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The Innovator's Toolkit: 50+ Techniques for Predictable and Sustainable Organic Growth, 2nd Edition by Neil DeCarlo, Philip Samuel, David Silverstein

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Technique 37

TILMAG

Pair ideal solution elements to create new design concepts.

 

TILMAG uses pair-based analogical thinking to transform your innovation's main features into unique design concepts. For instance, if you paired the feature renewable power with fast start-up, you might think of a battery-free flashlight that you shake to turn on. The underlying principle used to make the flashlight work could also provide a solution for your innovation.

The principle behind TILMAG is that the human mind works best when comparing only two pieces of information at a time. Thus, TILMAG helps you create unique solutions without becoming overwhelmed by all the possibilities. However, the tool increases in complexity as the total number of features goes up. For this reason, it's best used at the subsystem level, or when you're comparing fewer than seven features.

If you use Function Structure (Technique 35) to identify your innovation's subfunctions, you can follow up with TILMAG to help you design a solution for each subfunction.

Background

The TILMAG method was developed by Dr. Helmut Schlicksupp, a German author and consultant known for researching and developing creativity techniques. TILMAG is a German acronym for what translates into English as “the transformation of ideal solution elements in an association matrix.” It sounds like a mouthful, but it's actually quite simple:

  • Ideal Solution Elements (ISEs) are the features or functions that your innovation must have to meet customer ...

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