I had just finished a talk on Systematic Inventive Thinking in which I had stressed the usefulness of the Subtraction technique. Just then, a group of seven men approached the stage. They introduced themselves as the management board of Standard Bank of South Africa. They liked the idea that innovation is something that can be learned and applied. They were especially interested in Subtraction. “Do you think it would help us with our problem?” asked one of the delegates.
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.
When describing the SIT method, I sometimes say it’s like using the voice of the product. That’s because SIT is based on patterns that are embedded into the products and services you see around you. If products could talk to you, they would describe the five patterns of SIT.
But there’s another important voice in business innovation: the voice of the customer. After all, that’s why you do innovation - to create new value, directly or indirectly, for your customers. A good innovator understands their needs and wants. In this video, I’ll show you four different ways to gain new insights from your customers.
Innovation is an essential ingredient to the growth and success of China's economy. The use of methods such as Systematic Inventive Thinking will accelerate that growth. But where should China focus its innovation efforts? Professors George Yip and Bruce McKern make the case that China should focus on the following:
Could creativity be as simple as following templates? In 1914 psychologist Wolfgang Köhler embarked on a series of studies about chimpanzees and their ability to solve problems. He documented the research in his book The Mentality of Apes. In one experiment, he took a newborn chimp and placed it in an isolated cage, before the newborn saw or made contact with other chimps. He named her Nueva.
On December 3, 2014, the first session of the Entrepreneurship Educators Forum Webinar Series took place. The vision for the project is to create a meeting place for the community to discuss the challenges of teaching entrepreneurship, and to build an open-source platform that will enable us to collect, curate and share knowledge, teaching materials and tools that will help us guide our students effectively. Bill Aulet opened the session with a review of a roadmap for entrepreneurship education at MIT that divides the process into three main stages – nucleation, product definition and venture development.
This month marks the seven year anniversary of Innovation in Practice. As always, I want to thank my many readers and supporters who follow it.
2014 was an excellent year as our message about systematic creativity continues to be heard. Jacob Goldenberg and I launched our book, Inside the Box: A Proven System of Creativity for Breakthrough Results last year, and it was nominated for Innovation Book of the Year. We're thrilled that the book is now published in fourteen languages. It is the first detailed description of Systematic Inventive Thinking (the method and the people at SIT LLC that taught it to me.)
Most people think the way you create an idea is to start with a well-formed problem and then brainstorm a solution to it. What if you turned that around 180 degrees? It sounds counter-intuitive, but you really can innovate by starting with the solution and then work backwards to the problem.
The Innovate! Inside the Box app for iPad facilitates the use of Systematic Inventive Thinking. It explains each of the five techniques and allows users to generate creative ideas and innovations on demand.