Innovation in Practice Blog

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 […]
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 […]
August 15, 2011

Innovation in Private Equity

Private equity firms can boost the value of their investment portfolio by applying a systematic innovation method along the entire investment value chain - before, during, and even after the investment. Private equity firms are collections of investors and funds that put money into privately-held companies. Private equity investments provide working capital to a target company to nurture expansion, new product development, or restructuring of the company’s operations, management, or ownership. Private equity firms are betting on their ability to take control of the target, clean it up, make it more competitive, and then sell it for a higher price. It is like "flipping" a home in the real estate market. Here is how a private equity firm could apply systematic innovation in their portfolios:
September 5, 2011

Innovation: Make It Someone Else’s Problem

New research suggests that you are more likely to be creative when you imagine the problem is someone else's instead of your own. Evan Polman and Kyle Emich describe their studies in their April 2011 article that support this conclusion. In one study, 262 participants were instructed to draw an alien for a story that they would write, or alternatively for a story that someone else would write. As expected, drawing an alien for someone else produced a more creative alien. In another study, 137 students were instructed to picture either themselves or a stranger stuck in a tower and to think of a way to escape using only a rope that did not reach the ground. Of the students who imagined a stranger in the tower, 66 percent found the solution—divide the rope lengthwise and tie the pieces together—compared with 48 percent of those who pictured themselves in the tower.
January 2, 2012

Master the Method: Innovation Suite 2012

I invite you to join me at Innovation Suite 2012 in New York City February 27 to 29. Innovation Suite is a 3-day premium training course that teaches: * How to apply SIT innovation tools on your specific business issues * How to facilitate innovation sessions * How to develop an innovation culture in your business My favorite part about this course: every participant gets a personal SIT facilitator to coach them before and after the course! Whether you are an experienced SIT practitioner or completely new to the SIT method, this course helps you develop critical new skills on your road to innovation mastery.
July 5, 2012

How to Use Systematic Inventive Thinking for Cutting Costs and Increasing Productivity

Innovation is commonly misperceived as a means to create brand new shiny products, design colorful marketing campaigns and create a lot of buzz and commotion. We invite you to learn how our systematic and pragmatic approach to innovation can impact your manufacturing processes and professional services by finding new ways to cut costs, allocate resources and create value for you and your customers. In our 45 min webinar you will: • Learn how inventive thinking can be successfully applied to increase productivity • Get introduced to some of the SIT thinking tools and principles • Understand how SIT complements existing methodologies used in your organization such as LEAN, Kaizen, and Six Sigma.
August 20, 2012

Academic Focus: University of Chicago Booth School of Business

With six of its faculty members earning the Nobel Prize, it is hard to associate the University of Chicago Booth School of Business with anything else but economics. In reality, it is an innovator in many other areas. It was the first to initiate a PhD program in business (1920). It pioneered the executive MBA degree for experienced managers (1943). Booth was also the first to establish a minority relations program (1964). It is the still the only US. business school with permanent campuses on three continents: Asia, Europe, and North America. Booth preaches what it practices. It teaches systematic methods of innovation to its students. Art Middlebrooks is an clinical professor of marketing at Chicago Booth, and one of a growing number of professors teaching the SIT method. He is well qualified as both a practitioner of innovation as well as a teacher and scholar. He teaches both innovation and services marketing. "I find that students learn best by 'doing,' so I've structured both the in-class and out-of-class work to enable students to 'try out' the various tools that I teach."
September 17, 2012

Academic Focus: Innovation Clubs

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) wants business schools to do more to support innovation. It wants schools to reinvent curricula to be more integrative and convene executive programs that create new ideas and networks. "Through outreach activities, such as business plan competitions, student consulting projects, and business incubators, business schools’ activities contribute directly to innovation in the communities they serve." One things schools can do to foster innovation is to create a student innovation club. These clubs create a sense of belonging, instill a sense of identity and purpose, and they extend learning beyond the traditional classroom. Innovation clubs are a great way for corporate practitioners, innovation consultants, and venture capitalists to get involved and tap into a source of innovation talent.
September 24, 2012

Rebooting Your Innovation Effort

Imagine you just completed an innovation program, but things went terribly wrong. So wrong, in fact, that the boss won't allow anyone to use the term "innovation" in any context. You and your colleagues spent a lot of time, money, and effort only to realize that you did not get what was promised. What do you now? How do you reboot your innovation program? Here are some tips:
November 12, 2012

SIT Webinar: Business Model Innovation

In this webinar, we invite you to hear more about Business Model Innovation and learn a systematic and pragmatic approach. This can help you re-imagine your business model in exciting and sometimes even radical ways.
March 4, 2013

Start at the End

Dave Lavinsky is a serial entrepreneur who built his own company from the ground up. His book, Start at the End, was a #1 Bestseller on Amazon just one week after it was released. The goal of the book is to learn how to work fewer hours and be efficient when working at a new job or starting a business. For innovation practitioners, here are his top 12 tips:
March 25, 2013

Academic Focus: Universidad Deusto – Master in Business Innovation

The University of Deusto business school is offering a masters degree in business innovation (MBI) that I believe serves as an excellent role model for other schools. It is unique because it focuses on three foundations (from their website):