These next few blogs are going to be focused on how to practically innovate on demand. We have previously outlined the 5 S.I.T. Templates (Subtraction, Division, Multiplication, Task Unification and Attribute Dependency) and now I am going to help you apply them to your life. Today’s focus will be on the subtraction method.
Subtraction, in my opinion is the most counterintuitive method. In the name of innovation, you take one component, or one aspect of your life, and then you imagine life without it. What? You want me to imagine a school with no children or a business with no money? Why on earth would you want me to do that?
Remember, the purpose of S.I.T. and all of my blogs is to get you think differently. The S.I.T. method of creativity forces you to think of new ways by constraining your brain and asking specific questions. It doesn’t allow your brain to wander in order to think outside the box. The inside the box approach to creativity is what actually produces creative ideas.
Imagine you were facing a challenge. You want to start a restaurant but lack the means to do so. Using the subtraction method, you would list the different components of a restaurant (I’m only listing a few here for the sake of time):
Next, you would imagine a restaurant that didn’t have each of the components.
Wait. You want me to imagine a restaurant with no food. What type of a restaurant wouldn’t want any food?
Yes, and there’s more. I want you to list the benefits of having a restaurant without food?
Ok. If I had no food at the restaurant,
1. I’d save a lot of money
2. There’d be no hassle, no one would be coming in
3. I’d save a lot of time – no shopping, no prep
Not bad. What could you substitute at the restaurant instead of food?
Well I guess I can sell merchandise or clothing - but that’s really random. I mean maybe I can sell cutlery or tablecloths.
Oh that’s an interesting idea.
Actually, I’ve been hoping to start selling food accessories but I didn’t have the time to properly think about it. Maybe’s now’s the time to reimagine the possibilities.
In a very short amount of time, the Subtraction method allows you to think of new ideas and angles. It is a very efficient way of innovating, even though, as aforementioned, it is very counterintuitive.
Try the same steps with staff, location and insurance or attempt it with a problem you are struggling with. I’d love to hear results. Please share them with me and let me know how the process goes!