This Is How The Pros Innovate

by Lisa Bodell for ForbesWomen

When was the last time you considered eliminating an element of your best-selling product or service? Or whether your products should be more localized to reach a specific market? Or how you could increase the frequency with which people buy your products?

Even if — actually, especially if — your product is a market leader, you can’t afford to take a passive approach to the reinvention process. That’s how complacency creeps into even the most innovative orgs and how your competitors can edge you out.

To get in the habit of creating new value from your existing products and services, try the 40 New Opportunities technique. It’s inspired by a problem-solving method called T.R.I.Z., which is short for the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving.

T.R.I.Z. was developed by a Russian patent examiner who reviewed 400,000 patent applications, looking for commonalties between the problems and the inventors’ methods for solving them. He realized that every invention could be traced to one of just 40 principles. What does this mean for your business? It means T.R.I.Z. provides you with a systematic process for innovating regularly.

Samsung uses it to get more value from their existing I.P., and in a single year, T.R.I.Z. led Samsung to 50 new patents and a cost savings of more than $100 million dollars. So, let’s take a peek at the T.R.I.Z. categories for reinventing your products or services.

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