Over the next few weeks, we will delve into the 5 templates of creativity outlined by the SIT method. By having a greater grasp on these methods, you will be able to innovate efficiently and effectively. Here I will present a basic overview of the 5 methods and give you a general understanding of the direction we are heading in.
The 5 SIT templates are as follows:
Subtraction is a technique where you mentally force out a component of the product or process you are working with and imagine the remaining components existing together as is. Imagine the iphone minus the phone = ipad. The ipod minus the screen and the touch wheel = the shuffle. Although initially you might wonder who would want an ipod without a screen, after contemplation you can conclude that it would be ideal device for runners, as it is lighter, and they have no use for a screen while running. By imagining a product without one of its key components (an elliptical machine with only the hand bars), and asking who might want the new machine (those in wheelchairs who need to work on arm conditioning), you can find many new uses for your “broken” invention. During COVID, subtraction has been done for us (we have no location or space to meet) and we have been forced to shift gears to make up for the lack (virtual camp, camp in a box, school over zoom).
Division is where you divide an existing feature into multiple parts and then reconfigure the elements in a novel way. In year’s past, when you went to the airport, you would need to do the entire check in process at the airport (print your boarding pass, check your luggage) but thanks to division, some of that process can be done at home. Think about Ziploc snack bags. Instead of offering you one large size bag, the company has divided it into smaller sizes. The same holds true with pre-portioned 100 calorie snack bags. Division allows you to offer a highlight of your Shabbos program (just an oneg or just a Friday night dinner ) so your guests (possibly those who are Jewishly disinterested) don’t need to commit to Shabbos in its entirety. It allows you to break up a long Shabbos afternoon into different parts and then play around with the order (davening mincha early, eating shalosh seudos later, taking a nap before the meal). Division allows you a lot of flexibility and the ability to break ‘fixedness,’ or the tendency of people to see objects only working in the way they are accustomed to.
Multiplication is where a component of the product or system has been copied but changed in a counterintuitive way. Razors originally were made with one blade. By adding a second (and eventually multiple) blade(s) that have (a) different function(s), the razor became a far superior product. By adding a second layer of tape to the second side of a piece of tape, double sided tape was created. This can be applied to the services that you offer as well. If you are a camp director who currently servicing only children and now decide to offer an additional camp for moms, you have successfully used the multiplication template.
Task Unification is where you give an additional responsibility to a product component; you unify tasks that previously worked independently of one another. The Waze app works using the Task Unification model. Not only are you a user of the app but you also have an additional job – to track traffic. In fact, this template was used to create the app store in the first place. Instead of Apple expanding their entire line of developers, they turned the job of app development into the hands of the customers. They created only a few of their own apps. The rest of the apps are being created for free – by us. The next time you create a program, think about which components can take on additional tasks. Can your campers braid the challah on Friday, allowing them to temporarily become kitchen staff? Can the merch you give out at an event combine the task of brand recognition with Judaism (a kippah with your logo). Thinking about this ahead of time, will allow for a savings of time and money.
Attribute Dependency Is responsible for 35% of creative ideas. In general, each component has certain attributes, which can change based on a variety of factors. For example, a cup of coffee is made of a cup and a handle and also contains sugar, coffee and milk. The attributes of those components - the shape and size of the handle, the temperature of the water – will vary. Attribute Dependency is about creating or breaking a connection between attributes. As one attribute changes, so does the other. For example, your store can run a sale where the price of a suit depends on the temperature outside (70 degrees=$70). You can charge less at your restaurant for customers who eat their meals quicker. You can offer free delivery for delayed delivery times or a cheaper price for those who can be flexible with their delivery windows. By overcoming fixedness and thinking of different ways to make connections between attributes, you can develop creative strategies to market your brand.