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The division technique

From: Business Innovation Fundamentals

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

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Business Innovation Fundamentals

58 video lessons · 2311 viewers

Drew Boyd
Author

 
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  1. 1m 41s
    1. Welcome
      1m 22s
    2. Using the exercise files
      19s
  2. 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. 11m 55s
    1. Functional fixedeness
      2m 26s
    2. The subtraction technique
      2m 59s
    3. Subtraction in action
      4m 8s
    4. Addressing common challenges
      2m 22s
  4. 10m 35s
    1. Structural fixedness
      2m 32s
    2. The division technique
      2m 43s
    3. Division in action
      3m 3s
    4. Addressing common challenges
      2m 17s
  5. 16m 25s
    1. The multiplication technique
      4m 24s
    2. Multiplication in action
      4m 39s
    3. Zooming in and zooming out
      4m 51s
    4. Addressing common challenges
      2m 31s
  6. 15m 45s
    1. The task-unification technique
      4m 19s
    2. Task unification in action
      4m 14s
    3. Using task unification for business issues
      4m 27s
    4. Addressing common challenges
      2m 45s
  7. 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
    5. Addressing common challenges
      1m 57s
  8. 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. 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. 52m 41s
    1. About Drew
      2m 9s
    2. What is innovation?
      51s
    3. What got Drew started in innovation?
      2m 15s
    4. On innovation as a skill
      1m 53s
    5. On innovation as part of your business
      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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