Catalyze Innovation that Advances Health

IQ Cards

IQ Cards

Innovation Quick Cards (aka iQcards)

Here are some quick reference cards on different approaches to innovation plus key concepts.

 Principles of Influence

    • Reciprocation: People tend to feel indebted by gifts, favors, or concessions (taking a free sample at the grocery makes people feel like they should at least listen to the sales person’s pitch)
    • Authority: People tend to feel a sense of duty or obligation to comply with requests from people in positions of authority (or perceived positions of authority) (in a supermarket, a person will likely change lines when asked to do so by a cashier)
    • Social Proof: In times of uncertainty, people tend to do what others similar to them do (in traffic, people feel compelled to merge when everyone else is doing so, even if they don’t readily see a reason why)
    • Scarcity: Desire tends to increase when availability is limited (when displaying prices for airline tickets, companies will state “1 ticket left at this price”)
    • Liking: People tend to be influenced by people who are similar to themselves and by people whom they like or are attracted to (Michael Jordan endorsing Wheaties cereal causes people to buy Wheaties)
    • Commitment and Consistency: People feel compelled to remain consistent with opinions or behaviors they have committed to prior (for a fund raiser, before the event takes place, people are asked to sign a pledge committing their support, which increases the likelihood of them giving money at a later time)
Science and Practice. Cialdini, 1984 Read the book Influence by Cialdini and see other MI2 Recommended Reads. Download & print this iQcard: Influence

Concepts in Human Factors

    • Affordance: Perceived and actual properties of a thing, which provide clues for how to operate it (flip a switch, pull a cord, turn a knob)
    • Feedback (Closing the loop): The mechanism by which a system provides information back to the user about the current state of the system (when calling an automated system, getting a recorded message indicating how long the wait time is)
    • Post Completion Error: Forgetting the last step in a process or task because the main goal of the task has been completed (forgetting to get the original out of the copy machine after making a copy) Download and print this iQcard: HF_Concepts  

Introduction to Complex Systems:

How science can help us lead organizations better

  • Sensitive Dependence on Initial Conditions, Nonlinearity: Forecasting is inherently an inexact (yet boundable) art, because small changes can have big effects. (Where might we be better off with a “good enough” plan that we can monitor and adjust along the way, to replace paralysis of over-analysis?)
  • Self-organization, Emergence: Complex and orderly outcomes can emerge from a few simple rules, even without central control. (Where might we replace over-planning, over-control and top-down prescription with simple rules, feedback loops and reasonable freedoms?)
  • Coupling, Permeable Boundaries, Embeddedness: Relationships among parts may be more important than the parts themselves, because novelty often arises at intersections. (Do our organizational and partnership structures, processes and patterns support generative relationships where new ideas emerge, or are we in too rigid silos not sharing enough among ourselves and with others outside “our system”?)
  • Adaptability, Novelty: Life can proceed forward through constant tension and balance, because the system is adaptable. (Where might we need to “let go” in order to allow “creative destruction” and its potential for adaptive new growth to emerge?)
Plsek, 2013 Download and print this iQcard: Intro_Complexity

Eight Basic Rules for DirectedCreativity™

  1. Make it a habit to purposefully pause and notice things.
  2. Focus your creative energies on just a few topic areas that you genuinely care about and work on these purposefully for several weeks or months.
  3. Avoid being too narrow in the way you define your problem or topic area; purposefully try broader definitions and see what insights you gain.
  4. Try to come up with original and useful ideas by making novel associations among what you already know.
  5. When you need creative ideas, remember: attention, escape, and movement.
  6. Pause and carefully examine ideas that make you laugh the first time you hear them.
  7. Recognize that your streams of thought and patterns of judgment are not inherently right or wrong; they are just what you think now, based primarily on patterns from your past.
  8. Make a deliberate effort to harvest, develop, and implement at least a few of the ideas you generate.

When you need creative ideas, remember: attention, escape, and movement.

This heuristic directs our basic mental mechanics. These three mental activities underlie all tools for DirectedCreativity™. When you need to be creative, pay attention to things in new ways, escape your current mental patterns associated with the topic, and keep moving in your thinking to avoid premature judgment and the “way we've always done it” thinking. Plsek, 1997 Download and print this iQcard: DirectedCreativity

 Strategies to Better Handle Interruptions



  1. If you have an “interruption lag,” the time before the interruption task, take the time to think about where you are on your primary task to facilitate resumption.
  2. During the interruption lag or the interruption task itself, try to establish an environmental cue (e.g. open an email window to remember to send an email) to associate with your primary task goal.When you resume, this cue will help you recall the primary task.
  3. The “resumption lag” is the time it takes you to re-orient to your primary task and is the point where most errors are likely to occur. Take a minute to reconstruct the primary task steps before resuming.
Ratwani & Trafton, 2010 Download and print this iQcard: Interruptions

Click to download and print your own MI2 iQcards: MI2_Download_All_iQcards

3 Steps to Giving High-Impact Compliments

  1. State the compliment sincerely
  2. Justify it
  3. Ask a question about it
Example: “That was a really enlightening talk you just gave. I say that because the audience couldn’t stop taking notes as you spoke… How were you able to make sense out of such a complex topic?” Tori, 2013 Download and print this iQcard: Compliment

Evolution of a person's reaction to a new idea

  • Indignant rejection
  • Reasoned objection
  • Qualified opposition
  • Tentative acceptance
  • Qualified endorsement
  • Judicious modification
  • Cautious adoption
  • Impassioned espousal
  • Proud parenthood
  • Dogmatic propagation
HK Silver, 1965 Download and print this iQcard: Idea