Welcome! Within these pages, I will explore the many facets of compelling ideas I've encountered with the hope that you will find inspiration for your own life. I encourage you to explore some of the Big Ideas that I support with my time and energy. Also, check out the Spark Chamber where we can explore possibilities together.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Get Inside the Box

A recent Wall Street Journal article observes that people are most innovative when they put constraints on their work based on what they already know. 

The article highlights five techniques that can add juice to the innovative process:
  • Subtraction - Removing seemingly essential elements like the teller from the bank (ATM) or the eyeglass frame from the glasses (contact lens).
  • Task Unification - Bringing together unrelated tasks and functions like straps on a Samsonite backback that double as a back massager.
  • Multiplication - Copying a component and then altering it like Gillette did by adding blades to a razor.
  • Division - Separating the components and then rearranging them like airlines did when they first started printing boarding passes at home.
  • Attribute dependency - Making the attributes of a product change in response to changes in another attribute or in the surrounding environment like transition lenses that get darker when the sun comes out.
For those who are looking to have impact on the world, or disrupt an existing industry, the lesson here is how important it is to understand and immerse yourself in your field of interest. So, as you are considering how your skills can be leveraged in a new way, try to find ways to get involved.  You can do this through the Business of "Yes" or by networking.  But, what's most important is getting inside the box.  It is only from in there that the truly innovative solutions can be found.


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