Innovation in Practice Blog

May 6, 2019

Featured in BBC Article

I had the privilege of recently being interviewed by Alex Hannaford, a BBC journalist for an article that ran last week. In his article, “How hindsight […]
April 16, 2019

Be a Catalyst for Change

Professors change the world, once student at a time. I’m regularly asked about my transition to academia. The first question I ask the professional considering the switch is whether he […]
March 25, 2019

Announcing LinkedIn Learning a-la-carte!

Many of you enjoy the benefit of sharpening your skills through LinkedIn Learning courses. To date, LinkedIn offers access to their entire course library via subscription. […]
February 27, 2019

Thinking Outside the Box About “Outside the Box”

Guest post by Bill Fanelli Last fall I attended a workshop led by author, marketing consultant, and University professor Drew Boyd. He challenged my thinking about […]
January 8, 2019

Now is the time to prepare

There are a lot of people standing in a lot of lines for academic positions. You need to find the lines that are most likely to lead to a job for you.
November 12, 2018

Launching My Latest Book

I’m thrilled to let you know my new book, So You Want to Be a Professor: How to Land Your Dream Job in Academia, just launched! […]
November 5, 2018

Introducing Switchers

I am excited to announce a new book that was just released by my friend and colleague, Dawn Graham. Switchers is the first book written specifically for the career changer, to help them to […]
October 22, 2018

Attribute Dependency in Bifocal Glasses

Bifocal users must no longer battle their strange, new lenses, thanks to the technology of Mitsui Chemicals of Japan. This spring, Mitsui launched their TouchFocus line, […]
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 […]
October 26, 2015

The Three Faces of Attribute Dependency

When using the Attribute Dependency technique, you’ll reach a point in the function follows form process where it’s time to make adaptations to your concept. That’s where you try to improve the concept and put more definition around it.
August 17, 2015

Innovation Sighting: Adjustable Airline Seats

Engineering firm B/E Aerospace has filed a patent for a “legroom adjustable” seat design that allows flight attendants to move a seat forward or back depending on the size of a passenger, reports the Telegraph.
June 15, 2015

The Attribute Dependency Technique: Three Ways to Create Smart Products

One way to make adaptations with Attribute Dependency is to change the type of dependency. There are three ways to do it: passive, active and automatic. Think of these as what has to happen within the product or service for the dependency to take place. Let’s look at each type.
February 16, 2015

Innovation Sighting: Attribute Dependency and World Population

What if countries were sized proportional to their population? What would the world look like? Take a look at this map (reported by NPR.org):
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?
June 9, 2014

Creating New Opportunities in the Digital Space

The SIT method is great for creating exciting new products and services. But you can also apply these techniques to digital assets. For example, let’s apply the Attribute Dependency technique to a website. You start by listing the internal and external attributes of the site. You list the attributes, and you create a two dimensional matrix that pairs internal attributes to other internal and external attributes.
May 26, 2014

Filtering Ideas to Find the Very Best Ones

The SIT Method is designed to help you generate lots of ideas in a systematic way. But how do you select which ideas to pursue? Filtering ideas is an essential part of the creativity process. You want to make sure you spend your time only on those with the most potential.
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.
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.
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.