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Drew Boyd
Cincinnati
Co-author of Inside the Box: A Proven System of Creativity for Breakthrough Results. Innovation practitioner, professor, blogger, and speaker.
Interests: speaking, writing, teaching, ice hockey, innovating, playing blues guitar, building guitars, fishing
Recent Activity
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You can frequently make groundbreaking innovations simply by dividing a product into “chunks” to create many smaller versions of it. These smaller versions still function like the original product, but their reduced size delivers benefits that users wouldn’t get with the larger, “parent” product. This is one of three approaches of the Division Technique called “Preserving Division.” Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Innovation in Practice
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Skyscrapers are amazing from any vantage point - near, far, or even inside. If you look closely, you'll spot the patterns inherent in the techniques of Systematic Inventive Thinking. Take a look at these five examples. Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2014 at Innovation in Practice
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The University of Cincinnati's popular Massive Online Open Course called "Innovation and Design Thinking" will return this Fall beginning in October. Stay tuned for details about registration. Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2014 at Innovation in Practice
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Creativity is what you do in your head to generate an idea, while innovation is the process of putting it into practice. You need both to succeed, which may be why the number of new books on these topics seems to grow every year. Yet despite the popularity of this category and the steady stream of new books, I continue to go back to the classics, those books that actually taught me how to do it versus those books that just talked about it. Caution – these are not “light reads,” but they’re the ones I’ve learned the most from. Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2014 at Innovation in Practice
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“Simply by taking that fifteen-minute step, these citizen scientists make a contribution to saving bees,” LeBuhn said. “It’s remarkable having all these different people willing to participate, willing to help, and interested in making the world a better place.” Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2014 at Innovation in Practice
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Columbia Business School is offering a three-day Executive Education program called Marketing and Innovation. The program will teach Systematic Inventive Thinking as well as other key innovation concepts. The program will be held June 17-19 and November 18-20 in New York. The program is ideal for middle- to upper-level executives who are responsible for strategic innovation and new product development. It is especially good for organizations that wish to send a cross-functional team to work on a specific challenge or project together. Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2014 at Innovation in Practice
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One very effective—but nonintuitive—way to use Multiplication is to multiply the most offending component in a problem and then change it so that it solves the problem. Yes, you actually make more of the very thing you are trying to discard. The key is to duplicate the nastiest component and imagine a scenario in which that copy could offer useful characteristics. Two researchers used this very technique and revolutionized the way we cope with dangerous insect species today. Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2014 at Innovation in Practice
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. Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2014 at Innovation in Practice
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A new study by Philip Hans Franses of the Erasmus School of Economics in the Netherlands may suggest the point in time when we reach our creative peak. Franses examined the lifespans of 221 famous painters between 1800 and 2004, and estimated the year they created their most creative work based on the artist's most expensive painting ever sold. "For each of these artists, the most expensive painting was identified and taken as an indicator of peak creativity," Franses said in the study. Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2014 at Innovation in Practice
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Fifty years ago on Feb. 9, 1964, the Beatles made their first appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show." A record 73 million people watched that night. And the rest, of course, is history. The Beatles were innovators, and they did it systematically using templates. The Beatles were corporate innovators who created immense fortunes for their shareholders. They used structured methods, experimentation, and technology the same way Fortune 500 companies create new products and services. Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2014 at Innovation in Practice
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Although studying creativity is considered a legitimate scientific discipline nowadays, it is still a very young one. In the early 1970s, a psychologist named J. P. Guilford was one of the first academic researchers who dared to conduct a study of creativity. One of Guilford’s most famous studies was the nine-dot puzzle, presented with its solution here. He challenged research subjects to connect all nine dots using just four straight lines without lifting their pencils from the page. Today many people are familiar with this puzzle and its solution. In the 1970s, however, very few were even aware of its existence, even though it had been around for almost a century. Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2014 at Innovation in Practice
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John Doyle certainly knows theater. Over his thirty-year career, he’s staged more than two hundred professional productions throughout the United Kingdom and the United States, mostly in small, regional theater companies. In the early 1990s, while working at such a theater in rural England, the Scottish director came up with an innovative way to produce crowd-pleasing musicals on a tiny budget. Musicals are considerably more expensive to stage than traditional plays, due primarily to the cost of hiring musicians. But Doyle eliminated those excess costs by handing responsibility for musical accompaniment to his actors. The actors onstage doubled as instrumentalists. Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2014 at Innovation in Practice
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In the 1950s, General Mills launched a line of cake mixes under the famous Betty Crocker brand. The cake mixes included all the dry ingredients in the package, plus milk and eggs in powdered form. All you needed was to add water, mix it all together, and stick the pan in the oven. For busy homemakers, it saved time and effort, and the recipe was virtually error free. General Mills had a sure winner on its hands. Or so it thought. Despite the many benefits of the new product, it did not sell well. Even the iconic and trusted Betty Crocker brand could not convince homemakers to adopt the new product. Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2014 at Innovation in Practice
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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. Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2014 at Innovation in Practice
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You’ve experienced this dozens, if not hundreds, of times. Before being allowed to enter a website, you must type words written in a bizarre, distorted script inside a box. Dr. Luis von Ahn, a professor in the Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University, estimates that people decipher script like this more than 200 million times a day. He should know. He invented the system. Captcha, as it is called, protects websites by demanding that visitors take a simple test that humans can pass but computers cannot. Captcha, in fact, is an acronym for Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart. It requires website visitors to interpret the text correctly and type the right letters before they can enter the site. Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2014 at Innovation in Practice
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The end of the year is a popular time to publish lists of all sorts. A quick glance at CNN, for example, revealed lists such as "75 Amazing Sports Moments," "The 50 Best Android Apps," "8 Very Old Sites in the New World," and many more. Here is The Top 10 Most Underappreciated Inventions. The criteria for making this list are: 1. the invention has to be of high value, 2. we take it for granted; we just expect it to be there, and 3. it would be hard to imagine life without it; the substitute for the invention would be unacceptable. Continue reading
Posted Dec 30, 2013 at Innovation in Practice
Companies get better results from innovation by targeting initiatives at the right places. Here are six areas to focus on: Continue reading
Posted Dec 23, 2013 at Innovation in Practice
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This month marks the six year anniversary of Innovation in Practice, and I want to thank my readers and supporters who follow it. 2013 was a special year for me. Jacob Goldenberg and I launched our book, Inside the Box: A Proven System of Creativity for Breakthrough Results (Simon & Schuster, June 2013). The book is nominated for Innovation Book of the Year in the U.K., and it is spreading throughout. We are very pleased with the outcome of this project as it is the first detailed description of Systematic Inventive Thinking, a creative process that works for everyone. Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2013 at Innovation in Practice
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Umbrellas have been around a very long time dating back to the time of the ancient Egyptians. Yet, little has changed to the basic concept...until recently. Here are five examples of innovative umbrellas that could have been invented with one... Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2013 at Innovation in Practice
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Philips North America announced Fosmo Med, developer of the Maji Intravenous (IV) saline bag, as the grand prize winner of the first-ever Philips Innovation Fellows competition, revealing the technology as the next big, meaningful innovation in health and well-being. The new IV solution technology has the potential to save millions of lives worldwide from dehydration-related diseases, such as cholera. Maji is a revolutionary field hydration system for IV use that is shipped without water. Once on site, forward osmosis technology converts local water -- even if it's not clean -- to a sterile solution without requiring any electrical power. An estimated 16 Maji bags can be shipped for the same cost as one traditional IV saline bag, saving up to $500 for every 14 units shipped. Maji is an example of the Task Unification Technique, one of five in the SIT innovation method. Task Unification works by assigning an additional task to an existing resource. In this example, the Maji bag has the additional job of filtering water. Continue reading
Posted Dec 2, 2013 at Innovation in Practice
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Conjuring up creativity: could it be possible to produce those eureka moments on a consistent basis? Drew Boyd and Jacob Goldenberg, the authors of this intriguing manual, believe that our creative powers can work more efficiently if we use specific... Continue reading
Posted Nov 27, 2013 at Innovation in Practice
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This week, we explored the questions related to how as well as key factors in creating an innovation culture. Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2013 at Innovation in Practice
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Leaders need to make innovation personal. Creating a culture, from the top down, where innovation is encouraged appears to be a successful formula. Mike Clem reminds us again that there needs to be a bit of a designer in all of us, and this especially applies to management. Continue reading
Posted Nov 18, 2013 at Innovation in Practice
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How does a company build enough innovation capability to be the leader in its industry? That was the focus of this week's discussion in our course, Innovation and Design Thinking. Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2013 at Innovation in Practice
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It's official. Twitter is a publicly traded company, and it will face constant pressure to innovate and grow. Let's look at how innovation methods can be applied to Twitter to find new opportunitues. We'll apply the five techniques of Systematic Inventive Thinking to Twitter. Our goal will be to create new features and innovations with the main Twitter platform as well as to create completely new applications related to Twitter. Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2013 at Innovation in Practice