Innovation in Practice Blog

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 […]
October 6, 2020

The Multiplication Technique: A Simple Tool with Many Creative Surprises Inside

Procter & Gamble was able to take an air freshener product that was lagging at 4th place in terms of market share – to 1st place, […]
September 29, 2020

How to Create and Run an Innovation Pilot Program

Individuals and organizations need to learn at a rate faster than the rate of change. And innovation pilot programs help you do that.  But how do […]
September 22, 2020

Fixedness: Your Main Barrier to Creative Thinking

How do you develop your creativity? As much as you want to or need to be creative, sometimes, there’s something that seems to block it. And […]
September 15, 2020

Process Innovation: Unlocking New Value in What You Do Everyday

The Systematic Inventive Thinking or SIT method is not only applicable to products, it’s also highly valuable in innovating services and processes.  Here are two ways […]
September 8, 2020

Innovation Dream Teams: The Secret Formula to Drive Team Success

When you’re talking about innovation, a traditional brainstorming approach doesn’t work. If you want to generate better ideas, you have to be able to create your […]
September 1, 2020

Why People Resist Our Innovative Ideas and How To Overcome It

With innovation comes resistance. They define each other. An idea simply cannot be innovative unless it’s met with resistance. Because of this, we should see resistance […]
August 25, 2020

How to Use the Closed World Principle of Creativity

Creative thinking can be systematic and routine. All you have to do is learn how to use your brain and learn a new way to generate […]
August 18, 2020

Divide and Conquer – How to Use the Division Technique

A common misconception is that creativity is a gift you are born with. People believe that if they don’t have it right from birth, they have […]
August 11, 2020

A Path to More Creative Thinking

Innovation is a skill. It’s not a gift. It’s not something you’re born with. But you can actually learn to be creative like you could learn […]
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).