Tag Archives: think outside the box

Innovation posts of the week: 10 common innovation blunders

Creative solutions often are born out of unrelated ideas: Collaborating Across Cultures – HBS

Three Ways to Succeed by Breaking Convention – HBR

The Rise of Radical Adjacency – Forbes

An Innovator’s Guide: 5 Ways to Think Outside the Box – CNBC

Breakthrough innovation starts with breakthrough questions – via @ralph_ohr

How To Hold A Design Jam In 53 Minutes – by @matthewemay

10 Common Innovation Blunders – Blogging Innovation


Enhanced by Zemanta

Weekend innovation tip: 6 Lateral thinking techniques

As we age, we humans tend to follow familiar patterns of thinking. Using the same method that worked is useful but it has huge disadvantages when trying to create new products or services.

We have a tendency to think in a linear way, following logic, adding incremental improvements to the product or service along a predictable vertical.

Lateral thinking is the art of creating something new out of something existent, you achieve this by manipulating elements in the product or service. Lateral thinking is commonly known as .

Lateral thinking is all about making new connections that aren’t entirely obvious.

Here are 6 lateral thinking techniques you can use to create new ideas, new options and ultimately something new:


  • Substitute. Substitution consists in removing one or several elements of the product and changing it.
  • Combine. Combination consists of adding one or several elements to the product or service, maintaining the rest.
  • Invert. Inversion consists on doing or saying the opposite to an element of the product or service.
  • Eliminate. Elimination consists on removing an element of the product or service.
  • Exaggerate. Exaggeration consists on imagining an exaggerated state of your product or service.
  • Reorder. Reordering consists of changing the order or sequence of one or more product or service elements.


Here a simple example of how this works using a pizza delivery service:


Substitute it. Send hot dogs instead.

Combine it. Send the pizza + lasagna for free.

Invert it. Send the pizza only on certain hours during the week and but on the weekend all day.

The Baader Meinhof Complex full Eliminate it. Don’t deliver pizza.

Exaggerate it. Deliver a pizza with double everything and call it extreme pizza.

Reorder it. Customer sends you the ingredients he wants and you make the pizza.


Give it a try, you’ll come up with new ideas in no time!

Weekend innovation tip: To think outside the box look in other boxes

Thinking outside the box

Solutions are everywhere and the best way to think outside the box is to look in other boxes.

Where the Heart Is movie download

Your box limits your view

How many times have you meet someone that tries to solve problems using the same method over and over again to no avail? More than you can remember I assume.

This is even more apparent as we grow older, we keep doing what worked before believing that’s the only way it can be done. If it isn’t broke don’t fix it right? The problem with this is that when we’re looking for new ideas we won’t find them looking in the same places, we have to venture off an unknown path where the chances of finding something new are more higher.

Why is it so difficult to try something new?

Because , we become so fixed in a single view of the world that we filter out all information that conflicts with our beliefs and are unable to see another possible solution.

What we see is what we think

The box is our .

Beliefs, assumptions of how you think your world (box) works all lock you in to a box, limiting your view of going about solving problems. The problem with this is that all your solutions will always be the same, predictable and linear. More of the same!

Brain researcher Gerhard Roth of the University of Bremen in Germany in his 2007 book whose title translates as Personality, Decision, and Behavior writes:

The Family Stone rip

“The brain is always trying to automate things and to create habits, which it imbues with feelings of pleasure. Holding to the tried and true gives us a feeling of security, safety, and competence while at the same time reducing our fear of the future and of failure.”

Look in other boxes that is not your own.

To start finding new ideas we first have to become aware of the limitations of doing things the same way, we must become aware of our mental models and question our beliefs and assumption.

Also understand that innovations themselves are combination’s of what came before, rather than an original invention. It’s discovering things in other boxes and then combining them in a useful way that you get something new. Creativity really is all about discovery!

The fact is solutions are everywhere and the best way to think outside the box is to look in other boxes.

Key Takeaway: Develop a take from anywhere mindset. Borrow ideas from other fields, keep an open mind and cherry pick your way to a new solution.

Photo Credit:

Enhanced by Zemanta