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If you’re remotely familiar with “mom life” you know that unpredictable needs arise at a moment’s notice. BuzzFeed recently highlightedthese daily realities by capturing the amazingly creative solutions that moms bring to the table. 

Do you become the human popcorn dispenser when attending the movies with your children? Take your cue from one mom and grab an unused diaper from your bag. You have an instant popcorn cup! Are you concerned about your kids creeping out of bed to get a sneak peek at Santa? One mom fenced them in with her handy electrical tape.

Not only are these solutions both creative and humorous, they are ideal examples of using the Closed World Principle. The Closed World Principle was discovered by a colleague, Dr. Roni Horowitz, and it is a key part of the SIT method. The principle states: “When solving a problem or creating a new solution, one should strive to use only those resources that exist in the product or system itself or in its immediate vicinity.”

When it comes to mom life, the “system” is the set of resources within a mom’s reach during her moment of need. But when it comes to creativity in the workplace, think of the Closed World as a boundary surrounding the product or service. When you recruit resources inside that boundary to generate an idea, the idea tends to be more creative.

It seems counterintuitive. Most people think that you need to get way outside the current domain to be innovative. Traditional creativity and innovation methods use random stimuli to push you outside the Closed World. In reality, they should do the opposite.

Whether you’re looking for a creative solution with kids in tow or sitting around a boardroom table, The Closed World Principle can lead you to think inside the box and find effective, creative solutions.

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