Innovation in Practice Blog

December 15, 2020

Where There’s Hope, There’s Creativity: The 5 Modes of Hoping

Do you feel like you’re never going to get any creative stuff going?  Well, never lose hope – because hope is a prerequisite to be creative. […]
December 8, 2020

What Makes Something Creative? The Characteristics of Highly Innovative Ideas

What is it about some products and services that make them more innovative and more creative than other products?  What is their secret ingredient? Well, it […]
December 1, 2020

Have You Reached Your Creative Peak?

Do you feel you’ve reached your optimum level of creativity? If not, when is that going to happen? And if yes, how do maintain that level […]
November 24, 2020

Finding Your Creative Sweet Spot: How to Make an Idea More Appealing

Not all ideas are equal. Some are okay, some are great. But don’t just throw those okay ideas away. The key is to find that creative […]
November 17, 2020

Six Best Books on Creativity: The Classics that Teach the How and Not the Why

If you like creativity and innovation, there are a lot of great books out there that cover just a wide range of topics. So how do […]
November 10, 2020

The Myth of Outside the Box Thinking: Why Brainstorming and Other Such Techniques Are Your Worst Enemy

How many brainstorming sessions have you been in? What really came out of it? What was the process like for you? How did you feel about […]
November 3, 2020

Five Ways to Teach Your Children to Be More Creative

If you think innovation is only for adults, well, you’re wrong – because kids can just be as innovative as adults are, even more sometimes.  Here […]
October 27, 2020

Learning the Powerful, Yet Abstract Method of Attribute Dependency

Attribute Dependency is one of the five techniques of the SIT (Systematic Inventive Thinking) method.  Just to give you an idea, think of your home thermostat […]
October 20, 2020

The Myth of Post-it Notes and Other Serendipitous Inventions: Why Pure Chance is Not Your Creative Friend

Chocolate chip cookies, penicillin, Velcro, microwave ovens, the game of basketball, and Post-It Notes. What do they have in common? Well, those products were invented completely […]
October 13, 2020

The Subtraction Technique: The Creative Power of Taking Elements Away

Subtraction is the removal of an essential core element rather than the addition of new systems or functions.  Like all the other techniques of the Systematic […]
May 5, 2014

How Patterns Boost Our Performance…Without Even Knowing It

Humans are creatures of habits, and these habits can be analyzed and codified into rules that help us perform better. Many times, we're not even aware of the habits that control our choices. Conside the child's game, Rock-Paper-Scissors. The odds of winning are one in three. At least, that's what chance predicts. But people do not play randomly - they follow hidden patterns that you can predict to win more games than you should, a study has revealed.
June 23, 2014

How to Adjust Your Creativity Lens

One of the most important principles in the SIT Method is the Closed World principle. It states that there is an inverse relationship between the distance from the problem and the creativity of the solution. The farther away you have to go to find a solution, the less creative it will be. So it’s important where you set the boundaries of the Closed World as you apply the SIT Method.
August 25, 2014

Innovation Sighting: The Chairless Chair

It's like a chair that isn't there, but magically appears whenever you need it. It's called the Chairless Chair and you wear it on your legs like an exoskeleton: when it's not activated, you can walk normally or even run. And then, at the touch of a button, it locks into place and you can sit down on it. Like a chair that is now there. It's a perfect example of the Subtraction Technique, one of five in the innovation method, Systematic Inventive Thinking (SIT). It's also a great example of Ideality, a property of innovation solutions that appear only when the problem appears.
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:
January 5, 2015

Innovation Sighting: The Fusion of Design Thinking and the Task Unification Technique

Combining Systematic Inventive Thinking with Design Thinking yields wonderful innovations. The two go so well together. SIT brings a way to create ideas systematically while Design Thinking brings a way to articulate those ideas in an intuitive, appealing way. Take the Task Unification Technique, for example. It's one of five in the SIT method.
January 12, 2015

Innovation Sighting: Kitchen Ovens Using S.I.T.

As a teacher, it's always rewarding to see my students create ideas that eventually make it into the marketplace. Here are some great innovations for the kitchen oven that a group of students created last year, January 2014. Later, we'll compare these to the new innovations announced by Whirlpool at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show.
January 19, 2015

New Tricks for Old Dogs: The Task Unification Technique in Surgery

Dr. Steven Palter’s patient began to cry. Not because of the sharp pain that suddenly shot through her abdomen—after years of suffering she was used to that—but from sheer and utter relief.
March 16, 2015

Marketing Innovation: The Unification Technique in Outdoor Advertising

The Unification Tool is a tricky but effective tool for outdoor advertising. Unification recruits an existing resource and forces it to carry the advertising message. That resource can come from within the medium itself or within the environment of the medium. In other words, the tool uses an existing component of the medium or of its environment in a way that demonstrates the problem or the promise to be delivered.
March 23, 2015

Innovation Training: The Leadership Elixer

Training programs, by design, are meant to provoke and cause changes. Changes can be in the skills, attitudes, behaviors, or knowledge of the participants. For leadership training programs, the ability to "think differently" seems to be at the top of many companies' list of priorities. So how do you think differently and creatively? By using cognitive thinking tools that re-pattern how you see situations and potential opportunities. It is the Holy Grail, the magic elixir that can transform a talented leader into a great one.
March 30, 2015

Contradictions: A Pathway to Creativity

A contradiction exists when a particular situation contains features or ideas that are connected yet directly opposed to one another. When we call something (or someone) inconsistent, we typically mean that a contradiction exists. In the case of the Spanish Civil War, the contra- diction was the conflict between parachuting more supplies (needed by the troops) and the requirement to use fewer parachutes (because of the shortage).