Can creative-thinking be structured?

Updated: Jan 29

Most people consider highly creative people as having a special talent. People who just naturally “come up with” brilliant new ideas are a highly valuable commodity for organizations and can be the source of much of their competitive differentiation.

People have always envied the secrets of creative geniuses (think Steve Jobs) and sought to emulate his habits as a way to break through fixed thinking and to see new possibilities where other’s cannot.

What I find interesting is that we already do know how the creative mind works – at least how it comes up with new ideas. In the research by Dr. Jacob Goldenberg and popularized in the book Inside the Box, the results of highly creative ideas are often based on templated ways of thinking. There are specific patterns in how inventive ideas are created. Many creative people don’t even realize they are using these templates to come up with their ideas. Over the last 25 years, we have been able to replicate the process of creative-thinking using those patterns – and many products we know of today come from that thinking.

The structured, systems-based approach to creative-thinking is a high-probability approach to creating highly innovative ideas. The best part is that it can be learned and utilized by individuals or in teams to solve problems and unlock new possibilities.

Better ideas = better outcomes.

Get access to the Harvard Business School “Finding Your Innovation Sweet Spot” research by Dr. Jacob Goldenberg and find out more about our approach to “Actionable Innovation” at

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