We say: it’s a way of carrying out a particular task, which often comes as a detailed set of step-by-step instructions on what to do. The Oxford Dictionary says: it’s “a particular procedure for accomplishing or approaching something, especially a systematic or established one.”

For simplicity’s sake, and as they are very close in meaning, we use the terms method and technique synonymously. Similar to a technique, one can choose a certain method — a way something is done, much like following a recipe book —  to accomplish a specific task and arrive at an expected outcome.

For example, there are different ways to cook potatoes. You can boil, fry, or bake them. We chose the ‘method of boiling’. Outcome achieved. In innovation, we also choose pragmatically from a repertoire of methods that we deem adequate to our problem space and project at hand. If we have little budget and no access to users we might choose a combination of netnography and diary studies over participant observation in our user research for example. Or if we have lots of introverts in our team, we will choose the creativity method/technique of ‘Brainwriting’ over other more open ones like ‘Hot Potato’. Both could then again be combined with further methods, e.g. the ‘Disney Method’ or others. Or, think about experiment pairing in Lean Startup, which is also a way of choosing and linking appropriate experimentation methods which can build upon each other.