Innovation for Dummies: Systematic Inventive Thinking

For some Innovation is a form of creativity. A divine spark initiates some higher brain function kicking of inspirational images of new products and services. For those SIT may come as a shock. SIT stands for Systematic Inventive Thinking and provides a structured way of creating new concepts by combining existing elements of products and services and their context. The process-like approach turns Innovation from something coincidental into … basically just work.

Demystification may be a bad thing for the ‘believers in inspiration’. But for us common folk it is quite reassuring that techniques like SIT exist because this allows all of us to be creative and innovative. Never had an original thought in your life? Are the bright ideas that come to you in the night always gone by morning? Then SIT may very well be your tool!

Building blocks

SIT brings several tools like Attribute Dependency, Division, Multiplication, Subtraction and Task Unification. But tools have proved insufficient so SIT developed additional principles: Closed World, Function Follows Form, Limit rather than Dilute, Path of Most Resistance and Qualitative Change. After introducing the concepts the inventors of SIT state: “The idea is to work hard, rather than to spend the time having fun. But if we do not all enjoy it, nobody will have the energy to sustain the effort. That, in essence, is the SIT facilitation challenge. Our techniques help facilitators make learning a truly interactive experience, and ensure that groups manage to work together in a focused way.” On the SIT site you can find more info and a short introduction to the tools and principles. This blog is just intended to kindle your curiosity…

For me the tools and principles have worked in a wide range of situations. I would welcome your feedback on how this can be applied in your context and day-to-day work.