Creative Thinking – Inside the Box

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What is this course is about?

Business
Is thinking creatively a gift or a skill? Can it be learned like other skills? Prof Goldenberg and Drew Boyd believe so, and have the years of experience to back them up.

In this course they teach a simple yet powerful framework for how to systematically generate creative and innovative ideas. You'll learn how to use 5 methods to generate new ideas.

These methods have been used at industry giants such as Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble and more, and this course has been taught at leading universities such as Harvard, Cincinnati, Columbia at the Interdisciplinary Center in Israel.
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Syllabus

Look at the objects around you. Could you turn one of them into a creative and innovative product?

Prof Goldenberg and Drew Boyd believe so, and have the years of experience to back them up.

In this course they teach a simple yet powerful framework for how to systematically generate creative and innovative ideas. You'll learn how to use 5 methods to generate new ideas.

These methods have been used at industry giants such as Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble and more, and this course has been taught at leading universities such as Harvard, Cincinnati, Columbia at the Interdisciplinary Center in Israel.

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Welcome to Inside the box thinking!

Is thinking creatively a gift or a skill? Can it be learned like other skills? Prof Goldenberg and Drew Boyd believe so, and have the years of experience to back them up.

In this lesson you'll learn about 2 key principles for creative thinking:
1. The Closed World
2. Function Follows Form

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Have you ever been told to solve a problem by "thinking outside the box"? Most people have. But what if we told you that thinking outside the box isn't all it's cracked up to be? Research shows that to come up with creative solutions you actually have to stay closer to your problem.

In this lessons we'll learn about:

• The 3 metrics that define creativity
• The origins of brainstorming and thinking "outside the box"
• Where the sweet spot for creative ideas lies
• Why staying "inside the box", or in the closed world of the problem can be beneficial to creativity and help land us in the sweet spot of ideas

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We'll ditch the term inside/outside the box and instead dive into the principle of the "Closed World". A place where creative ideas exist.

The Closed World forces us to operate under constraints that increase our creative juices. This plays out in all walks of life: soldiers in the military, who are out in the field with no access to supplies. Business executives who have a set number of resources available, but have to deal with a competitive landscape. Even astronauts in space.

Once you understand this concept, you'll be halfway to thinking creatively, whenever you need it.

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You'll learn about why people resist creative ideas and innovation in general. Resistance to ideas stems from many different factors from human psychology to job security. You'll learn about the important ones:

• Our tendency to make implicit assumption
• Fixedness
• Organizational resistance
• Consumer resistance

We'll also cover how to recognize and overcome them.

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Subtraction is the first template for creativity we'll learn this course. It might just be the most powerful, but counter intuitive method!

Have you ever heard the expression that "less is more"? Well, Subtraction really brings that concept to life. By removing a key component to a service or product, you can actually make new, disruptive products. Just look at Intuit's Quickbooks, Apple's iPod shuffle or P&G's clothing freshener - all incorporate the Subtraction method.

In this lesson you'll learn:

• The theory behind Subtraction
• The 7 step process to implementing it

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The principle of Function Follows Form is one of the two main principles that the entire premise of Systematic Inventive Thinking is based on. The key to this principle is that it is easier for us to imagine a function for a product once we can imagine its form. Once we see something, we can imagine what function it will serve. This lesson will explore this principle in depth. You'll learn:

• Why mistakes can lead to innovation
• The discovery of Function Follows Form
• What situations best fit using Function Follows Form

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This course is all about 5 templates for creativity. But how can we be sure about these methods? Why these 5 specifically and not others?

This lesson is about the research that led to the Inside the Box framework and how Prof. Goldenberg found these 5 specific templates for creativity.

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This lesson is about the second template we'll learn - Multiplication. Multiplication is another method for thinking creatively and breaking through our fixedness. It's been used in some category defining products. It's one of the simplest, yet most powerful methods we'll learn. In this lesson you'll learn:

• Why Multiplication is a powerful template
• The 7 step process for implementing it
• 4 common mistakes when using the template and how to avoid them

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Make your existing assets do more! That's what Task Unification is all about.

This method is used in companies all around us - from Facebook to Waze. The key is analyzing the components in the Closed World correctly and assigning a new task to an existing asset. In this lesson you'll learn:

• Why Task Unification is a powerful template for creativity
• The 5 step process for implementing Task Unification
• 4 pitfalls to avoid

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Attribute Dependency is the fourth template for creative thinking we're learning, and what a template it is! This versatile method is responsible for 35% of successful new products. By creating a dependency between two attributes of a product, you can do great things. Just as impressive is that you can achieve the same by breaking an existing dependency! In this lesson you'll learn:

• Why Attribute Dependency is such a powerful template
• The 6 step process for implementing it
• 4 important pointers when applying this method

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Divide and conquer!

The Division template is a powerful tool for product, but especially process innovation. Division has been used to successfully transform everyday devices like your TV, shampoo, check in line at your local hotel or at the airport and even for new employee training.
In this lesson you'll learn:
• Why Division is such a powerful template for Inside the Box innovation
• The 5 step process for implementing Division

Once you get used to thinking with a Division mindset, you'll start seeing it everywhere.

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Courses Authors

Drew Boyd

Marketing and Innovation Associate Professor-Educator, Cincinnati University

Prof. Jacob Goldenberg

Professor of Marketing, Arison School of Business Administration, IDC

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