7. Basics of Predictive Innovation

7. Basics of Predictive Innovation

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Predictive Innovation makes it possible to accurately understand what customers desire now and in the future and how to overcome technical challenges to satisfying those desires. In this way it merges marketing, engineering and business strategy. The key is how it breaks down systems into easy to manage dimensions. All innovation and problem solving uses three specific dimensions:

  • Outcomes
  • 7-Elements
  • 15-Alternatives

By using these three specific dimensions, all the innovations for any product or service can be accurately described even if current technology can’t build it.

Height, Width, DepthPhysical objects can be described using height, width, and depth. Similarly, systems can be described using the three dimensions: Outcomes, 7-Elements, and 15-Alternatives.


Outcome is the result of something happening. For Predictive Innovation we use a broader and more formal meaning.

Outcome is an observable state resulting from a cause.

Speed, color, or temperature are observable States. A State can also be an event that did or did not happen. The State of any Outcome is classified into one of three categories:

  • desired
  • undesired
  • neutral

Most systems can be described using between 5 and 9 Outcomes. If a system is complex it might require dividing the system into smaller sub-systems to be manageable.

When each of the Outcomes of a system are in the desired State the overall goal is achieved.

Predictive Innovation uses Outcome Diagrams to graphically represent the systems for satisfying people’s desires. Outcome diagrams are a type of flow chart. Instead of showing steps in a process it displays all the conditions or “if” statements to achieve the overall goal. In words an Outcome diagram says:

If A and B and C Then my desires are satisfied for this Scenario.



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Predictive Innovation considers more than the End State, it looks at all of the Elements of the Outcome. Each Outcome is made up of 7 types of Elements. These Elements are :

  • Objects
  • Begin States
  • End States
  • Actions
  • Tools
  • Conditions
  • Resources

The 7 Elements of an Outcome can be visualized in a diagram. You can see the relationship of Elements. You can see that the Begin States are processed to produce the End States. Tools, Conditions, and Resources affect the Action performed on or by the Object.

Object is the focus of the Outcome, it is what has the State. Look for nouns in descriptions of desires to find Objects.

Begin States are the relevant State for the Outcome being considered. The Begin State can be desired, undesired, or neutral. You want to keep desired States and change undesired States into desired States. If you can’t achieve a desired State you might accept a neutral State based on the States of other Outcomes.

End States are the State after the Action has occurred. The End State is the result of the Action. Again End States can be desired, undesired or neutral.

Actions cause the Begin State of the Object to become an End State. Action causes a State to change or remain the same. Actions are verbs.

Tools are something directly used in the Action. Something becomes a Tool based on how it is used.

Conditions are all the other States that influence the Action affecting the result. For instance, the temperature of paint influences how well it sticks to a surface. The texture of a surface is another Condition that affects how well paint sticks.

Resources are anything available in the environment that can be used to perform the Action. The temperature of a room could be intentionally used to speed or slow the process of painting. Resources can be physical or information. Knowing the temperature can help in performing the Action of painting.

Each Outcome can have many different Elements for each of the 7-Element types. There can be many different Objects, Begin State, End State, Actions, Tools, Conditions, and Resources. Every Outcome has at least one of each of the 7-Element types.






to Stable




The 15-Alternatives is one of the unique discoveries of Predictive Innovation. There are 15-Alternative types for achieving any task.

The 15 Alternatives fit into a 3 by 5 grid. The rows are Single (1), Multiple (m), and Continuous (). The three rows represent Scales. The columns are Direct (+), Indirect (-), Stable (=), Make Stable (→), and Return to Stable (~). The columns represent Directions. These combine to describe all 15 ways of accomplishing a goal.






15 Alternatives Grid Symbols

We often abbreviate the rows and columns of the Alternatives Grid with symbols. Aside from being abbreviations, these symbols can be helpful for understanding combinations that can be defined with the 15 Alternatives.

All of your Predictive Innovation work will involve understanding, identifying and using Outcomes, Elements, and Alternatives.

Chapter 6 Chapter 8


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