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Cross-Area Pondering Drives Insights & Innovation

Cross-Area Pondering Drives Insights & Innovation

2023-03-06 16:18:05

The historical past of innovation is replete with examples of how an idea, thought or method from one area, utilized to a really totally different enviornment, results in an perception that creates a brand new thought, invention or method.

The idea behind Velcro got here throughout a stroll inventor George De Mestral took along with his canine. Noting how cockleburs caught so stubbornly to his canine and his personal garments, he examined them below a microscope and noticed they’d many hooks. The hooks have been what made the cockleburs doggedly connect to things. Impressed by this little a part of nature, De Mestral invented Velcro as a way of fastening materials collectively.

The idea behind lean startups, which made its look in a ebook of the identical identify in 2011 by Eric Ries, is constructed on the ideas of speedy experimentation with merchandise after which using buyer suggestions to repeatedly enhance them. The idea was impressed by lean manufacturing, which was developed in Japan within the auto business within the Fifties.

These are each examples of “cross-domain pondering”. Cross-domain pondering (CDT) is taking an idea from one discipline and making use of that concept in a seemingly disparate area to create new insights, merchandise, options or processes. This method may be particularly helpful for fixing complicated issues or creating progressive options that bypass outdated assumptions or standard pondering.

Many examples of innovations or insights of cross-domain pondering happen serendipitously, taking place as a matter of likelihood (e.g., Velcro). Nevertheless, there isn’t a motive this needs to be the case. CDT may be completed systematically and in a methodical method to foster creativity to drive innovation.

Moreover, with new generative AI instruments akin to ChatGPT and now Bing, it’s simple and amazingly quick to carry out.

Professor Ethan Mollick from Wharton is a thought-leader on this space. In his substack, One Helpful Factor, he has illustrated several times how he has used CDT utilizing Bing (whereas I don’t consider Mollick makes use of the time period cross-domain pondering, it seems to me that’s what he’s doing in a number of of his experiments).

One instance within the above version Mollick gives is to “use Granovetter’s concept of weak ties, digital actuality headsets, and a dolphin to design a brand new authorities program to extend innovation within the U.S.” The result’s a program referred to as “Dolphin Join”. It will “goal to foster weak ties amongst innovators throughout totally different fields and sectors through the use of digital actuality headsets as a communication platform.” There are a selection of different nice connections Mollick supplies within the piece and it’s positively price trying out.

I’ve been utilizing ChatGPT for a couple of weeks to carry out cross-domain pondering. A number of examples:

Immediate: How may I apply ideas from the examine of ants to develop new methods for protection of a nation?

ChatGPT Response:

Immediate: How may ideas from methods pondering be utilized to win soccer video games?

CDT is a strong method to drive creativity. The nice information is you should use the method methodically to generate new insights.

Shall we say you could have a site to which you’re fascinated by making use of CDT. It could possibly be rising what you are promoting, creating IT options or instructing a topic akin to international advertising. Now you want ideas to use to it.

Farhnam Blog has a great list of 100 “mental models” you should use. It consists of the next classes:

You too can use generative AI for assist. ChatGPT may be prompted to supply ideas by merely asking, “Give me some classes of ideas” and it’ll comply (I nearly stated “fortunately comply” however caught myself apply human feelings to a machine that has none).

Or in case you have a kind of idea you want to apply, akin to pure phenomena, you’ll be able to specify concepts inside that class.

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Possibly you wish to apply summary ideas to your space of curiosity. No drawback.

The chances is probably not limitless however I doubt you’ll ever run out ideas to use. The secret’s to carry out cross-domain pondering each as the necessity could come up (e.g., new product improvement or customer-solution brainstorming) and frequently to interrupt out of outdated thought patterns. The tactic may be utilized alone sitting in your workplace or by teams, both working collectively or by first executing it individually after which bringing the brand new insights into an idea-generation dialogue.

With generative AI any individual or group may be artistic utilizing CDT. If you’re in a job that requires you to carry out unconventional pondering, it’s best to actually think about using this technique. Not solely will it repay handsomely with new insights and improvements, it’s a number of enjoyable.

Right here is an article on skills you will need for the AI future I wrote for the UNC Kenan Institute of Non-public Enterprise. Listed here are a couple of situations I undertaking however it additionally features a McKinsey evaluation of attitudes and abilities you will want going ahead:

  1. AI is not going to change all cognitive jobs, however it can considerably change lots of them.
    Given what AI instruments like ChatGPT and others can do that is going to occur. It should simply impression totally different professions at totally different charges. These most impacted shall be jobs the place generative AI is rising; artistic jobs in journalism, advert companies, design companies; the video and music industries; and IT, drugs and legislation. AI instruments will change a few of the work completed, both inside these organizations or by customers outdoors these firms performing the work themselves (e.g., creating their very own photos and logos for private use).

  2. You received’t get replaced by AI. You can be changed by an individual with AI abilities.
    The greater than AI instruments can be utilized to be productive in your job, the extra this shall be true for you. People who find themselves fluent in generative and different forms of AI will be capable to get extra completed, be extra artistic, and be taught sooner than their counterparts who can not. It behooves you to change into proficient in these instruments. Some interesting examples of how some professionals are utilizing ChatGPT to be extra productive embody actual property brokers utilizing it to create listings, entrepreneurs utilizing it to create video scripts, a designer utilizing it to create a branding information and a trainer utilizing it to raised serve college students.

  3. AI will remove some jobs in particular professions.
    At this level it’s too early within the evolution of generative AI to say however it will appear logical that it’s going to change some % of jobs within the particular professions talked about above in #1.

  4. AI will create new jobs.
    It’s unclear what number of new jobs generative AI will create, nevertheless, we’re seeing some already seem, largely across the potential to write down good prompts for the AI. We’re seeing this particularly for ChatGPT textual content entry to textual content output and instruments like DALL-E which is textual content entry to picture output. For instance, BuzzFeed is asking its workers to make use of ChatGPT to “write impressed prompts” to create content material whereas a market has been created for individuals who can write prompts that create the best high quality generated art work.

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