Next week, Jacob Goldenberg and I will launch our new book, Inside the Box: A Proven Method of Creativity for Breakthrough Results. It is the first book to detail the innovation method called Systematic Inventive Thinking, the subject of this blog for the last six years.
In the twenty years since its inception, SIT has been expanded to cover a wide range of innovation-related phenomena in a variety of contexts. The five techniques within SIT are based on patterns used by mankind for thousands of years to create new solutions. These patterns are embedded into the products and services you see around you almost like the DNA of a product or service. SIT allows you to extract those patterns and reapply to other things.
The Wall Street Journal featured our new book, Inside the Box: A Proven System of Creativity for Breakthrough Results (Simon & Schuster), on the front page of the weekend edition. Jacob and I contributed the feature article which is adapted from the book. Here are some excerpts.
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.
When you use Subtraction, you don’t always have to eliminate the component. There is also what we call “Partial Subtraction.” It is a valid technique as long as the product or service that remains delivers a new benefit. To deploy Partial Subtraction, you pick a component and then eliminate a specific feature of that component. Consider the case of Twitter, a microblogging application used by hundreds of millions of people worldwide. By simply restricting each tweet to 140 characters, Twitter has become a vast digital conversation about what individuals around the globe are thinking and doing. A Partial Subtraction of the traditional blog down to 140 characters dramatically increased the volume of and participation in this Internet phenomenon. How did it happen?
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.
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.