Inside the Box

The practice of systematic creativity

Mastering the Method of Systematic Creativity

Tips and advice on how to excel at using Systematic Inventive Thinking.

Let me share with you some tips and advice on how to master the techniques and principles of Systematic Inventive Thinking.

First, work on mastering one at a time, not all five at once. It’s better to limit rather than dilute. Don’t overwhelm yourself trying to be an expert in all five right away.

One way to develop your expertise in the 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.

When you go to the store or when you're watching TV and you see some new, innovative product, try to figure out which of the five SIT techniques could have been used to generate that novel concept. You’ll begin to realize that these patterns are all around you. That helps boost your confidence in the method and in the existence of these patterns.

At some point, you’ll use pattern spotting automatically. You’ll see some new product or service and instantly your mind will try to search which of the five techniques applies. When you get to that point, you have what we affectionately call, the SIT virus. It means you are well on your way to mastering the method.

Another way to master SIT is with mental simulation. Mental simulation is used by athletes and other professionals to improve their performance. They mentally simulate performing an event or series of events as a way to groove it into their mind.

You can also use mental simulation with the SIT techniques. When you're out and about in your daily routine, pick an object randomly and pick one of the five SIT techniques. See if you can mentally work through the steps of the method to invent some new clever product or service right on the spot.

For example, imagine you're at the airport standing in line at security. Pick an object or the process itself and see if you can apply one of the techniques to create some beneficial service or a new product. By mentally stimulating the SIT techniques, you’re going to perfect their use and you're going to build your confidence in your ability to apply the techniques on demand.

While learning the SIT method, be sure to leverage social media. Find other people who use the SIT method. Share ideas and stories of how it's been used in practice. Join this growing community of SIT practitioners.

Check out blogs, webinars, LinkedIn, Facebook and Pinterest. If you visit my Pinterest site, for example, you will find a board for each of the five techniques with examples of products that demonstrate that pattern.

Check the Resources link for our website, you’ll find recommendations for books, articles, and even an iPad app that can help you facilitate each of the five techniques. You want to become a student of creativity, because ultimately that is what will help you master SIT as your dominant method of idea generation.

 

 

Copyright 2014 Drew Boyd

 

 

Drew Boyd is a professor of marketing and innovation at the University of Cincinnati.

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