for Agile Minds


Case Studies Curated by Sally Dominguez May 2016

The best way to understand the benefits of Adventurous Thinking and the Five Ways of reconsidering an item, problem or scenario is to examine case studies like these.  

Links to all full-length articles are included.

Negative Space

In 2008 a Department of Homeland Security engineer, Stephen Dennis, was considering how to make chemical detection more ubiquitous and focused on the cell phone.  Considering the NEGATIVE SPACE of a cell phone you have at least the following:

  •  That sheer computing power isnot being actively harnessed 24/7
  • The phones are everywhere, 24/7,  with their human carriers.
  • The phones can connect at any time with others, but don't.

If the technology did not suck battery life and did not cost more, then mobile phones would be the perfect way to sample air, analyse inconsistencies, alert authorities and spread the word.  Read the full article from Popular Science here.


Thinking Sideways


When Time magazine named Fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad in their 100 Most Influential People edition it also drew more attention to an issue that many of us might not notice: the coverage factor of sports uniforms and how it might influence children to play or not to play. Muhammad says that, growing up, having to alter her sports attire to suit her faith made her feel less part of a team.

"When we think about the concept of a uniform, this sense of camaraderie built around wearing the same thing, I don't think I was able to capture that".  

Aheda Zanetti invented the Burqini and gave a generation of girls the chance to swim safely.  THINKING SIDEWAYS means considering who CANNOT use the same products or systems as you, and understanding why that is.

Thinking Backwards

When travel website Indagare considered the demanding clients it was seeking to please, understanding the life cycle of their travel product was crucial.  The desired outcome was satisfied repeat customers.  The key Function was an enhanced travel experience, and the company added perks to make the Indagare offering stand out.  The key Element was a staff workforce who remained thick-skinned and productive in the face of constantly high expectations.  Founder Melissa Biggs Bradley reorganised the internal working systems so that staff worked co-operatively to stay positive and productive in this highly competitive, often cut-throat industry. 

Read the full story on Indagare's innovative thinking in INC.


WHAT IS THE CORE VALUE OF TIMBER?  When University of Maryland researchers set out to rethink wood they were playing with a material that most of us feel we know well.    But is the "look" of timber, in particular its solid color, actually part of its core value?  Check out how RETHINKING what is the "core" of a block of timber has resulted in an incredible discover that adds huge value and added usefulness to a timber block.

Watch Transparent Timber happen here


Peloton Cycle have used PARKOUR thinking to invert every cliche in the fitness and cycling industry.  Instead of classes held in a gym Peloton owners are united via a screen on their bikes with celebrity instructors and cyclers in a Peloton studio.  Its an immersive class, but its online.  Instead of touting inexpensive equipment a Peloton bikes costs roughly four times more than a regular exercise bike, and you can only buy from Peloton.  Read the Peloton story in INC and FOXBusiness.