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.
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.
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.
Ninety percent of companies do not ‘as of yet’ have a formal mechanism for incentivizing and rewarding innovation but believe “it’s something we should be doing better”. That is one of the many conclusions in SIT's latest Insight Paper, How Companies Incentivize Innovation (April 2013).
The Subtraction tool works by removing elements generally considered essential to the situation. The tool can be used in any marketing communications medium (television, print, and so on). The tool works by drwawing your attention to the missing component. As a result, the ad is more memorable.
Subtraction is one of eight patterns embedded in most innovative commercials. Jacob Goldenberg and his colleagues describe these simple, well-defined design structures in their book, "Cracking the Ad Code," and provide a step-by-step approach to using them.
Struggling retailer JC Penny hired former Apple executive Ron Johnson as the CEO to save the company. Seventeen months later, he was ousted in what many consider a colossal failure. Why? Not because he failed to take action, but rather because he tried taking the same actions that worked for him at Apple. He was guilty of a managerial bias called stereotypy – the tendency to believe that what worked for you in the past will work for you in the future.
Signs are perhaps the most ancient yet still relevant tools of marketing. According to the International Sign Association, signage is the least expensive but most effective form of advertising and can account for half of your customers.
Can sign makers use systematic methods of creativity? Absolutely.