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8 techniques of creative thinking: a box of ideas, a mess of metaphors and the method of Walt Disney

Orlan 01.10.2018 at 07:09


Sometimes a great idea — close, but find it does not work. What to do? Brainstorm and find not one but a million good options. Keep 8 techniques of creative thinking of our books: they will drive your imagination to the fullest.


to Ask questions is a special skill that you need to train everyone. To achieve a fresh look and to develop intellectual curiosity, it is necessary constantly to question everything. Make questions a part of everyday life. And don't forget to answer them.

1. Specify its task.

2. Scroll to 10 minutes and without stopping write down all the questions that come to mind relative to it. If you practice the technique regularly, you can see how the questions change. Become more profound and accurate. And you learn how to focus and carefully learn things.

What are the issues

Why? This question helps to understand the present state of things, to question conventional wisdom.

Why decided to work 40 hours a week? Why our competitors pass us with their new product? Why shut down your favorite TV show?

What if?.. Helps to explore new possibilities, to imagine what would happen to the world if you change something or implement a new idea.

What if we were to sell a subscription, not a one-time product? What if this year the exchange will increase by 15%? What if our company refuses to meetings?

Why not? This question will help to understand the limitations and factors that stand in the way of positive change.

Why not as many male nurses? Why our employees don't share controversial ideas? Why not offer customers a free car wash when they buy it from us? Five "why" to get to the essence of the problem

Try to ask five "why" about your problem. For example, you release fries. Questions can be.

Why people prefer fries competitors, and not ours? Because it tastes better. Why is it better? Because their seasoning better than ours. Why their seasoning better than ours? Because their chef is better. Why our chef is worse? Because we are not considered a change of chef, and for twenty years we have a mediocre employee. Why are we still not hired a new chef? Because nobody dared to offer it to the owner.

From the book "Flexible mind"

"Circle of opportunity"

to play in the "Circle of opportunity", take a couple of dice.

1. Specify clearly standing front of you the task. Let's say you are trying to create a new kind of product packaging.

2. Draw a circle and put in the number as on a clock (1 to 12).

3. Select 12 attributes associated with your task. Write them next to the numbers on the dial. For example, what happens packaging: expensive, flashy, rectangular, lightweight, sought after, blue, exotic, conservative, strict, porous, relaxed and durable.

the Attributes associated with the product qualities or phenomena. They can reflect^

the structure, color, form, structure, sound, taste, smell, size and density; marketing, sales, production, function; liabilities, settlements, prohibitions.

4. Throw the dice and choose the first attribute on which you focus your attention.

5. Throw the dice again to choose the second attribute.

6. Let's say you fell on lap six exotic packaging, and four being sought after. Let's look at these attributes individually and in combination with each other. Abstracted and imagination.

for Example, from the words "exotic" and "demand" may be the Association is:

bright shirt, tropical Islands, exotic music, demand for exotic goods that are in demand my product marketable packaging company, demand packages, demand exotic packaging...And so on.

Continue to develop the idea, creating a connection until you switch to a new idea or starting a new string of thought. Speaking about the exotic package, you can come to the solution: why not make the packaging itself? Why not sell the package? It is possible to produce beautiful and stylish packaging, so that people could buy it together with the goods.

From the book "Rice assault and another 21 way to think outside the box"

the Technique of Walt Disney

Walt Disney, faced with a creative task, three times changed perspective. Disney has presented himself in three different roles and have tried to apply the attitude of each of his characters to the problem.

the Prospect of a dreamer: let your imagination soar without worrying about how to implement imaginary ideas. The prospect of being realistic: down to earth and try to understand how to put into practice what has created your imagination. Perspective criticism: ask questions and look for weaknesses in your idea.

Try to look at the problem from three points of view — and see what did not notice. Source


Imagine that you are a team Manager, and want employees often come into your office room because you want to know how they feel and how they work.

the Prospect of a dreamer: the flying chairs. Employees would be able to sit on them in the hallway of the company and to arrive to me by air. Realist perspective: the flying chairs at this point impossible. Maybe I should buy more comfortable chairs so that employees more often came to see me? Perspective criticism: how much will cost these chairs? What if the staff wants to pick up these chairs in their offices? Maybe they'll relax enough to stop paying attention to me? Try to apply this technique to your problem: you will see the situation unfold from different angles.

From the book "Flexible mind"


the Expression "outside" for some means insane, crazy and unfeasible ideas. But if all you know about the problem lies in the scope of your experience, skill and knowledge, how can you exceed them? And most importantly, why?

Sometimes, to obtain new, you need something to clean.

This technique is related to work within the framework. She encourages you to take a new look at their content and try to change something.

1. You'll need stickers; optionally, you can use worksheets.

2. List all elements of your project (people, resources, etc.), each on a separate sticker. Glue them on a piece of paper and draw a frame.

3. Now, write down around the picture all the factors (people and resources) that are part of your project, but are on hand. They form a "closed world" directly around your project.

4. Try a simple subtraction: alternately remove one of the stickers, removing the factor that you seemed to be an integral part of the project. Ask yourself what benefits could have this "Lite" version. Who might want to use it and why? Appropriate?

5. Next, try to subtract and replace — remove one factor out of the frame. What are the benefits of a "Lite" version? Refer to the closed world around the frame. If there is something that could fill the gap created after removal of the factor?

6. Are any of those new ideas viable? Repeat the activity with another element in the frame.


Here's an example of a simple subtraction. To make mobile cheaper phone, Motorola has removed from one model transmitter. Model Mango could receive calls, but to call her was impossible. Who could use this? It turned out that parents with children under the age of puberty and also the sales managers working out of the office.

as a result, the model of Mango has captured 5% of the Israeli market, which has been released.

it looked like once the Motorola Mango.

From the book "I want more ideas!"

Box ideas

New ideas and inventions are simple combinations of existing parts and fragments. The box ideas like captures existing information, combining different options, and stimulates the birth of new ideas out of nothing.

Try to create an unusual combination. Combine kitty and chocolate paste, for example.

1. Specify task.

2. Select the parameters of the problem. For example, if you sell clothes baskets then you can select the following parameters: material, shape, surface and location. Select important. To do this, ask yourself: "Will there be this problem if you remove this attribute?"

3. Make a list of variations. Shall describe: what material are recycle — plastic, metal, mesh, what shape — square, cylindrical, cubic. Write everything you can think of.

Keep in mind that even a box with ten parameters, each of which has ten variations, produces 10 000 000 000 potential combinations. Wow!

4. Choose settings and create different combinations. Overdose the most extraordinary options. These random combinations can highlight an idea or possible solution.


let's Say you — a publisher who wants to invent something new in your business. You choose four parameters: type of literature, workbook properties, the process of publication, form of information presentation.

Under each parameter, write down 10 variations, which gives 10,000 possible combinations. And then trying to connect, for example, a cookbook, smell, advertising, and premium. What happens?

the First solution: you can release a cookbook-type "touch-smell" intended for distribution to customers of major food companies as prizes. The recipes in the book should include the products of a particular company. Each recipe will be accompanied by an illustration, and the reader will be able to learn not only how it will look in the dish, but also how it will smell. Try it yourself and you will see how the idea behind the idea fill your brain.

From the book "Rice assault and another 21 way to think outside the box"

Side a boost

Metaphors surround us like the air we breathe. We use them constantly. Psychologist Peter Halligan writes: "We are the only species able to live in a world of abstract concepts, vividly imagining the past, future and even things that can't exist."

Here are two techniques — "Side-pushing" and "Mess of metaphors" that help create something new, using metaphors.

1. You'll need pens and paper, as well as visual stimuli, such as cards, downloaded from the Internet. This exercise can be performed as a group or individually.

2. Specify task. Divide the participants into groups of 2 to 4 people and ask them to write down as many ideas as possible solution to the problem.

3. After five minutes, stop them and give each a card.

4. Ask them to write, which could symbolize the image;

5. Then ask each participant to present another idea, inspired by your postcard. Illustrate the task of pre-prepared example (here is a picture of the beach with storm clouds... it could mean a storm... or summer vacation... or researching new horizons... or a ray of hope... what a storm can expect your project?).

6. When there's 10 minutes before the end, ask the groups to focus on two ideas and present them to others. It is mainly: to choose the strongest.

From the book "I want more ideas!"

the Mess of metaphors

This is the second technique involving the creation of metaphors. It is also possible to perform in a group or individually.

1. You'll need visual stimuli, such as postcards or items. Postcards can be found and downloaded on the Internet.

2. Give each photograph or subject. Ask participants to work silently alone and write down everything you can about your piece of function, form and texture, he reminds them that might symbolize or designate.

3. Then ask each to turn to a neighbor and combine your two images to get the hybrid.

4. Ask what he can do as he can look, which may symbolize, etc. Allow the participants to discuss this in pairs for a few minutes and record the new properties that come to mind.

5. Ask participants to select the properties of all seen the images that they most liked.

6. Consider how these properties can become the starting point for generating new ideas or to inspire finding solutions to problems?

7. When there's 10 minutes before the end, ask the group to select the strongest ideas.

From the book "I want more ideas!"

the Technique of random words

1. Select one random word: in the book, the diary, the social network. There are even sites that generate random words.

2. Draw your vision of that word. So you start to use the right hemisphere of the brain.

3. Write next to a picture of the signs of this concept.

4. Then list all associations that the word evokes. Apply these properties and associations to the creative task.

the Technique of random words activates the right hemisphere of the brain.


Your creative task: invent a new toothbrush.

Your random word: dog.

the characteristics of the dog: shaggy, black nose, four paws, a wagging tail, burying the bones.

the Association with a dog: love, fidelity, bravery, assistance.

the Relationship of symptoms and associations with the creative task may be to offer a brush that will also do face massage (wagging tail, weasel)?

From the book "Flexible mind"

Techniques of creative thinking will help to develop creative abilities. You can think of cool moves in any area from advertising to construction, from creating desserts — to washing machines. And gradually the process of generating ideas will turn from chaotic to efficient and productive journey through the world of extraordinary solutions.

According to the materials of books "I want more ideas!", "A flexible mind", "Rice assault and another 21 way to think outside the box"

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