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SIT, Systematic Inventive Thinking, is a development method created in the 1990s in Israel. Derived from the TRIZ, it is a practical approach to creativity, innovation and problem solving.


SIT, Systematic Inventive Thinking, is a development method created in the 1990s in Israel. Derived from the TRIZ, it is a practical approach to creativity, innovation and problem solving.

In the 1970s, Ginadi Filkovsky, one of Altshuller’s students, emigrated to Israel and joined Tel Aviv University. He started teaching TRIZ and adapt it to the needs of Israeli and international high-tech companies.

Two PhD students, Jacob Goldenberg and Roni Horowitz, joined Filkovsky, focusing their research on the development and simplification of the methodology. Their work formed the basis of the SIT method as it exists today. TRIZ and SIT share a basic hypothesis: it is possible to study existing creative ideas in a domain, to identify common logical models in these ideas, to translate them into a set of thinking tools, and then to apply them to generate new creative ideas. Despite the similarities, the SIT differs significantly from TRIZ in several important ways, mainly because of its practical application.. 

The two principles

  1. The first idea of SIT is that you have to reform the way the brain thinks about problem solving. Most people think that the way to innovate is to start from a well-defined problem and then think about solutions. SIT proposes to do the opposite. We begin with a conceptual and abstract solution, then return to the problem it solves. This process is called “Function Follows Form“, first reported in 1992 by psychologist Ronald Finke. He acknowledged that there are two ways of thinking about problem solving: from the problem to the solution and from the solution to the problem. The origin of this reflection is based on particle method developed by Altshuller
  2. The second key idea of the SIT is the starting point called “The Closed World” We tend to be very surprised by “just under the nose” ideas, which are in one way or another related to our current reality or our view of the world. It’s counterintuitive because most people think you need to get out of their current field to be innovative. Methods like brainstorming … use random stimuli to push you off the beaten path for new and inventive ideas. SIT states that the most surprising ideas are nearby. This principle often provokes resistance because it goes against the most common intuitions about creative thinking, the notion of “thinking outside the box”.

Step 1

The first step, following the principle of “Function Follows Form“, is to list all the elements constituting the situation we wish to study..

For example, if you want to innovate in the way of changing a car wheel during a puncture. The elements at our disposal are :

  • A wheel

  • A jack with his crank

  • A cross to unscrew

Step 2

The second step is to apply one or all of the invention techniques of the SIT below to identify X product / service concept :

  • Subtraction: Innovative products and services tend to have something removed, usually something that was previously considered essential to using the product or service. The original Sony Walkman subtracted the recording function, defying any logic to the idea of a “recorder”. Even Sony’s president and inventor of the Walkman, Akio Morita, was surprised by the enthusiastic response of the market.
  • Task Consolidation: Innovative products and services tend to bundle certain tasks and “unify” them into a component of the product or service, usually a component that was previously unrelated to this task. Crowdsourcing, for example, mobilizes large groups of people to generate ideas or tasks, sometimes without even realizing it..
  • Multiplication: Innovative products and services have often been copied but modified in one way or another, usually in a way that seemed unnecessary or redundant. Many innovations in cameras, including the base of photography itself, are based on copying a component and then changing it. For example, a double flash while snapping a photo reduces the likelihood of “red-eyes”.
  • Division: Innovative products and services tend to have a separate component of the product or service and to be relocated somewhere in the use situation, usually in a way that initially seemed unproductive or inapplicable. Divide the function of a refrigerator drawer and place it somewhere else in the kitchen created, a cooling drawer.
  • Attribute Dependency: Innovative products and services tend to have two attributes that correlate with each other, usually attributes that seemed to have no relation before. When an attribute changes, another changes. Transition sunglasses, for example, darken as the outside light becomes lighter.
Using our example, when applying the task unification technique, the following concept is identified to help unscrew the wheel :

Stepe 3

From the different concepts generated during the previous creative phase, we will test them vis-à-vis the market to find out which one responds best to a request.

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