013 as a fresh player in the consumer product development industry, Launchpad partners with people whose ideas - from kitchen gadgets to software apps - need help to move along.
January 21, 2013

The Fabulous Five and the Scramble for Territory

Google, Apple, Facebook, Samsung, and Amazon are in a mad scramble to enter new territory and cover gaps in their strategies. The one that gets ahead and stays ahead will earn bragging rights in what may be the most significant business battle of all time. These companies are the Fabulous Five. Let's look at how each company is placed in the following domains: hardware design and manufacturing, software development and integration, consumer retailing, mobile, voice and digital communications, social, search, and entertainment. Why these? I believe the company that covers the biggest footprint across these domains and integrates them in a way that touches the most consumers will become the dominant lifestyle company. Notice I did not call it B2B, B2C, or even the dominant tech company. The battle being fought here is to become a part of the consumer's life in a way that allows the company to learn key insights that can be monetized. It is the battle for the consumer subconscious in a way.