Catalyze Innovation that Advances Health

Principles of Innovation: The Puzzles


In the puzzles below, click on any tiles that are adjacent to the open space to move that tile into the open space. See if you can recreate the original photo by sliding the tiles around.



The wine press gave rise to the printing press, using one technology for a completely different purpose.
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Transforming Mistakes


The inventors of sticky notes were originally trying to make a strong adhesive glue. It didn’t work out, but they noticed that less adhesive glue could be used for another purpose.
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Putting Two Things Together


Wheels and carriage bags have been around forever, but when combined they revolutionized travel.
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Going Where the Herd Isn’t


Rather than search for the next goldmine, Sam Brannan became California’s first millionaire by supplying pans and shovels to the fortune seekers.
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Non-Attachment and Collective Input


In the book Creativity Inc., Ed Catmull explains the culture of Pixar and how the animation team used “plussing,” constant critique followed by constructive suggestion. Pixar has called this technique a “game changer.”
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Big Problem ≠ Big Solution


As discussed in their book, Switch, the Heath brothers emphasize that big problems rarely require big solutions. Instead, they are often solved by a series of small solutions. Health researchers, Reger and Booth-Butterfield, found that simply directing people to switch from whole milk to skim milk was far more effective in getting people to eat healthier than more general efforts to get people to “act healthier.”
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Seeing Differently


This famous perceptual illusion, created by W.E. Hill in 1915, causes the brain to switch between seeing a young girl and an old woman.
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Adjacent Possible


As discussed in Steven Johnson’s book, Where Good Ideas Come From, “the Adjacent Possible” refers to the potential and serendipity created when you notice and connect the unlikely. Coral reefs are particularly good at recycling and reinventing the spare parts of their ecosysytems.
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Associational Thinking


In their book, The Innovator’s DNA, Dyer, Gregerson and Christensen credit Apple and Steve Jobs for their emphasis on Associational Thinking – a unique ability to link ideas that would not normally be aligned. A designer at Apple was playing with the spin dial of a combination lock and came up with a way to make the iPod interface much simpler and more user-friendly.
The Solutions