Innovation in Practice Blog

February 23, 2021

The Power of Combining Things: How to be Creative Anytime with Simple Unexpected Combinations

Think you’re the most uncreative person in the world?  Well, not anymore.  You can decide to become creative if you want to right in this very […]
February 16, 2021

Are You Sitting on The Next Big Thing?

Have you ever been in your car driving down the road or you’re at a friend’s house or in your house or at work, then all […]
February 9, 2021

Why Some People See Creative Ideas More Clearly Than Others

Are you one of those people that a company would choose to call to get feedback about their products or services?  Do you have the right […]
February 2, 2021

Creative Ways to Improve How People See You: Adding Prestige to Who You Are

What makes luxury brands and products so special? They’ve got the prestige or reputation that’s unparalleled. Now, what if you’re able to translate that into you […]
January 26, 2021

What’s In a Name?

Naming objects is very useful. We name things all the time because it makes things efficient. It helps us understand our world and it’s how we […]
January 19, 2021

Mastering Creative Thinking: Two Techniques to Make Creative Thinking Stick

Becoming even just a little bit more creative will enhance what you do every day – whether at work, at home, or just about anywhere.  But […]
January 12, 2021

The Creative Power of Thinking Big: How to Improve Your Ideas with One Simple Trick

Think big. You’ve probably heard that a lot of times.  As leaders, we need to be more aggressive, take more risks, and challenge ourselves to think […]
January 5, 2021

The Temptation of Creative Ideas: How We View Ideas Differently Depending on the Source

The next time you come up with a great idea, don’t share it with anyone! Sounds absurd, right? Here’s a better way of saying that: If […]
December 29, 2020

You’re Awesome! How Sarcasm Enhances Creativity

Sarcasm is the idea of using irony in a way to mock somebody or to insult them. While sarcasm can be insulting and hurtful to somebody, […]
December 22, 2020

The Golden Rule of Creativity

The golden rule says that you should treat others as you want them to treat you.  Now, the golden rule of creativity states that if you […]
July 4, 2013

The Marker on the Board (Jacob’s Story)

The moment I walked into the classroom, I could see that something was different. The students were excited, I could feel the anticipation in the air—and something about their faces made me think that they were planning something mischievous.
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.
July 29, 2013

Embrace the Shake: The Power of Limitations

Phil Hansen suffered a career-threatening injury to his hand. Nerve damage caused his hand to shake uncontrollably. Most professions could deal with it. But as an artist, where a steady hand seems essential, it all but doomed Phil's career. That was until a neurologist suggested he “embrace the shake.” That piece of advice "tweaked Hansen’s point of view and sent him on a quest to invent different approaches to making art by embracing personal and universal limitations." Watch his story on TED. I watched it and found three principles and four techniques of the innovation method, Systematic Inventive Thinking.
September 2, 2013

Innovation Sighting: Task Unification in a Parking Lot

The Task Unification Technique is one of five in the innovation method called Systematic Inventive Thinking. It is defined as "assiging an additional task to an existing resource." It is such a powerful technique because it often leads to Closed World solutions, or what we like to call "thinking inside the box." It yields innovations that tend to leverage some resource in the immediate vicinity in a clever way. It also tends to yield innovations that have a characteristic known as Ideality - the solution to a problem only appears when needed. When the problem arises, the solution is also there.
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:
October 14, 2013

Innovation and Design Thinking: Week One Final Thoughts

The terms innovation and design thinking are used so often in so many different contexts, often interchanged, and sometimes misused. What do they really mean? More importantly, how do they relate to each other? These questions set the stage for “Innovation and Design Thinking,” the first Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) offered by the University of Cincinnati and the largest course ever taught since it was founded in 1819. Nearly two thousand students from around the world are participating.
January 27, 2014

Making the Most of Your Resources With Task Unification

John Doyle certainly knows theater. Over his thirty-year career, he’s staged more than two hundred professional productions throughout the United Kingdom and the United States, mostly in small, regional theater companies. In the early 1990s, while working at such a theater in rural England, the Scottish director came up with an innovative way to produce crowd-pleasing musicals on a tiny budget. Musicals are considerably more expensive to stage than traditional plays, due primarily to the cost of hiring musicians. But Doyle eliminated those excess costs by handing responsibility for musical accompaniment to his actors. The actors onstage doubled as instrumentalists.
February 3, 2014

Thinking Outside the Box: A Misguided Idea

Although studying creativity is considered a legitimate scientific discipline nowadays, it is still a very young one. In the early 1970s, a psychologist named J. P. Guilford was one of the first academic researchers who dared to conduct a study of creativity. One of Guilford’s most famous studies was the nine-dot puzzle, presented with its solution here. He challenged research subjects to connect all nine dots using just four straight lines without lifting their pencils from the page. Today many people are familiar with this puzzle and its solution. In the 1970s, however, very few were even aware of its existence, even though it had been around for almost a century.
March 3, 2014

The Multiplication Technique: Multiplying Your Problems Away

One very effective—but nonintuitive—way to use Multiplication is to multiply the most offending component in a problem and then change it so that it solves the problem. Yes, you actually make more of the very thing you are trying to discard. The key is to duplicate the nastiest component and imagine a scenario in which that copy could offer useful characteristics. Two researchers used this very technique and revolutionized the way we cope with dangerous insect species today.
April 7, 2014

Think Inside the Skyscraper: Innovations in Architecture

Skyscrapers are amazing from any vantage point - near, far, or even inside. If you look closely, you'll spot the patterns inherent in the techniques of Systematic Inventive Thinking. Take a look at these five examples.