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Action Innovation Bisociation Jonathan Weaver & Darrell Kleinke

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1 Action Innovation Bisociation Jonathan Weaver & Darrell Kleinke
University of Detroit Mercy ME Department & IIA

2 Reference The bisociation exercise was derived mainly from:
The Big Book of Creativity: Quick, Fun Activities for Jumpstarting Innovation by Robert Epstein

3 Survey: Question 1 Open up the survey and get ready for Question 1

4 Can You Help Save Our Hat Company?
Source:

5 Survey: Question 1 Three minutes to list your ideas to save our hat company

6 Survey: Questions 2 & 3 Now complete Questions 2 and 3
How many ideas are on your list? What’s your ‘best’ idea?

7 What is Bisociation? Bisociation is a term coined by author Arthur Koestler in his book The Act of Creation Bisociation involves connecting of two seemingly unrelated things (forced association) A similar concept is purveyed in Tom Kelley’s Ten Faces of Innovation in the Cross-Pollinator discussion Can be an effective entrepreneurial approach in product creation Koestler invented this term to distinguish the type of analogical thinking that leads to the acts of great creativity from the more pedestrian associative (purely logical) thinking, with which we are so familiar in our everyday lives.[http://www.public.iastate.edu/~design/ART/NAB/Bisoc.html]

8 Bisociation Examples Retail sale of computers + mail order

9 Bisociation Examples Retail sale of computers + mail order
Dell Computers (Michael Dell) Auction + web

10 Bisociation Examples Retail sale of computers + mail order
Dell Computers (Michael Dell) Auction + web Ebay (Pierre Omidyar) Bookstore + web

11 Bisociation Examples Retail sale of computers + mail order
Dell Computers (Michael Dell) Auction + web Ebay (Pierre Omidyar) Bookstore + web Amazon.com (Jeff Bezos) Horse carriage + steam engine

12 Bisociation Examples Retail sale of computers + mail order
Dell Computers (Michael Dell) Auction + web Ebay (Pierre Omidyar) Bookstore + web Amazon.com (Jeff Bezos) Horse carriage + steam engine Car/train (debatable as to who was first) Circus + theatre

13 Bisociation Examples Retail sale of computers + mail order
Dell Computers (Michael Dell) Auction + web Ebay (Pierre Omidyar) Bookstore + web Amazon.com (Jeff Bezos) Horse carriage + steam engine Car/train (debatable as to who was first) Circus + theatre Cirque du Soleil (a group of street performers in 1984)

14 More Bisociation Examples
Wine press + coin punch Interesting note: there is evidence that the Chinese used movable type a century or more ahead of Gutenberg who receives credit as the inventor (he apparently was for Europe) Carbon pigments from Binney & Smith, maker of Crayola Crayons, was added to its traditional white tires by the Goodrich Company to make the first black automobile tires. To the surprise of Goodrich, the pigment not only changed the color of the tires, it made them five times more durable. Not long after, white tires disappeared from the roadways. A common pigment yields great innovation. 1967: Robert Kearns invents windshield wiper speeds and wins a $30 million lawsuit against auto companies that steal his idea Whose idea: Robert Kearns The inspiration: Kearns, an engineer, grew up right near a Ford plant and believed the auto industry was a beacon for innovation. Then, while driving his Ford Galaxie one rainy night, he came up with an idea of how he could contribute to it. In the 1960s, windshield wipers typically had two settings, high and low. So if rain wasn't steady, driving could be extremely difficult. Kearns, who had a bad eye, began to squint to try and see more clearly. Then he wondered, why couldn't windshield wipers blink too? (Note: there is an excellent documentary on Kearns called "Flash of Brilliance"). What came of it: Kearns patented his idea in 1967 and sent it around to the major American car companies, but none bit. However, they eventually all began using his intermittent wipers in their cars. Kearns spent most of the rest of his life battling Ford, Chrysler and other car companies. He eventually won over $30 million, but he lost his wife and his mind in the process. Kearns died in 2005 of complications to brain cancer caused by Alzheimer's disease, shortly after winning the legal battle. Read more:

15 More Bisociation Examples
Wine press + coin punch Printing press (Gutenberg) Rubber + waffle iron Interesting note: there is evidence that the Chinese used movable type a century or more ahead of Gutenberg who receives credit as the inventor (he apparently was for Europe) Carbon pigments from Binney & Smith, maker of Crayola Crayons, was added to its traditional white tires by the Goodrich Company to make the first black automobile tires. To the surprise of Goodrich, the pigment not only changed the color of the tires, it made them five times more durable. Not long after, white tires disappeared from the roadways. A common pigment yields great innovation. 1967: Robert Kearns invents windshield wiper speeds and wins a $30 million lawsuit against auto companies that steal his idea Whose idea: Robert Kearns The inspiration: Kearns, an engineer, grew up right near a Ford plant and believed the auto industry was a beacon for innovation. Then, while driving his Ford Galaxie one rainy night, he came up with an idea of how he could contribute to it. In the 1960s, windshield wipers typically had two settings, high and low. So if rain wasn't steady, driving could be extremely difficult. Kearns, who had a bad eye, began to squint to try and see more clearly. Then he wondered, why couldn't windshield wipers blink too? (Note: there is an excellent documentary on Kearns called "Flash of Brilliance"). What came of it: Kearns patented his idea in 1967 and sent it around to the major American car companies, but none bit. However, they eventually all began using his intermittent wipers in their cars. Kearns spent most of the rest of his life battling Ford, Chrysler and other car companies. He eventually won over $30 million, but he lost his wife and his mind in the process. Kearns died in 2005 of complications to brain cancer caused by Alzheimer's disease, shortly after winning the legal battle. Read more:

16 More Bisociation Examples
Wine press + coin punch Printing press (Gutenberg) Rubber + waffle iron Sole for Nike shoe (Bill Bowerman) Music + wine Interesting note: there is evidence that the Chinese used movable type a century or more ahead of Gutenberg who receives credit as the inventor (he apparently was for Europe) Carbon pigments from Binney & Smith, maker of Crayola Crayons, was added to its traditional white tires by the Goodrich Company to make the first black automobile tires. To the surprise of Goodrich, the pigment not only changed the color of the tires, it made them five times more durable. Not long after, white tires disappeared from the roadways. A common pigment yields great innovation. 1967: Robert Kearns invents windshield wiper speeds and wins a $30 million lawsuit against auto companies that steal his idea Whose idea: Robert Kearns The inspiration: Kearns, an engineer, grew up right near a Ford plant and believed the auto industry was a beacon for innovation. Then, while driving his Ford Galaxie one rainy night, he came up with an idea of how he could contribute to it. In the 1960s, windshield wipers typically had two settings, high and low. So if rain wasn't steady, driving could be extremely difficult. Kearns, who had a bad eye, began to squint to try and see more clearly. Then he wondered, why couldn't windshield wipers blink too? (Note: there is an excellent documentary on Kearns called "Flash of Brilliance"). What came of it: Kearns patented his idea in 1967 and sent it around to the major American car companies, but none bit. However, they eventually all began using his intermittent wipers in their cars. Kearns spent most of the rest of his life battling Ford, Chrysler and other car companies. He eventually won over $30 million, but he lost his wife and his mind in the process. Kearns died in 2005 of complications to brain cancer caused by Alzheimer's disease, shortly after winning the legal battle. Read more:

17 More Bisociation Examples
Wine press + coin punch Printing press (Gutenberg) Rubber + waffle iron Sole for Nike shoe (Bill Bowerman) Music + wine Wines That Rock (Ron Roy) Stuffed animal + web game Interesting note: there is evidence that the Chinese used movable type a century or more ahead of Gutenberg who receives credit as the inventor (he apparently was for Europe) Carbon pigments from Binney & Smith, maker of Crayola Crayons, was added to its traditional white tires by the Goodrich Company to make the first black automobile tires. To the surprise of Goodrich, the pigment not only changed the color of the tires, it made them five times more durable. Not long after, white tires disappeared from the roadways. A common pigment yields great innovation. 1967: Robert Kearns invents windshield wiper speeds and wins a $30 million lawsuit against auto companies that steal his idea Whose idea: Robert Kearns The inspiration: Kearns, an engineer, grew up right near a Ford plant and believed the auto industry was a beacon for innovation. Then, while driving his Ford Galaxie one rainy night, he came up with an idea of how he could contribute to it. In the 1960s, windshield wipers typically had two settings, high and low. So if rain wasn't steady, driving could be extremely difficult. Kearns, who had a bad eye, began to squint to try and see more clearly. Then he wondered, why couldn't windshield wipers blink too? (Note: there is an excellent documentary on Kearns called "Flash of Brilliance"). What came of it: Kearns patented his idea in 1967 and sent it around to the major American car companies, but none bit. However, they eventually all began using his intermittent wipers in their cars. Kearns spent most of the rest of his life battling Ford, Chrysler and other car companies. He eventually won over $30 million, but he lost his wife and his mind in the process. Kearns died in 2005 of complications to brain cancer caused by Alzheimer's disease, shortly after winning the legal battle. Read more:

18 More Bisociation Examples
Wine press + coin punch Printing press (Gutenberg) Rubber + waffle iron Sole for Nike shoe (Bill Bowerman) Music + wine Wines That Rock (Ron Roy) Stuffed animal + web game Webkinz (Ganz) Crayons + tires Interesting note: there is evidence that the Chinese used movable type a century or more ahead of Gutenberg who receives credit as the inventor (he apparently was for Europe) Carbon pigments from Binney & Smith, maker of Crayola Crayons, was added to its traditional white tires by the Goodrich Company to make the first black automobile tires. To the surprise of Goodrich, the pigment not only changed the color of the tires, it made them five times more durable. Not long after, white tires disappeared from the roadways. A common pigment yields great innovation. 1967: Robert Kearns invents windshield wiper speeds and wins a $30 million lawsuit against auto companies that steal his idea Whose idea: Robert Kearns The inspiration: Kearns, an engineer, grew up right near a Ford plant and believed the auto industry was a beacon for innovation. Then, while driving his Ford Galaxie one rainy night, he came up with an idea of how he could contribute to it. In the 1960s, windshield wipers typically had two settings, high and low. So if rain wasn't steady, driving could be extremely difficult. Kearns, who had a bad eye, began to squint to try and see more clearly. Then he wondered, why couldn't windshield wipers blink too? (Note: there is an excellent documentary on Kearns called "Flash of Brilliance"). What came of it: Kearns patented his idea in 1967 and sent it around to the major American car companies, but none bit. However, they eventually all began using his intermittent wipers in their cars. Kearns spent most of the rest of his life battling Ford, Chrysler and other car companies. He eventually won over $30 million, but he lost his wife and his mind in the process. Kearns died in 2005 of complications to brain cancer caused by Alzheimer's disease, shortly after winning the legal battle. Read more:

19 More Bisociation Examples
Wine press + coin punch Printing press (Gutenberg) Rubber + waffle iron Sole for Nike shoe (Bill Bowerman) Music + wine Wines That Rock (Ron Roy) Stuffed animal + web game Webkinz (Ganz) Crayons + tires First black tires (Goodrich Company) Spokes box + aircraft wing Interesting note: there is evidence that the Chinese used movable type a century or more ahead of Gutenberg who receives credit as the inventor (he apparently was for Europe) Carbon pigments from Binney & Smith, maker of Crayola Crayons, was added to its traditional white tires by the Goodrich Company to make the first black automobile tires. To the surprise of Goodrich, the pigment not only changed the color of the tires, it made them five times more durable. Not long after, white tires disappeared from the roadways. A common pigment yields great innovation. 1967: Robert Kearns invents windshield wiper speeds and wins a $30 million lawsuit against auto companies that steal his idea Whose idea: Robert Kearns The inspiration: Kearns, an engineer, grew up right near a Ford plant and believed the auto industry was a beacon for innovation. Then, while driving his Ford Galaxie one rainy night, he came up with an idea of how he could contribute to it. In the 1960s, windshield wipers typically had two settings, high and low. So if rain wasn't steady, driving could be extremely difficult. Kearns, who had a bad eye, began to squint to try and see more clearly. Then he wondered, why couldn't windshield wipers blink too? (Note: there is an excellent documentary on Kearns called "Flash of Brilliance"). What came of it: Kearns patented his idea in 1967 and sent it around to the major American car companies, but none bit. However, they eventually all began using his intermittent wipers in their cars. Kearns spent most of the rest of his life battling Ford, Chrysler and other car companies. He eventually won over $30 million, but he lost his wife and his mind in the process. Kearns died in 2005 of complications to brain cancer caused by Alzheimer's disease, shortly after winning the legal battle. Read more:

20 More Bisociation Examples
Wine press + coin punch Printing press (Gutenberg) Rubber + waffle iron Sole for Nike shoe (Bill Bowerman) Music + wine Wines That Rock (Ron Roy) Stuffed animal + web game Webkinz (Ganz) Crayons + tires First black tires (Goodrich Company) Spokes box + aircraft wing Warpable airplane wing (Wright Brothers) Interesting note: there is evidence that the Chinese used movable type a century or more ahead of Gutenberg who receives credit as the inventor (he apparently was for Europe) Carbon pigments from Binney & Smith, maker of Crayola Crayons, was added to its traditional white tires by the Goodrich Company to make the first black automobile tires. To the surprise of Goodrich, the pigment not only changed the color of the tires, it made them five times more durable. Not long after, white tires disappeared from the roadways. A common pigment yields great innovation. 1967: Robert Kearns invents windshield wiper speeds and wins a $30 million lawsuit against auto companies that steal his idea Whose idea: Robert Kearns The inspiration: Kearns, an engineer, grew up right near a Ford plant and believed the auto industry was a beacon for innovation. Then, while driving his Ford Galaxie one rainy night, he came up with an idea of how he could contribute to it. In the 1960s, windshield wipers typically had two settings, high and low. So if rain wasn't steady, driving could be extremely difficult. Kearns, who had a bad eye, began to squint to try and see more clearly. Then he wondered, why couldn't windshield wipers blink too? (Note: there is an excellent documentary on Kearns called "Flash of Brilliance"). What came of it: Kearns patented his idea in 1967 and sent it around to the major American car companies, but none bit. However, they eventually all began using his intermittent wipers in their cars. Kearns spent most of the rest of his life battling Ford, Chrysler and other car companies. He eventually won over $30 million, but he lost his wife and his mind in the process. Kearns died in 2005 of complications to brain cancer caused by Alzheimer's disease, shortly after winning the legal battle. Read more:

21 More Bisociation Examples
Steel bird cage + heavy book Jenney inspired by seeing lots of books and stuff stacked on a bird cage creates first steel framed architecture Architect drops pack of cigarettes and seeing several of them slid out to different lengths inspires sears tower architecture

22 More Bisociation Examples
Steel bird cage + heavy book Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_Insurance_Building Jenney inspired by seeing lots of books and stuff stacked on a bird cage creates first steel framed architecture Architect drops pack of cigarettes and seeing several of them slid out to different lengths inspires sears tower architecture

23 More Bisociation Examples
Steel bird cage + heavy book Steel framed skyscraper (William LeBaron Jenney) Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_Insurance_Building Jenney inspired by seeing lots of books and stuff stacked on a bird cage creates first steel framed architecture Architect drops pack of cigarettes and seeing several of them slid out to different lengths inspires sears tower architecture

24 Modern Steel Framed Skyscrapers
John Hancock building. Photos by JMW

25 More Bisociation Examples
Skyscraper + cigarettes Jenney inspired by seeing lots of books and stuff stacked on a bird cage creates first steel framed architecture Architect drops pack of cigarettes and seeing several of them slid out to different lengths inspires sears tower architecture

26 More Bisociation Examples
Skyscraper + cigarettes Source: Jenney inspired by seeing lots of books and stuff stacked on a bird cage creates first steel framed architecture Architect drops pack of cigarettes and seeing several of them slid out to different lengths inspires sears tower architecture

27 More Bisociation Examples
Skyscraper + cigarettes Source: Jenney inspired by seeing lots of books and stuff stacked on a bird cage creates first steel framed architecture Architect drops pack of cigarettes and seeing several of them slid out to different lengths inspires sears tower architecture

28 More Bisociation Examples
Skyscraper + cigarettes Sears (Now Willis) Tower (Skidmore, Owings or Merrill) Source: Jenney inspired by seeing lots of books and stuff stacked on a bird cage creates first steel framed architecture Architect drops pack of cigarettes and seeing several of them slid out to different lengths inspires sears tower architecture

29 More Bisociation Examples
Ship + railway

30 More Bisociation Examples
Ship + railway Source:

31 More Bisociation Examples
Ship + railway Ship Railway (James Eads) and Ronquiéres in Belgium Source: Source:

32 Still More Bisociation Examples
Pizza cutter + scissors Jenney inspired by seeing lots of books and stuff stacked on a bird cage creates first steel framed architecture Architect drops pack of cigarettes and seeing several of them slid out to different lengths inspires sears tower architecture

33 Still More Bisociation Examples
Pizza cutter + scissors Source: Jenney inspired by seeing lots of books and stuff stacked on a bird cage creates first steel framed architecture Architect drops pack of cigarettes and seeing several of them slid out to different lengths inspires sears tower architecture

34 Bisociation Example Top left: skipping rocks
Top right: Patent Drawing for Ed Headrick's Wham-O Frisbee ; skip disk by Wham-O also! The Frisbie Baking Company ( ) of Bridgeport, Connecticut, made pies that were sold to many New England colleges. Hungry college students soon discovered that the empty pie tins could be tossed and caught, providing endless hours of game and sport. Many colleges have claimed to be the home of 'he who was first to fling.' Yale College has even argued that in 1820, a Yale undergraduate named Elihu Frisbie grabbed a passing collection tray from the chapel and flung it out into the campus, thereby becoming the true inventor of the Frisbie and winning glory for Yale. That tale is unlikely to be true since the words 'Frisbie's Pies' was embossed in all the original pie tins and from the word 'Frisbie' was coined the common name for the toy. Source:

35 Bisociation Example Top left: skipping rocks
Top right: Patent Drawing for Ed Headrick's Wham-O Frisbee ; skip disk by Wham-O also! The Frisbie Baking Company ( ) of Bridgeport, Connecticut, made pies that were sold to many New England colleges. Hungry college students soon discovered that the empty pie tins could be tossed and caught, providing endless hours of game and sport. Many colleges have claimed to be the home of 'he who was first to fling.' Yale College has even argued that in 1820, a Yale undergraduate named Elihu Frisbie grabbed a passing collection tray from the chapel and flung it out into the campus, thereby becoming the true inventor of the Frisbie and winning glory for Yale. That tale is unlikely to be true since the words 'Frisbie's Pies' was embossed in all the original pie tins and from the word 'Frisbie' was coined the common name for the toy. Source:

36 Bisociation Example: Balcony + Pool
Source:

37 Bisociation Example: Ship + Kite
Source:

38 Bisociation Example: Sundial + Bridge
Background: Renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava designed this cantilever spar cable-stayed bridge to be made from a combination of steel, glass and granite. Completed in 2004, the pedestrian bridge crosses the Sacramento River in the Turtle Bay Exploration Park. 

Why It's Innovative: As its name implies, the bridge's 217-foot-tall support tower acts as a giant sundial. The deck of this pedestrian bridge is made from nonskid glass panels to give walkers a greater sense of the river. MacDonald notes that the deck's truss bears the bulk of the bridge's load, while the cables appear slack compared with those of other bridges. Source: on

39 Even More Bisociation Examples
Folding chair + shopping Shopping cart (Sylvan Goldman) Source: Purecart from Take Canadian ophthalmologist Jean Carruthers, and her dermatologist husband Alastair, for instance.  In 1978, Jean was grappling with a patient who had a rare eye disease causing excessive blinking.  Dr. Carruthers used a largely unknown substance which is highly toxic in its purest form to block nerve impulses, restoring normal blinking.Even though the  problem was controlled, the patient continued to return to her for more injections, claiming she looked younger after each treatment because wrinkles seemed to disappear. In a pillow-talk conversation with her husband, Jean shared the story about her experience with Botox.  Alastair listened with keen interest since so many of his dermatology patients came, wanting anti-aging treatments.  And thus, with some time and effort, the use of Botox, as an anti-aging treatment, was born.  How else would you have imagined the connection between a poison and youthful appearance might have occured.  Being able envision how seemingly disparate things fit together perfectly in new ways, is at the heart of human inventiveness. 

40 Even More Bisociation Examples
Carwash + shopping Cartwash (Chevy Chase Supermarket, MD) Poison + anti-aging Botox (Jean Carruthers) Source: Purecart from Take Canadian ophthalmologist Jean Carruthers, and her dermatologist husband Alastair, for instance.  In 1978, Jean was grappling with a patient who had a rare eye disease causing excessive blinking.  Dr. Carruthers used a largely unknown substance which is highly toxic in its purest form to block nerve impulses, restoring normal blinking.Even though the  problem was controlled, the patient continued to return to her for more injections, claiming she looked younger after each treatment because wrinkles seemed to disappear. In a pillow-talk conversation with her husband, Jean shared the story about her experience with Botox.  Alastair listened with keen interest since so many of his dermatology patients came, wanting anti-aging treatments.  And thus, with some time and effort, the use of Botox, as an anti-aging treatment, was born.  How else would you have imagined the connection between a poison and youthful appearance might have occured.  Being able envision how seemingly disparate things fit together perfectly in new ways, is at the heart of human inventiveness. 

41 Let’s Try Bisociation: Think About Insects
Source:

42 Now Think of New Ideas for Hats by Thinking About Insects (Complete Survey Question 4 in 3 mins)
Source: Source: + = ?

43 Survey: Question 5 How many ideas were on the list you just created?

44 Survey: Question 6 How many ideas on the list just created are new – in other words – were not on your original list of ideas?

45 Survey: Question 7 What is your best idea from either list?

46 Survey: Question 8 When did you get your best idea?
It was on the initial list It came during bisociation

47 Abstract of Patent US A personal electronic insect repelling device is provided by the invention. An electronic circuit supported to the underside of a brim of a hat produces a sonic signal directed towards the body of a person wearing the hat. … Source:

48 Bisociation Exercise: Discussion
Did you feel your thinking change when you paired a product (like hats) with an unlikely topic (like insects)? Do you routinely think about odd topics when working on a problem? Could this be a valuable technique? Do you see value in increasing your knowledge in areas well outside of your current expertise to improve your creativity? Envisioning subtle connections between things that are invisible to others is at the heart of innovation. To become more effective at this, be a better, more detailed observer of everything around you.

49 More Information on Bisociation
Thinkertoys has a Chapter entitled Brutethink with more information about using random stimulation Thinkertoys also provides a list of potentially useful words (mixture of nouns and verbs)

50 Other Creative Connections
Seeds of Innovation by Elaine Dundon suggests the following stimuli for twisting ideas: “Add a step, eliminate a step, rearrange the steps, outsource a step, add an ingredient, change an ingredient, combine ingredients, make it bigger, make it smaller, make it more expensive, make it less expensive, change the state, change the shape, put some fun in it, divide it, find other uses, find other customers, improve the quality, decrease the quality, make it easier, make it more complicated, align with another product, align with another service, license, find new distribution, substitute materials, combine other processes, make it educational, speed up, slow down, add sound, add motion, add texture, change packaging, automate parts, de-automate parts, standardize, accessorize, make it more extreme, make it less extreme, separate, make it self service, bundle with others,. Make it more reliable, change color” Add a step: add conditioning after washing hair Eliminate a step: Michael Dell eliminate retailer Rearrange the steps: FedEx centralized processing


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