# The division technique

## Video: The division technique

The division technique works by dividing a product or its components functionally or physically and then rearranging them back into the product. Division is a powerful technique because it forces you to break fixedness especially structural fixedness. Division forces you to create configurations by rearranging components in ways you are not likely to have done on your own. To apply the division technique you start by listing the product's internal components. Next you divide the product or one of the components.

## The division technique

The division technique works by dividing a product or its components functionally or physically and then rearranging them back into the product. Division is a powerful technique because it forces you to break fixedness especially structural fixedness. Division forces you to create configurations by rearranging components in ways you are not likely to have done on your own. To apply the division technique you start by listing the product's internal components. Next you divide the product or one of the components.

There are three ways you can do this. First is functionally where you rearrange along some functional role. Look at this example. A water sport company took the controls of the speedboat and then functionally divided them off and placed them into the handle of the water ski tow rope. Now the water skier controls the movements of the boat without having a separate driver. Next is physically where you are cutting the product or component along any physical line.

Physical division is different than functional in that we are actually making a cut along some physical line of the product itself or a component. Take a look at this car radio. In this example the faceplate has been physically cut away from the main radio. When you leave your car, you grab the faceplate by pulling it away from the main radio and taking it with you. That makes the main radio completely worthless so thieves won't break into your car to steal it.

The third type is called preserving. That means you divide the product into smaller versions of itself. Each smaller unit preserves the characteristics of the whole. A real simple example of this is what you see here. Cupcakes are essentially smaller versions of a normal size cake. Here's another example of preserving division. Many food manufacturers use this technique by taking a normal full-size product, and then cutting it down into smaller individual portions.

These smaller units have just the right amount of food needed by the consumer. This saves them money. The product is easier to store. There's less wasted food, and it gives the manufacturer more ways to sell its products. Once you've rearranged the components, this now becomes your virtual product. Using function follows form you visualize the virtual product, then you identify potential benefits in target markets. Finally, you modify and adapt the concept to improve it.

The division technique cuts your biggest challenges down to size so you can see new innovative opportunities.

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#### This video is part of

58 video lessons · 2490 viewers

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1. ### Introduction

1m 41s
1. Welcome
1m 22s
2. Using the exercise files
19s
2. ### 1. Understanding How Innovation Occurs

21m 37s
1. What is innovation? Introducing Systematic Inventive Thinking
3m 21s
2. The principle of function follows form
4m 8s
3. The closed-world principle
4m 16s
4. Characteristics of innovative products and services
3m 51s
5. Challenging the myth of thinking outside the box
3m 11s
6. Challenging the myth of serendipity
2m 50s
3. ### 2. Using the Subtraction Technique

11m 55s
1. Functional fixedeness
2m 26s
2. The subtraction technique
2m 59s
3. Subtraction in action
4m 8s
2m 22s
4. ### 3. Using the Division Technique

10m 35s
1. Structural fixedness
2m 32s
2. The division technique
2m 43s
3. Division in action
3m 3s
2m 17s
5. ### 4. Using the Multiplication Technique

16m 25s
1. The multiplication technique
4m 24s
2. Multiplication in action
4m 39s
3. Zooming in and zooming out
4m 51s
2m 31s

15m 45s
4m 19s
4m 14s
4m 27s
2m 45s
7. ### 6. Using the Attribute Dependency Technique

17m 49s
1. The attribute dependency technique
3m 32s
2. Creating an attribute dependency matrix
3m 37s
3. Types of dependencies
4m 12s
4. Attribute dependency in action
4m 31s
1m 57s
8. ### 7. Innovating at Work

27m 7s
1. Running ideation workshops
4m 13s
2. Which technique to use
3m 26s
3. Creating new services and processes
3m 17s
4. Creating digital innovations
5m 12s
5. Involving customers
5m 49s
6. Evaluating ideas
5m 10s
9. ### 8. Mastering Innovation

14m 48s
1. Mastering innovative thinking
3m 42s
2. Building a pilot program
3m 56s
3. Addressing organizational challenges with innovation
4m 3s
4. Next steps
3m 7s
10. ### Bonus: Interview with Drew Boyd

52m 41s
2m 9s
2. What is innovation?
51s
3. What got Drew started in innovation?
2m 15s
4. On innovation as a skill
1m 53s
1m 58s
6. On resistance to innovation
3m 31s
7. On innovation's tainted image
2m 34s
8. Where do you apply innovation strategies?
2m 31s
9. Who should lead an innovation effort?
3m 6s
10. On favorite innovation experiences
3m 51s
11. On innovation vs. strategy
3m 36s
12. On working with innovation consultants
3m 20s
13. On trends in innovation
3m 26s
14. On innovation as competition
2m 32s
15. On innovative companies
2m 43s
16. On generating vs. executing ideas
3m 2s
17. Can you overdo innovation?
2m 1s
18. How do you start innovating?
3m 44s
19. On the most innovative products
3m 38s

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