Rick Boersma

Ever heard of the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking?

Developed by psychologist Ellis Paul Torrance (1915-2003), the TTCT (Torrance Test of Creative Thinking) uses simple exercises that test divergent thinking and problem-solving skills.

As part of Juice’s innovation training, we use a sample TTCT activity to measure the number of ideas that participants can think of in a limited period of time:

Their assignment? Write down as many uses for a tin can as possible.

Rick Boersma

Learn about the brain science behind innovative thinking! Download The Engagement Paradox white paper today. 

A colleague recently asked me for some insight on the psychology behind innovative thinking.

He wanted to know things like:

  • What works better for innovative thinking—individuals working on their own, or within groups?
  • What character traits make for a great innovation team?
  • How does risk-aversion and negative thinking play into an organization’s ability to be innovative?

Here are four insights about the psychology of innovation that I’ve learned over 20 years of reading, research, and working with organizations.

Rick Boersma

Click here to learn about Juice Inc.’s innovation training program, Innovation in a Box!

I agree that there is no ‘i’ in teamwork.

And I see nothing wrong with corporate-speak like synergy, and having to work smarter, not harder.

But here’s the problem in today’s business world:

Clichés like these have become thoughtless short-hand for complex processes that actually require attention and discipline.

The worst cliché in innovation

Perhaps the worst offender—at least in the area of innovation—is the oft-spoken:

“We need to think/step/get out of the box!”

If you’ve ever been involved in a brainstorming session that ran out of energy and ideas within 15 minutes of marker hitting flipchart...well, you know that getting out of that box is much easier said than done.

So it may surprise you that Juice Inc.’s innovation training program is actually named Innovation in a Box.


Rick Boersma

Click here to learn about Juice Inc.’s innovation training program, Innovation in a Box!Juice Innovation Process

As a business leader, you understand the multiple benefits of having an innovative organizational culture—among them: 

But what does one have to actually do to experience those benefits? 

It’s a question we hear all the time.

Rick Boersma

Click here to learn more about Juice’s innovation training program, Innovation in a Box!

When it comes to innovation, many people enjoy the ideation stage…but anything after that is considered work.

Why? Post-ideation involves securing buy-in from the “higher-ups.” It requires persuasive presentation skills. It’s stressful.

But it doesn’t have to be.

As part of Juice’s innovation training program Innovation In A Box, we sometimes add in a gaming component to build excitement and energy beyond the ideation stage.

We call it Dragons’ Den (aka Shark Tank in the US).

How it works

Here’s how our version of Dragon’s Den plays out.

Rick Boersma

Not really sure you “get” innovation?innovation questions

You’re not alone.

In the articles below, we answer your most popular questions to help you better understand how innovation relates to your business.

Rick Boersma

Want an innovative organizational culture, but not sure where to start? Click here to learn about Juice's corporate innovation training program, Innovation In A Box!

Having a major mental block?

Don’t be too hard on yourself: nobody can be creative or innovative all the time.

The good news is inspiration will eventually come.

Sometimes, all your brain needs is a jump-start.

Here are 7 techniques I personally use to get my own creative juices flowing.

Rick Boersma

Juice Inc - Innovation training in manufacturing

A Manufacturing Leadership Council (MLC) survey on innovation recently caught my attention.

Most manufacturers clearly understand how critical innovation is to business growth. But it seems many are approaching innovation in an extremely informal way.

Consider this:

  • Only 17% say their companies have an innovation process in place with clearly defined roles, responsibilities, and deliverables for stakeholders
  • 79% say their companies do not provide a specific amount of time for people to devote to innovation activities
Rick Boersma

Juice Inc. Innovation TrainingWhen you hear the word “innovation,” what comes to mind?

Many people equate innovation with technology. For example, they may imagine a room full of highly technical people, writing on whiteboards to invent the latest and greatest product.

Rick Boersma

Your business may be bringing in profits and doing very well for itself.

But how can you take your organization to its next stage of evolution...not to mention beyond?

Oftentimes, it’s about changing the business model—which is, obviously, not a small feat.

One of our customers is a services company. Its core business is solving problems: simply put, their technicians visit customers on-site, identify issues, and fix them.

Now, the CEO is looking to evolve the company’s business model. How? By encouraging employees to approach problem-solving in a way that will eventually lead the company to become a product- as well as fee-for-service-based business.

This savvy CEO knows that problem-solving can only get his business so far.

And that’s because problem-solving is not the same as innovation. As I wrote in a previous blog post, problem-solving is more about reacting to a specific situation; while innovation is about being proactive — focusing on new opportunities, improving performance, raising the bar, and breaking through the status quo.

Think about it. Our customer’s technicians could simply continue doing back-to-back site visits as per usual. Or, they could create a product that allows their customers to fix problems on their own—lessening the frequent need for site visits, opening up technicians’ time to take on more clients...and, ultimately, increasing profits for the company.

To remain competitive, transformative innovation is key. Put simply, it’s about looking at things differently: not about keeping our heads down while solving problems, but looking up to see all the opportunities that exist.

Happy innovating!

Rick Boersma

An innovation, when it’s brand new, is like a fresh loaf of bread right out of the oven.

Everyone is excited about that bread—and everyone wants a piece. Moreover, when they get some, they brag about it to everyone they know...building demand for more fresh loaves.

But eventually, the bread starts to lose its appeal...and folks begin flocking to a fresher, tastier, better-looking loaf elsewhere.

No matter how cool your innovation is, there will come a time when it’s old news—and people will move on to the next new technology, product or service provider.

The question therefore is: how can companies continue to stay ahead of the curve?

Embedding innovation

To stay ahead of the curve, companies cannot approach innovation as a simple one-off.

It’s all about infusing a culture of innovation into your workplace: one that frequently encourages and rewards creativity, strategic thinking (or “keeping curiosity alive”), and taking initiative.

In other words, companies that truly “live” innovation—think Apple, Coke, Cirque de Soleil and Amazon—are much more likely to be at the forefront of innovation in their industry. Why? Because innovative thinking is a common and natural part of their organizational fabric.

In other words, innovation must be:

  • an everyday, deep-rooted (or grass-roots) part of business operations;
  • something that everyone—not just leaders—contributes to; and
  • a key part of the organization’s internal and external identity/brand.

You can do it!

Building a sustainable culture committed to innovation will not happen overnight—but it doesn’t have to be a struggle either.

Learn how a structured process can become an integral part of your day-to-day business operations—and the many benefits your organization can reap by staying ahead of the curve.

Rick Boersma

It is possible to build an organization bursting with innovative thinking! Click here for information on Juice Inc.'s Innovation in a Box training program.

Every once in a while, we all need a little lift.

Something that inspires us to see things differently and take positive action.

Here are our top 10 favourite quotes about innovation in the workplace—thoughts from prominent experts that reflect our own beliefs at Juice, and drive what we do.

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Brady Wilson

Brady Wilson

Co-Founder of Juice Inc, Thought Leader & Author

Alex Somos

Alex Somos

Co-Founder of Juice Inc.

Jean-Francois (JF) Hivon

Jean-Francois (JF) Hivon

Vice President, Business Development

Michael Torrie

Michael Torrie

Business Development, Juice USA

Juice Inc.

Juice Inc.

Posts from the team

Rick Boersma

Rick Boersma

Co-Founder Floworks Training, Design & Innovation