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 […]
November 5, 2013

Can Blackberry Dig Themselves Out of the Hole?

As Albert Einstein noted, one cannot solve a problem with the same thinking that created it. That seems to be Blackberry’s predicament as it faces another drop in its stock value. However, with a fresh investment by Fairfax Holdings and a new CEO, Blackberry may have time to reinvent its business model. The new leadership team will need to think differently. It is a perfect time to apply systematic innovation tools to create a new future.
November 7, 2013

Now, Twitter Must Grow

It's official. Twitter is a publicly traded company, and it will face constant pressure to innovate and grow. Let's look at how innovation methods can be applied to Twitter to find new opportunitues. We'll apply the five techniques of Systematic Inventive Thinking to Twitter. Our goal will be to create new features and innovations with the main Twitter platform as well as to create completely new applications related to Twitter.
November 11, 2013

Innovation and Design Thinking: Building Innovation Capabilities

How does a company build enough innovation capability to be the leader in its industry? That was the focus of this week's discussion in our course, Innovation and Design Thinking.
November 18, 2013

Innovation and Design Thinking: The Role of Leadership

Leaders need to make innovation personal. Creating a culture, from the top down, where innovation is encouraged appears to be a successful formula. Mike Clem reminds us again that there needs to be a bit of a designer in all of us, and this especially applies to management.
December 2, 2013

Innovation Sighting: Task Unification Saves Lives and Money

Philips North America announced Fosmo Med, developer of the Maji Intravenous (IV) saline bag, as the grand prize winner of the first-ever Philips Innovation Fellows competition, revealing the technology as the next big, meaningful innovation in health and well-being. The new IV solution technology has the potential to save millions of lives worldwide from dehydration-related diseases, such as cholera. Maji is a revolutionary field hydration system for IV use that is shipped without water. Once on site, forward osmosis technology converts local water -- even if it's not clean -- to a sterile solution without requiring any electrical power. An estimated 16 Maji bags can be shipped for the same cost as one traditional IV saline bag, saving up to $500 for every 14 units shipped. Maji is an example of the Task Unification Technique, one of five in the SIT innovation method. Task Unification works by assigning an additional task to an existing resource. In this example, the Maji bag has the additional job of filtering water.
December 9, 2013

Think Inside the Umbrella: The Five Techniques of S.I.T.

Umbrellas have been around a very long time dating back to the time of the ancient Egyptians. Yet, little has changed to the basic concept…until recently. […]
December 16, 2013

Innovation in Practice: Six Year Anniversary

This month marks the six year anniversary of Innovation in Practice, and I want to thank my readers and supporters who follow it. 2013 was a special year for me. Jacob Goldenberg and I launched our book, Inside the Box: A Proven System of Creativity for Breakthrough Results (Simon & Schuster, June 2013). The book is nominated for Innovation Book of the Year in the U.K., and it is spreading throughout. We are very pleased with the outcome of this project as it is the first detailed description of Systematic Inventive Thinking, a creative process that works for everyone.
December 23, 2013

How to Target Your Innovation

Companies get better results from innovation by targeting initiatives at the right places. Here are six areas to focus on:
January 20, 2014

The Partial Subtraction Technique: Betty Crocker’s Egg

In the 1950s, General Mills launched a line of cake mixes under the famous Betty Crocker brand. The cake mixes included all the dry ingredients in the package, plus milk and eggs in powdered form. All you needed was to add water, mix it all together, and stick the pan in the oven. For busy homemakers, it saved time and effort, and the recipe was virtually error free. General Mills had a sure winner on its hands. Or so it thought. Despite the many benefits of the new product, it did not sell well. Even the iconic and trusted Betty Crocker brand could not convince homemakers to adopt the new product.
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.