The Power of Patterns That Guide Our Thinking

Could creativity be as simple as following templates? Research dating back to 1914 shows that even primates use cognitive patterns to solve problems.

The Patterns in Creative Holiday Gifts

It's that time of year for holiday gift giving, and you may want to select gifts that have creativity patterns embedded inside them. These inventions tend to survive through time because consumers find most appealing.

The Four Creativity Archetypes

As you listen to the Voices of Creativity, see if you can spot their archetype. Who are the leading Creativity Preachers in our creativity community, for example? Also, ask yourself: what is your archetype? Which do you aspire to become? Most importantly, how will you get there?

Decluttering Innovation

People need time to innovate, but organizations tend to "tax" employees with time-wasting bureaucracy. Here's how to fight back.

Are You Sitting On the Next Big Thing?

A new study suggests that over seventy percent of us believe we are already have the next big thing, but we lack the 'know how' and resources to do something about it.

Mastering the Method of Systematic Creativity

Anyone can boost their creative output no matter where they are starting from on the creativity scale. Here is how to master five techniques to create new ideas in a systematic and predictable way.

How Patterns Boost Our Performance...Without Even Knowing It

Humans are creatures of habits, and these habits can be analyzed and codified into rules that help us perform better in many areas including creativity.

The Myth of Serendipitous Creativity

With so many successful products created through serendipity, it makes you wonder whether companies can rely on it to create breakthrough products. The answer is no. Serendipity, as a method of innovation, has a very poor track record. The number of serendipitous products is a tiny percentage of the total of all products.

How to Adjust Your Creativity Lens

You can boost your creative output by changing the resolution around a problem. Think of it like the lens on a camera. You see a completely different view by zooming closer in or by zooming far away. Changing your "lens" reveals new creative solutions.

The Six Best Books on Creativity and Innovation

Here are the classics on creativity, those books that actually teach how to do it versus those books that just talk about it. Caution: these are not “light reads,” but they’re the ones I’ve learned the most from.

Thinking Outside the Box: A Misguided Idea

The nine-dot puzzle and the phrase “thinking outside the box” became metaphors for creativity and spread like wildfire in marketing, management, psychology, the creative arts, engineering, and personal improvement circles. One problem: It's wrong.

Have You Reached Your Creative Peak?

New research that studied the peak creative output of painters suggests that the two-thirds point in our lifespans, the so-called Golden Ratio, may be the peak creative point in time. But what happens leading up to that moment? And, what do we do once we've past it?

A Creativity Lesson From Betty Crocker

Betty Crocker’s egg teaches us a powerful lesson about consumer psychology. Many other companies sell goods and services that come prepackaged. They too might be able to innovate with the Subtraction technique by taking out a key component and adding back a little activity for the consumer.

Creativity in the Non-Profit Sector

Non-profit organizations can and must apply systematic methods of innovation to survive and thrive.

Creativity in Human Resources

Human Resource departments need innovation just as much as any other department. Here are five creativity techniques to see new opportunities in the HR function.

The Marker on the Board (Jacob’s Story)

Dr. Jacob Goldenberg, creativity researcher and co-author of Inside the Box: A Proven System of Creativity for Breakthrough Results (Simon & Schuster, 2013), shares his story about the surprises that await us when we look into The Closed World.

Manipulating Language to Be More Creative

Language and creativity are inseparable. Language puts meaning to our ideas, be it spoken, written, or symbolic. We convey ideas to others which is essential for innovation. Innovation would be nearly impossible if we did not have language.

The Beatles: Innovating the Old-Fashioned Way

Many have studied and commented on the contributions of the Beatles and the lessons learned. And in the end, it was their prolific use of structured innovation templates that made their contributions possible.

Characteristics of Creative Ideas

Creativity is in the eye of the beholder. But spotting one these five characteristic in a creative concept lends insights to the truly great ones.

The Curse of Innovation

Innovating is tough work especially in the face of many curses such as the US patent system. Fortunately, systematic creativity methods can help.

Innovation and the Base Rate

Ignoring the base rate can lead to wrong judgments. Instead, take advantage of this often hidden gem.

The Voice of the Emergent Customer

Emergent customers have a unique ability to “wrap their head” around a new concept and improve it. Companies need to hear the voice of the “right” customer during new product development.

Fixedness: A Barrier to Creative Output

Fixedess is our inability to imagine an object doing anything other than what is was intended for. Fixedness blocks our ability to generate novel, breakthrough ideas as a result. If we want to be more creative, we all require a systematic thinking tool to break fixedness.

Where There Is Hope, There Is Creativity

Are hopeful employees more innovative? Research shows employees' sense of hope drives their creative output at work. Leaders need to inspire hope as a precursor to becoming a more innovative firm.

Tempting Innovation, Tainted Innovation

An idea stands a better chance of surviving if it is not attributed to the individual who conceived it. Otherwise, the idea carries with it all the baggage and perception of its owner, good or bad. During idea evaluation, people struggle separating their feelings about the creator from the idea itself. If they like the person, they like their idea...and vice versa.

Are You More Innovative Than You Think?

Look at your current products and services to see if they could be explained by one of the five patterns of the S.I.T. method. If so, you are more innovative than you think. You need to take the next step by using the method in a systematic and purposeful way.

What's in a Name?

The words we use to name or describe objects create Functional Fixedness. It becomes hard for us to imagine the object performing other functions. To break fixedness, use a systematic creativity method.

Teaching Your Children to Innovate

Many people think children are more creative than adults because kids are more playful and uninhibited. Their childlike approach gives them an edge in creating new ideas. Not true. Innovation is a skill, not a gift, and it can be learned by anyone, including children.

Don't Be Fooled When Assessing Creative Work

How we judge a creative idea is affected by how we perceive its inventor. Without realizing it, we may overvalue or undervalue a new concept and make poor choices in the product development process as a result.

The Role of Gender in Innovation

The adaptive behavior in women and the risk-taking behavior in men provides a certain harmony during innovation workshops. Working together creates a complementary effect and yields better results.