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In his book, Evolutionary Ideas, Sam Tatam, global head of behavioral science at Ogilvy, points out how some of the best behavior change innovations—across billboards, tip jars, café walls, and supermarket shelves—aren’t built from scratch but are instead adaptations of psychological principles based on decades of research. One lesson Tatam draws from this observation is that, often, the answer to any behavior change problem has already been discovered. This excerpt from Tatam’s book traces this insight back to a Russian scientist and inventor who discovered a framework for systematic innovation, later known as “TRIZ.” After reviewing hundreds of patents, he noticed a pattern—the most innovative solutions weren’t so novel after all. —Antonia Violante, Books Editor

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