Inside LaunchStreet Drew Boyd

Innovate While Remaining Inside the Box

Drew Boyd is a 30-year innovation veteran and the co-author of the book, Inside The Box: A Proven System of Creativity For Breakthrough Results. He stopped by Inside LaunchStreet to talk about why going outside the box sets you up for failure, how to innovate against your constraints, and the five patterns of innovation anyone can do.

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Key Takeaways:

[1:22] Drew defines creativity as the cognitive process, the stuff that happens in your head. Innovation is what you do with the ideas to generate them into the marketplace.

[2:04] Tamara poses the question, “Are you good at either creativity OR innovation? Which is better?”

[3:12] Drew debunks the creative genius myth.

[5:19] Get introduced to the ‘ruined product’ exercise. Listen in as Drew discusses this powerful innovation strategy that focuses on the cognitive process of ‘fixivness.”

[8:25] The innovation magic happens when innovators prove they are able to work backwards and confront cognitive bias.

[10:17] Tamara challenges Launchstreeters to work through the ruined product exercise.  Drew encourages that every company incorporate innovation as a routine skill that effects everyone.

[12:01] Get introduced to J. P. Guilford’s famous 9-dot puzzle that started the notion of thinking outside the box. Why is the notion of thinking outside the box misleading?

[15:51] Drew and Tamara groupthink why brainstorming is not an effective innovation strategy. Drew believes that unconstrained brainstorming doesn’t work and that the mind slips onto something it knows. Constraints actually free up the mind to create. Constraints are real and the ideas need to be real.

]21:21] Drew’s book, Inside the Box: A Proven System of Creativity for Breakthrough Results, introduces five patterns to guide the brain to crazy configurations. These innovation strategies will help you remain inside the box.

[23:29] The five patterns are identified and examples are given: 1. Subtraction: remove an essential element. 2. Multiplication: make a copy of a product but change it in some way. 3. Task Unification: giving a component an additional job. 4. Division: divide and rearrange in some way. 5: Attribute of dependency: one thing changes as something else changes.

[26:56] Uber and AirBnB were founded using the task unification technique.  (Take something that you currently use and use it for something else). Drew shares that a product that has been invented using the five patterns has a much higher chance of success. Listen in to find out why.

[30:17] Drew shares how one company used the division technique on hoses and developed a non-kinking, heated hose. Drew said, “The trick is to build boundaries around the problem, then apply a few of the patterns.”

[34:52] What challenges are facing businesses today? How can innovation help to overcome these challenges?

[36:40] Drew believes that companies are making three major mistakes around innovation. First, a chief officer should not be assigned to innovate. Second, Companies are failing to see innovation as a skill. (Not investing staff in innovation.) Third: Companies must recognize there is not one lone genius. Companies need a cross-functional team.

[38:32] Action learning is a strategy used by the military. Learn how the four steps of action learning complete the failure mantra, and which step is the golden ticket for success.

[41:00] You need to embrace failure but you must embrace the other three parts too. Reflection is a key piece of life.

[41:50] Connect with Drew at Here you will find video resources,  courses and can purchase his book. Also, connect on Twitter and LinkedIn.


Mentioned in This Episode:


LaunchStreet’s Innovation On Demand 

LaunchStreet’s Innovation Quotient Edge Assessment