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 […]
September 3, 2012

Innovation Sighting: Apple’s Use of Attribute Dependency in iPhones

"The Quiet TimeTM Universal System turns cell phones off automatically in designated areas such as theaters, hospitals, doctor's offices, and business meeting rooms. Our patented technology converts your incoming calls to text messages and alerts the cell phone owner." This may sound like the latest gizmo you would see at the Consumer Electronics Show. It is actually an invention created by my students using Systematic Inventive Thinking...in 2007, the year the iPhone was first released. Five years later, Apple has been awarded a patent described as an "apparatus and methods for enforcement of policies upon a wireless device." It reveals a way to change aspects of a mobile device based on certain events or surroundings.
November 26, 2012

Innovation Sighting: Music That Morphs Using Attribute Dependency

The Attribute Dependency Technique tends to produce innovations that are smart. They seemingly know when to adjust or change in response to a change in something else. It is one of five techniques of the SIT innovation method, and it accounts for a majority of new product innovations. Attribute Dependency differs from the other techniques in that it uses attributes (variables) of the situation rather than components. Start with an attribute list, then construct a matrix of these, pairing each against the others. Each cell represents a potential dependency (or potential break in an existing dependency) that forms a Virtual Product. Using Function Follows Form, we work backwards and envision a potential benefit or problem that this hypothetical solution solves.
January 28, 2013

Innovation Sighting: Apple’s Smart Shoe

A tell-tale sign of the Attribute Dependency Technique is the word "smart" in any product description. Apple's new patent for 'smart shoes' is a case in point. As reported by PSFK:
April 8, 2013

Innovation Sighting: The Attribute Dependency Technique in Pricing

While not popular, it is a classic example of the Attribute Dependency technique. Attribute Dependency is one of five techniques of the innovation method called SIT (Systematic Inventive Thinking). It differs from the other techniques in that it uses attributes (variables) of the situation rather than components. Start with an attribute list, then construct a matrix of these, pairing each against the others. Each cell represents a potential dependency (or potential break in an existing dependency) that forms a Virtual Product. Using Function Follows Form, we work backwards and envision a potential benefit or problem that this hypothetical solution solves.
May 6, 2013

Innovation Sighting: Attribute Dependency in Signage

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.
August 12, 2013

Square Roots: Inside the Box at Southwest Airlines

Check out this clever interpretation of Inside the Box, now appearing in Spirit Magazine, the inflight magazine of Southwest Airlines.
September 9, 2013

Inside the Box: Applying Attribute Dependency to Pinterest

Pinterest has joined the elite group of social apps along with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, and Google Plus. "Pinterest is a Virtual Pinboard that lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web." How popular is it? It is the fastest site ever to break through the 10 million unique visitor mark. A report by Shareaholic claims, “Pinterest drives more referral traffic than Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube combined.” As of May 2013, Pinterest was valued at $2.5 billion. There are many creative ways to use Pinterest. New apps are emerging around it much like what happened with Twitter. But to maintain growth, Pinterest needs innovation. Let's apply Attribute Dependency, one of five techniques of Systematic Inventive Thinking, to Pinterest.
January 13, 2014

Systematic Innovation at the Consumer Electronics Show

One way to develop your expertise in SIT techniques is with pattern spotting. A key premise of SIT is that for thousands of years, innovators have used patterns in their inventions, usually without even realizing it. Those patterns are now embedded into the products and services you see around you, almost like the DNA of a product. You want to develop your ability to see these patterns as a way to improve your use of them. There's probably no better place to practice pattern spotting than at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). In last week's CES in Las Vegas, "manufacturers demonstrated a range of previously mundane but now smart, web-connected products destined to become part of daily domestic existence, from kitchen appliances to baby monitors to sports equipment," as reported in The Independent.
February 24, 2014

Innovation Sighting: Getting Your Competition to Promote You

How do you get your competitor to promote your value proposition? DHL did just that in the highly competitive package delivery category. Shipping companies compete on the basis of speed, convenience, and reliability. So the race is on to prove to customers which company is the best performing. In this campaign, DHL spoofed its competitors like UPS to broadcast that it's faster.
May 26, 2014

Filtering Ideas to Find the Very Best Ones

The SIT Method is designed to help you generate lots of ideas in a systematic way. But how do you select which ideas to pursue? Filtering ideas is an essential part of the creativity process. You want to make sure you spend your time only on those with the most potential.