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Creativity – A Special Report

HOW TO GENERATE BRIGHT NEW BUSINESS IDEAS

Can you make it to the top in business if you’re not highly creative? Many of us would say, certainly you can: We would rank drive, decisiveness, and an analytical mind high above creativeness among the qualities you need to reach the true heights.

But surprisingly, many top companies are beginning to think differently. Faced with increasingly stiff competition both at home and abroad, they are realizing that they desperately need new ideas.

Some of them, taking their cue from the best-selling In Search of Excellence From America’s Best-Run Companies, have tried to build creativity into their corporate structures. Kodak and Goodyear have innovation committees in each division and Hewlett-Packard has an “intrapreneurship” program to provide research and development funding for innovative ideas outside the corporate mainstream.

Many of these corporations are also packing their employees off to training programs run by the dozens of “creativity consultants” who have set up shop.

Even Business schools now teach creativity alongside basic accounting or organizational theory.

At Stanford University, Professor Michael Ray leads M.B.A. candidates through a variety of mental exercises to help them release their bottled-up ideas. They may sit in a semi-circle in the dark, listening to soothing Indian music or chanting in unison. Lights on, they may draw circles and create designs within them: mandalas, the ancient Indian graphic that symbolizes the universe. There are also lessons given in deep breathing, mediation, and I Ching.

Designed to awaken capacities for innovation slumbering within students’ psyches, the course is based on the premise that, as Ray says, “Creativity is within everyone and is essential to happiness, health and success in a business career.”

Shouldn’t “creativity” be reserved for the Picassos and Einsteins among us? The answer depends partly on what you mean by creativity. Tudor Rickards, a professor at the Manchester Business School in England, sees two very different usages of the term. On one hand, there is artistic and scientific creativity – that rare gift of genius and insight capable of unlocking the great mysteries of the universe. On the other hand, there is creative problem-solving – the ability to overcome obstacles by approaching them in novel ways. This is the kind of creativity that comes in most handy in the business world. And it is here that creativity experts are concentrating their energies.

Why is it that some people can generate a terrific idea every minute, while others are lucky to come up with one in a year? The answer may lie in the way our brains process information.

Specialists believe that most people, including the vast majority of businessmen, tend to rely on their speech-centered left hemispheres to a greater extent than do, say, artists, who are typically right-brained and emotion-centered. So the key to making executives more imaginative is to teach them to use their right brains more.

Even if they don’t buy the split-brain notion, almost all advocates of creativity training contend that everyone is inherently creative to some degree. Unfortunately, they say, this creative potential is suppressed by external forces: The suppression starts in early childhood, and by the time we get to be adults, most of us have all but lost the ability to think novel thought. Most experts claim that if you break down these life-long artificial barriers to creativity, ideas will gush forth from you like water from a broken dam.

Many of the creativity-enhancing techniques currently marketed by consultants are based on brainstorming, developed by legendary adman Alex Osborn in the 1930s. Simply put, it involves gathering people in a room, giving them a problem, and encouraging them to throw out as many possible solutions as they can- the more ridiculous the better. The theory is that somewhere in the untidy pile of ideas is the one you’re looking for. Other experts, using methods with names like morphological analysis and synectics, have developed highly structured ways of moving from the germ of an idea to a full-blown solution to a problem.

But do all these activities really have direct bearing on business creativity? Yes, says Tudor Rickards: “The opposite side of creativity is ‘stuckness’, or habitual thinking. Although creativity training may not turn out many Einsteins, it can help [individuals] cope with stuckness, and it can teach people how to escape from that condition in order to find better resolutions to problems.” – N. A. Howard

 

INNOVATORS AT WORK

Meet a breed of business leaders who tackle the task of creativity on a daily basis. Faced with the job of fostering new ideas, each has developed his own style. But there is a common theme: Creativity does not merely happen; one must prepare for it and cultivate it.

Synthesizing Sales

Every morning Jeffery McElnea, president of Einson Freeman, Inc., a New Jersey sales-promotion agency, takes on the challenge of creating new concepts.

Of course he is familiar with the dozens of tried-and-true gambits for stimulating point-of-purchase sales, such as cents-off coupons, cash refund, sweepstakes, and premiums. “We flash every established technique onto a screen.” Says McElnea. “Then we go though each alternative and hypothetically try to fit the products to it- just to see what would happen. Then we start to combine and recombine the techniques, and there’s where the unique part comes in. New techniques are created by synthesizing the old.”

McElena’s process has resulted in scores of award-winning promotions, including “The Smaller the Better Sweepstakes,” which required contestants to walk into a store and listen to the new Sony Walkman to determine whether they had won a prize.

The Pause that Creates

Two years ago, Paul MacCready, Ph. D., chairman of AeroVironment Inc., of Monrovia, Calif., was racing to build the first successful man-powered airplane. Others were experimenting with small planes barely able to carry a pilot. He searched for a better way.

He had put the problem aside and was on vacation, doing some studies of birds – turning radii, flight speeds, and power per pound. “Suddenly,” he says, “ I realized that the way to build the man-powered airplane was to make it more like a soaring bird – not tiny, but extremely large and lightweight,” His invention, the Gossamer Albatross, brought him the title of Engineer of the Century from the American Association of Engineers.

Sometimes, he says, you allow your mind to work subconsciously with the data.

Fiero Finesse

Hulki Aldikacti, assistant chief engineer of GM’s Pontiac division, designed the new Fiero, which sold 100,000 units in 1984, double the previous record for a two-seat sports car sold in the U.S.

The key to the Fiero’s design is the “space frame,” a steel skeleton that contains all the working parts. Plastic panels are attached to it to provide lightweight beauty.

Aldikacti was working on a Fiero prototype when he encountered a seemingly insurmountable problem. Mass-produced plastic panels would not fit on the space frame. “We were trying to use plastic like metal,” he recalls. “It just kinked, like paper.”

For three days and nights he wrestled with the problem. Then suddenly the solution came when he borrowed a concept from the casting industry. “There were 39 points where the plastic had to attach to the space frame,” he recalls. “By manufacturing the frame so that all those points were larger than they should be, we could put the frame into a milling machine and mill them down so we would get a perfect fit.”

The 15 Percent Solution

Since the 1920s, 3M has allowed its researchers to spend 15 percent of their time on whatever project interests them. A few years ago, Art Fry, a scientist in 3M’s Commercial Office Supply Division, turned his attention to a personal bugaboo.

While singing bass in his church choir he had become upset as he tried to mark the pages of his hymnal with bits of paper. The scraps fell out.

Fry remembered an adhesive developed by a colleague that everyone thought was a failure because it did not stick very well. “I coated the adhesive on a paper sample,” he recalls, “and I found that it was not only a good bookmark, it was great for writing notes. It will stay in place as long as you want it to, and then you can remove it without damage.”

The resulting product, called Post-it Notes, is one of the most successful office products ever introduced.

A Shower of Ideas

Wayne Green of Peterborough, N.H., is a multifaceted entrepreneur. He publishes computer magazines and owns the Software Centers International chain, two software-writing firms, a distribution company, and a publishing school. Green scans no fewer than 300 magazines a month, from NEWSWEEK to UFO MAGAZINE, ripping out new ideas.

“Several years ago I read something about creativity that works for me,” he says. “When you take a shower, the flow of water knocks electrons off your skin and generates a negative-ion atmosphere. Those negative ions are supposed to generate a creative frame of mind. I don’t understand the science, but it certainly works for me. When I get into the shower, the light goes on in my head. – William Hoffer

INSIDE THE CREATIVE MIND

Where does the creative spark come from? Psychologists, frustrated by their inability to crawl inside the human mind, have had to settle for the next best thing. For years, they have been sitting creative people down and asking them, “How did you come up with idea?” The moment of creative insight, they have found, comes not when you try the hardest, but just when you least expect it. In most cases, creative people had been grappling with the problem for a long time before their sudden insight.

The moment of inspiration, when an idea or a solution does bubble up, comes at first not as a clear, focused piece of logic, but as a fuzzy, amorphous image. Initially, we may have difficulty putting the idea into words because the creative parts of brains work in images and metaphors. That’s why many creativity experts use visual props and voyages into fantasy to trigger ideas.

This technique came in handy, for example, when NASA was trying to figure out how astronauts would be able to manipulate buttons on their bulky space suits. Asked to construct fantasies about “rain forest,” one member group imagined himself running through the forest while thorns and stickers tore at his clothes. The result was Velcro.

Psychologists now believe we are all born with creativity, but somehow allow it to atrophy as we grow older. What kills this ability? Psychologists say it’s our social conditioning, which teaches us to squelch curiosity, fear, failure, and inhibit any new, nontraditional ideas. Eventually, we become so used to conforming that creative thought becomes uncomfortable. Ashley Montagu once said that all man wants nowadays is “a womb with a view.”

For some, the hypnagogic state – those moments between wakefulness and sleep – are highly creative. Scientists have recorded more theta waves in the brain during this state, perhaps a signal that the subconscious censor is falling off. Roger Firestien, an expert in creativity, recommends keeping a pad and pencil by your bed to note down thoughts. “I have one friend,” he says, “who keeps a grease pencil in the bathroom so he can scribble on the shower walls when an idea hits him.” Other suggestions include using relaxation techniques or finding a quiet place to unwind.

To break through creativity blocks, we must, according to Scott Isaken of Buffalo’s Interdisciplinary Center for Creative Studies: Defer judgment. That is, learn to accept all ideas, without prejudice, and examine them each in turn. Strive for quantity. Open your mind to as many different kinds of ideas as possible – the more the merrier.

Creativity is not just a matter of intellect. It’s also a matter of personality. “The creative person,” says Professor Abe Tannenbaum, a psychologist at Columbia University Teachers’ College, “ is willing to live with ambiguity. He doesn’t need problems solved immediately and can afford to wait for the right idea.” Creative people also, say the experts, are unconventional, have a sense of humor, and are highly motivated but easily bored. Often they need others to transform their ideas into action.

That’s why some companies have “facilitators” to connect idea people with managers and workers. We may not know all there is to know about the creative process, but as Roger Firestien says, “there are many ways to court the muse.” – Dina Ingher

FLASHES OF GENIUS

Archimedes, overwhelmed by his sudden vision of the theory of specific gravity, leaped from the public bath and ran home naked, shrieking “Eureka!” Inspiration does not always catch us with our pants down, but it may strike unexpectedly. Consider these examples:

Takeover History

For seven years Manor Care, Inc., a large, publicly held nursing-home corporation based in Silver Spring, Maryland, had been trying to buy the Four Seasons Nursing Centers from the Anta Corporation. But Anta, whose other interests were in oil drilling, refused to sell, and its management were certain that they would not be the target of a takeover attempt: They owned half of the stock.

In November 1983, Stewart Bainum Jr., Manor Care’s vice-chairman, was on a flight from Oklahoma City to Washington when he had a sudden idea that resulted in what one Wall Street observer called “takeover history.”

When the stock market opened Monday morning, the Street buzzed with strange news. ManorCare had made a hostile tender offer for Anta, something never attempted when the largest shareholder owns more than 20 percent of the stock.

“I couldn’t tell them what we were trying to do,” Bainum recalls. “When the dust settled, we had only 25 percent of Anta’s stock, but we had their attention.”

The block of stock was large enough to put Bainum on Anta’s board of directors, and in April 1984, rather than endure harassment of its every corporate decision, Anta traded Four Seasons Nursing Centers in return for its captured stock – at a price tag of less than it had offered for a straight buy-out.

The Real- Estate Auction

Sheldon Good, a Chicago realtor, went to a charity auction. “This was a class act,” he recalls. “The auctioneer was wearing a tuxedo. There was champagne, a buffet dinner, and dancing. I thought, ‘Why couldn’t this work for real estate? He enrolled in a cattle and tobacco auctioneers’ school in Kansas City and, upon graduating, announced that he was a real-estate auctioneer.

So far, both sellers and buyers have been happy with buying properties at Good’s auctions. And Good is happy, too, having pocketed commissions on the sale of some 6,800 homes and business properties in 20 months.

A House of a Different Color

Marjorie Douglas answered a newspaper ad, and ended up renting her suburban New York kitchen to a production crew filming a television commercial. More house-rental shooting dates followed, but sometimes directors turned down her home because they were looking for another décor.

Then one evening Marjorie said to her husband, “Wouldn’t it be fun to buy a house and remodel it just for filming commercials?”

One year later, the Douglas house opened for business. When outside shots are called for, a director of TV commercials can choose to film in front of a colonial facade, a suburban tract home (complete with basketball backboards), or a Victorian house with a porch swing.

Inside the Douglases have installed a number of movable interior facades, furnishings and fixtures, such as bookcases and windows. Within minutes, the particular style and color required can be provided.

The Douglases’ daughter and son-in-law now live in the house, but it continues to provide backdrops for dozens of commercials. Have you seen Time-Life decorating books, American Greeting Card, Dodge automobiles, ATT, or Corning Glass advertised on TV recently? Then you’ve also seen the Douglas house.

Booked an average of three days a week at a fee of 1,200 for 10 hours, it is truly a dream house.

Lucky Break

Tom Adams bent to tie the lace on his right tennis show. A Maryknoll Father taking a weekend from church fundraising activities, Adams was playing a tennis tournament in Milwaukee. In his hurry to resume the game, he tugged at the shoelace and it snapped apart.

“The lace had broken into two nearly equal pieces,” he recalls, “so I tied two bows- one across the ball of my foot, one across the instep.

” As the match continued, he became aware of a strange sensation. “My right foot felt better than my left foot,” he says. “By separating the tensions I had reduced slippage. There was no heat buildup on my right foot.”

That match, which Father Adams won, was in 1962. Eight years later, having left priesthood, he patented the design that featured two separate laces, and in 1975 he launched Kaepa, Inc.

Today the company markets a full line of double-laced athletic shoes and is setting up licenses in major foreign countries. Sales in 1984 are estimated at more than $20 million. – William Hoffer

TEST YOUR C.Q.

Everyone possesses the mental abilities that underlie creative problem-solving, but most people do not exercise them strenuously enough to perform at their creative peak. Their *creativity quotient should be higher.

The following problems will give you a brisk little mental job:

Close Associates

The brainchild that launched the L.L. Bean mail-order business (1983 sales were $230 million) was born from a wholly original mating of two familiar articles of footwear. Founder Bean, it seems, loved hunting but hated coming home with soggy leather boots. In 1911, while he was gazing upon a pair of rubber galoshes in his Maine dry-goods store, a light bulb flashed. Why not combine leather tops for support with rubber feet for waterproof comfort? Why not, indeed.

The following exercise will test your ability to combine and recombine words. So sharpen up your synapses!

Think of one word that can precede the first two words in each group below. You may use compounds, hyphenated words, colloquial expressions, or slang. Examples; 1) break, strings; purple, take. (answer: heart) 2) sell, rock; work, hit. (answer: hard) 1) rate, account; savings, left. 2) salad, head; lay, rotten. 3) corner, rope; sit, hold. 4) opera, house; flash, flood. 5) artist, clause; narrow, fire. 6) jacket, changer; world, off. 7) dog , skin; herds, count. 8) in, ugly; spark, drain. 9) ox, bunny; deaf, strike. 10) backer, drawing; fishing, phone. 11) shooting, door: shut, tourist. 12) ware, foot; fall.

Loose Strings

People often jump to conclusions even before they have a full understanding of the situation. A poorly analyzed problem, however, invariably results in an inadequate or wrong response.

When a problem fails to yield a quick answer, many people doggedly stick to the one avenue or approach they have chosen. A good problem-solver, on the other hand, turns the problem over on all possible sides and defers early commitment.

The following exercise is an excellent means to overcome this serious barrier to problem-solving. Remember to restate the problem in many ways, and try to get the total picture in terms of feasible solutions before you actually tackle it.

Imagine that you are standing in a room. You have been given the task of tying together the ends of two strings suspended from the ceiling. The strings are located so that you cannot reach one string with your outstretched hand while you are holding the second in your other hand. You can imagine that the room contains all the things you might need for solving the problem. Try to find as many different solutions as you can.

Scams

The purpose of this exercise is to build your fluency of thought and expression. At first, you might find that you can think of only a few sentences; but if you persist, more will occur to you. Write five-word sentences, whose words begin with the following letters in the order given: S-C-A-M-S. Examples: Senior citizens arrange maximum security. Sarcastic comments are meant seriously. Now it’s your turn. See how many sentences you can produce in five minutes. – Eugene Raudsepp

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INTELLIGENCE vs. CREATIVITY

“When I became a scientist,” says Nobel Laureate Jonas Salk, inventor of the polio vaccine, “I would picture myself as a virus, or a cancer cell, and try to sense what it would be like to be either.” It takes a fantastic creative leap to imagine yourself as a cancer cell, and that may be why Jonas Salk refers to himself not only as a scientist but also as an artist.

That may sound heretical at first, but art and science are deeply intertwined. Intelligence is by nature creative. According to psychologist Howard Gardner of Harvard University, intelligence is not measured only by verbal and mathematical aptitude. It is also spatial (as seen in the architect’s ability to find his way around an environment), musical (the composer’s ability to perceive and create tonal and rhythmic patterns), kinesthetic (the dancer’s grace, the athlete’s power and sureness), intrapersonal ( the novelist’s skill at sensing and expressing exactly what he feels) and interpersonal ( the politicians capacity to instantly interpret and respond to the way the others feel).

World Series hero Jim Bouton claimed that pitching was the “thinkingest” of all activities in sport. “Pitching”, he said, “challenges your ability to put mind and body together.” Isn’t that ability creative – and intelligent? Martha Graham, the premier modern dancer of this century, said, “if I could tell you what it is,” she said, “I would not have danced it.” But, of course, she did tell us – weaving into her stunningly intelligent body a world born out of her creative mind. -Jill Neimark Gurus of Innovation

GURUS OF INNOVATION

Can you really learn creativity from expert “trainers?” SUCCESS interviewed five such experts, each with a favorite way of getting his message across. Significantly, all these experts agreed on two things: Everyone is born creative, and everyone can learn new ways to release the creative energy within.

Problems as Opportunities

A woman attending a problem-solving conference thought her problem was that her husband had died recently – until a workshop leader noted that this was not a problem but a fact. Sidney J. Parned, president of the Creative Education Foundation of Buffalo (which ran the conference), points out that “fact as fact. Problems are opportunities, challenges that grow out of a fact. If you can define a problem, you’ll be more likely to solve it.”

Founded by brainstorming originator Alex Osborn, DEF holds five-day Springboard sessions for groups of up to 200 people at a time. Trainees increase creative output by deferring judgment on ideas and simply listing many criteria for evaluating them. “Quality and quantity correlate,” says Parnes.

Fostering Teamwork

Cambridge-based SYNECTICS, INC., emphasizes the importance of positive reinforcement. (The name is created from the Greek syn for “coming together” and ectics for “diversity.”)

In a three-day Innovative Teamwork Program, participants are confronted with a problem and videotaped. This helps senior managers see that the ability to make quick decisions also limits development of practical ideas. When an employee brings up an impossible-sounding proposal, it’s suggested the manager say, “In its current form, here are the pluses – it has a lot going for it. But here are the flaws – and some thing we need to do together to make it work.” SYNECTICS stresses that problem-solving groups be diverse because diversity breeds creativity. “If we have a chemical engineering problem,” president Richard A. Harriman explains, “the last thing we need is a group of all chemical engineers.”

SYNECTICS’ advice for those who are stumped: Don’t go to an expert on the subject. Discuss your situation with someone who’s not familiar with it, and you many be better prepared to solve the problem on your own.

Making Connections

Once affiliated with SYNECTICS, Inc., W.J.J. Gordon says that all the problem-solver needs is The New Art of the Possible, a text with exercises offered by his own group, SES Associates, also in Cambridge.

His version of the synectics process goes roughly like this: First, get at the heart of the problem by stating the paradox or the conflict it presents. Next, come up with an analogy. Finally, develop a solution to the problem based on the analogy.

In the SES files is the story of a company with a missile that was to fit so closely within its silo that it couldn’t be pushed in. A group used the analogy of a horse that can’t be pushed into its stall. Solution for the horse: lead it in. Solution for the missile: pull it in with a cable.

Creative by Design

Mike Vance, who sells mail-order cassettes on creativity, likes visual aids. Formerly with the Walt Disney organization, he suggests you try this simplified version of displayed thinking: Pin relevant drawings, cartoons, notes – anything – up on a wall where you can see it all the time. The “trigger effect” that results, he predicts, will help your mind shape a solution.

Vance has developed a series of cassettes called “A Kitchen for the Mind” with “recipes” for designing a creative-thinking area at home.

Spurs to creativity, says Vance, are change, stress, and excess. “Moderation kills creativity.” Average people can achieve great things, he promises, when “they’re pissed off” or “they’re on fire with a cause.”

Opening “Mental Locks”

Roger von Oech of Creative Think in Menlo Park, Calif., discusses 10 “mental locks.” As von Oech explains in his cartoon-filled workbook A Whack on the Side of the Head  (Warner Books), locks are things we all tell ourselves we should – or shouldn’t – do that inhibit self-expression, such as “I must have The Right Answer.” And: “Follow the rules,” “Avoid ambiguity,” “That’s not my area,” and “I’m not creative.”

A Stanford Ph.D. who started out at IBM, von Oech works on helping people recognize when it’s important to be creative and when it’s not. Once well into a project, for example, “you don’t need an expert saying it would be better done another way.”

The working title of von Oech’s next book i A Kick in the Seat of the Pants, for those who just can’t get into action. Right now, von Oech likes an original exercise in his first book. Called Fools & Rules, it encourages employees to make fun of company products or corporate values. “Humor helps people open up,” von Oech says. Helen Johnson

BOOSTING YOUR IDEA POWER

Psychologists and other students of creativity have devised many ways to stimulate new ideas at will. Here are some of the best.

Brainstorming

A brainstorming group produces lots of problem-solving ideas quickly. The style is freewheeling and evaluation is postponed till the end.

How To Use Brainstorming

Choose a chairman who encourages production of ideas and deflects criticism.

Select a secretary who writes down a running list of ideas where all can see them.

Pick the participants (between 7 and 12 is ideal) and explain the ground rules, making sure everyone understands and accepts them. (Inhibited participants may be put off at first by the free-for-all atmosphere.)

State the problem as a very specific question: “In what ways might we …?” (Fill in your own problem).

Set a quantity goal and a time limit which the chairman monitors. (Try for 100 ideas in 30 minutes.)

Ground Rules

Suspend all judgment: Don’t evaluate anyone’s offering, including your own.

Contribute whatever comes to mind, no matter how wild or incomplete. The more off-beat, the better.

Speak whenever anything comes, even when others are speaking. Repeat your idea, if necessary, until it gets noted.

Build on, combine with, and alter anything you hear, “hitchhiking” on everyone else’s words, meanings, and images. The more ideas the better. The best ideas often come late in the session.

Idea Logs

An idea log does for an individual what a brainstorming session does for a group: It generates lots of ideas which trigger still more ideas.

How To Use An Idea Log

In a pocket-size notebook, write at the top of page 1 this question: “In what ways might I ….?” (fill in with your own problem). Follow with any word or idea that comes to mind. Head page 2 with an unrelated word or idea. Put the notebook in your pocket. Without focusing on it, your unconscious will “incubate” the problem, delivering possible solutions unexpectedly throughout the day. Enter each new idea on either page, then combine this entry with the one preceding it, creating a third, synergistic idea. At the end of each day, look over your pages. Combine any similar ideas, eliminating duplications. Pick the two most intriguing entries and use them to head the next day’s pages. After several days of log-keeping, you should have a large number of usable ideas.

Lateral Thinking

Edward de Bono, the noted authority no thinking and creativity, coined the term “lateral thinking” to describe the process of gaining new insights by rearranging information into new patterns. The two key elements are deliberate generation of alternatives and challenging of assumptions. The contact lens is an example of a product produced this way.

How To Use Lateral Thinking

Lateral thinking is as much an attitude as it is a process. Three of the most useful techniques for developing this innovative attitude are:

Make analogies. Analyze a completely different situation. Then apply to the problem at hand the insights you have gained from the analysis. Force these insights to fit the problem at hand, even if they seem far-fetched.

Shift attention. Focus on a fact or detail you would otherwise ignore. This enables you to make different use of the information. Or, think first about the middle or the end of the problem. This triggers a new train of thought. (Many detective stories use these techniques.)

Use random stimulation. Relate a randomly chosen and seemingly irrelevant word or object to a problem and, through free association, provoke new insights.

Other techniques worth looking into include:

Attribute listing. You note down the main parts of your problem, then in a parallel column list possible substitute procedures, the more of them the better. A solution will soon emerge.

Imaging. Jolt your imagination alive by focusing on images that reflect positive solutions to your challenges. As the images come through, note them, then leapfrog beyond them to other images.

Checklists. In his classic book Applied Imagination,  Alex Osborn, inventor of brainstorming, suggests applying certain active verbs to your ideas: Thus, you adapt, modify, magnify, minify, rearrange, reverse, or combine these ideas to come up with new concepts.

Forced relationships. Jams together two unrelated concepts chosen at random, and meld them into a new idea. A dream, an accident, a wild idea – these occur to all of us, but we rarely make profitable use of them. Now, using the techniques described above, you can be flexible, fluent, and original. Eleanor Wakin

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