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Genesis of The Innovator's Toolkit

Humans have been innovating since before…well…just about everything. In fact, our ability to innovate is, in large part, what makes us human. Yet for all of our success and experience, we still have little actual knowledge of the innovation process. The Innovator’s Toolkit changes that by providing a step-by-step guide to systematic, repeatable, reliable innovation.

Following years of research by their team of more than 20 researchers, Samuel, Silverstein and DeCarlo draw upon the entire team’s personal experiences and insights as well as best-in-class research from people like Clayton Christensen of the Harvard Business School, Eric von Hippel of MIT, Edward de Bono, Michael Kirton, George Land, and many others.

While these many brilliant minds have codified elements of the process by which humans innovate, the Innovator’s Toolkit offers the first systematic approach that can be referred to as a methodology, not merely a set of tools.

The authors’ D4 Process (Design, Discover, Develop, Demonstrate) enables individuals and teams to follow a step-by-step process, drawing upon proven tools and approaches, while still encouraging the freedom of thought that is ultimately at the heart of all innovation.


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Downloadable Templates

Exhibit # Title Page #
Exhibit 1.3 Structure of a Job Statement 10 Download
Exhibit 1.4 JTBD Prioritization 11 Download
Exhibit 3.1 Outcome Expectations 21 Download
Exhibit 3.2 Opportunity Prioritization 25 Download
Exhibit 7.2 Problem Statement Prioritization Matrix 54 Download
Exhibit 8.1 Nine Windows Architecture 58 Download
Exhibit 8.2 Nine Windows Solution Ideas 62 Download
Exhibit 9.1 Job Scoping 65 Download
Exhibit 10.1 Stakeholder Diagnostic 70 Download
Exhibit 10.2 Power and Influence Map 71 Download
Exhibit 10.3 Leverage Matrix 73 Download
Exhibit 12.1 Innovation Project Charter 84 Download
Exhibit 13.2 Initial Assumptions  93 Download
Exhibit 13.3 Reverse Income Statement  94 Download
Exhibit 13.4 Pro Forma Operations Specs  94 Download
Exhibit 13.5 Updated Income Statement  95 Download
Exhibit 13.6 Milestones and Assumptions  97 Download
Exhibit 15.3 Functional Analysis and Trimming Worksheet 113 Download
Exhibit 17.2 Creative Challenge Matrix 128 Download
Exhibit 18.1 HIT Matrix 132 Download
Exhibit 19.1 SCAMPER Guidelines and Example  135 Download
Exhibit 20.1 Brainwriting 6-3-5 139 Download
Exhibit 21.1 Imaginary Brainstorming 142 Download
Exhibit 24.1 Provocation and Movement 156 Download
Exhibit 26.3 Contradiction Matrix Cross Section 170 Download
Exhibit 31.1 Idea Sorting—Before 200 Download
Exhibit 31.2 Idea Sorting—After  202 Download
Exhibit 31.3 Idea Refinement—Operationalize the Idea 203 Download
Exhibit 31.4 Idea Refinement—Reinforce the Idea 204 Download
Exhibit 33.1 Functional Requirements 220 Download
Exhibit 36.1 Morphological Matrix  238 Download
Exhibit 36.2 Morphological Matrix Design Concepts 239 Download
Exhibit 36.3 Another Morphological Matrix Example 240 Download
Exhibit 37.1 TILMAG Matrix  243 Download
Exhibit 37.2 TILMAG Design Concepts 244 Download
Exhibit 40.1 Pugh Matrix Example  259 Download
Exhibit 43.1 Overall Performance Scorecard 276 Download
Exhibit 43.3 Overall Component Scorecard  280 Download
Exhibit 43.4 Component Scorecard  281 Download
Exhibit 43.5 Overall Process Scorecard 282 Download
Exhibit 43.6 Process Scorecard  283 Download
Exhibit 44.1 Design FMEA  287 Download
Exhibit 44.2 Severity of Effect 288 Download
Exhibit 44.3 Likelihood of Occurrence 289 Download
Exhibit 44.4 Likelihood that Control Will Detect or Prevent Failure 290 Download
Exhibit 48.1 Function Audit 320 Download
Exhibit 49.1 Pilot Charter 324 Download
Exhibit 50.2 SIPOC Map 332 Download
Exhibit 52.1 Attribute MSA Worksheet  344 Download
Exhibit 52.2 Attribute MSA Results 345 Download
Exhibit 54.1 Conjoint Analysis Matrix 356 Download
Exhibit 54.2 Conjoint Analysis Ratings 357 Download
Exhibit 54.3 Conjoint Analysis Utility Score 358 Download
Exhibit 56.1 Common Cause & Effect Diagram Categories 369 Download
Exhibit 57.1 Cause & Effect Matrix 372 Download
Exhibit 58.1 Control Plan 376 Download


David Silverstein is a highly regarded strategist, innovator, author and public speaker who enjoys working with clients to tackle their toughest problems. He combines his uniquely extensive set of skills, developed through never-ending education, research and a broad range of hands-on experiences to offer his clients bold and well-informed insight.

A frequent speaker and media source on topics related to innovation, strategy, and economic and global trends, David is best known for his deep insights and ability to see the common threads among seemingly disparate concepts while at the same time making complex subjects easy to understand without losing their significance.

He has been featured in or has written for The Washington Post, The Economist, Inc. Magazine, The Robb Report, CNBC, NPR, Fox News and many other media outlets. David has also authored several books on innovation and business leadership, most recently publishing additions to the "Connect the Dots Series."

Dr. Phil Samuel is Managing Partner at Lean Methods Group, who delivers multi-million dollars in value to clients through designing and implementing transformation initiatives. As a frequent public speaker and thought leader in the field of strategy and innovation, he has become a trusted advisor for executives in a variety of industries. He is passionate about generating organic growth through Product, Process and Business Model Innovation Journeys. He has a reputation for creating competitive advantage through Rapid Innovation Sprints, Innovations Inspired by Nature, and Patent Bulletproofing. He is also well known for re-engineering business processes to generate significant bottom line results, customer experience and employee engagements. Dr. Samuel is also coauthor of Design for Lean Six Sigma: A Holistic Approach to Design and Innovation (Wiley).

Neil DeCarlo was a veteran author, editor, and publishing coach whose work has ranged from Lean Six Sigma to corporate finance to strategy—partnering with such firms as BMGI, McKinsey & Company, and many others. DeCarlo is also coauthor of the bestselling Six Sigma For Dummies (Wiley).

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