The hallmark of innovation is surprise. No surprise, nothing new. Nothing new, no interest. No interest, no value. Therefore, creating surprise is a crucial step in creating value through innovation.

The first step in surprising others is to surprise yourself. This can be maddingly difficult, since you already know most of what you’re likely to think of. You may need to trick your mind into new modes of thought by using one or more of the following techniques. Nine approaches can help you make connections between seemingly unrelated ideas:

Think in metaphors. A metaphor is a relationship between two dissimilar ...

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