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I’m Going to Eat Your Brains and Gain Your Knowledge

| On 27, Nov 2007

Michael S. Slocum

OK not really. However, I am going to describe an approach to innovation that does allow you to leverage the intellectual capabilities of OTHER problem solvers for the generation of solutions to YOUR problems.  This can be achieved by utilizing previous problem solving output and adapting it to suit your purposes (what I call Adaptivation).  Adaptivation may take place if you will transition your problem statement that is specific to the realm of the abstract. The realm of the abstract allows you to connect with a repository of problem solving information that is found in Contradiction Theory which is a Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TRIZ) subset. Patents have been analyzed and each specific problem has been affinitized at the abstract level. The same process has been applied to each solution. Therefore, if you convert your problem to the abstract you can match it to an abstraction from Contradiction Theory. Then you will benefit from the resultant solution abstraction. This gives you the necessary kernel that may be used by analogy to create a solution that applies to your specific problem (Adaptivation). This method introduces you to the problem solving thought processes of others who needed a solution and have produced information to that effect. So in a sense, you are benefitting from their knowledge directly. This approach is both open (leverages knowledge you or your organization does not possess) and efficient (not creating a unique solution when an adaptation will work). You can increase your intellectual capacity by using some structured and effective techniques that allow you to benefit from other people’s work.  


You can read more about this concept in my recent Real Innovation article on Adaptivation titled:  “Smart Innovation Adapts to any Problem or Situation.”