There are however situations in life or work when the known routines don’t seem to work.
Sometimes we need to do something that simply seems impossible – we need to double the throughput of a production line within two weeks after several years in which all we were trying to do and managed to do was to increase the production by no more than 20 percent. (In one of my consulting projects we did exactly that…).
Often a problem seems very simple, but after several attempts to solve it, it turns out that the routine methods fail.
On yet other occasions, we do have a working solution, but for some reason we are not satisfied with it. We just don’t seem to find a better one.
In all these situations SIT can help us find a simple solution that for some good reason our brain could not produce.
SIT is based on the simple observation that many creative solutions in different domains fall into a relatively small number of distinctive categories. If we know these categories, we can use them to find new solutions.
“Out of the box” solutions, it is claimed, fall into their own boxes.
Consider the highly creative idea of vaccination. We need to generate antibodies against polio. We do this with weaker or dead polio viruses.
The pattern is clear: if you have a problem with X, try to solve it using a slightly different version of X (In SIT parlance, this is the Multiplication tool).
There are numerous problems that have been solved using this very template.
But why can’t the human brain produce these kinds of solutions without SIT’s help? Well, to be sure, sometimes it can. I don’t think that Salk used SIT to develop his polio vaccination. But more often than not these kinds of solutions (solving X with X) are missed (and when discovered, arouse a feeling of surprise).
I think that the answer is quite simple. To be efficient, our brain quickly creates a categorized view of the world. If X is categorized as a problem, any idea in which X is the solution is inaccessible to our brain.
SIT simply forces us to consider this possibility.
As you read this it may seem quite logical to you, and you may say to yourself, “Next time I have a problem with something I’ll try to use that something to solve the problem”.
If you’re thinking this way, you may be underestimating your habits. Your brain is stronger than you…and will return to tried and true procedures in real time.
Therefore a very important part of learning SIT is practice. You must experience using SIT time and again to be able to take control over your brain’s automatic pilot.
The Multiplication tool is just one of SIT’s five tools. Together the five tools form a simple but powerful method for solving problems.
SIT is a software for the mind that will help you find a needle (creative solution) in haystack (your problem environment) provided that one exits.
See you all in my next post,
Roni and the rest of us at SIT would be happy to help you innovate.
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Visit Roni at the start2think website