Creative Thinking for Business
Creative Thinking E-book
The last tool in the Sly as a Fox Toolkit is the combination tool and it works pretty much like you might expect. This tool works by taking two problem statements, objects, designs, processes, procedures, or any number of items and placing them side-by-side. The two items do not have to have anything to do with each other. In fact the less they have in common, the better.
The idea of this tool is to take two things that have nothing in common on the surface and force yourself to list all of the similarities between the two. Your first reaction may be very similar to the random word tool where at first you see no relationship between this random word input and the problem at hand. But by stretching your mind just a little, you can always find a list of similarities between two things. By doing this combination exercise, you once again force yourself to come up with new ideas and associations with the problem statements which you would never uncover with simple brainstorming techniques.
Look at these two different problem statements.
· Cash flow this quarter is only 60 percent of plan.
· My kid is failing algebra this year.
What do these two problem statements have in common? What similarities can you find?
Your first response is likely there is no commonality between the two. But what if I told you I would give you a million dollars if you could list 100 items that were common between the two? Do you think you could build a list then? You know you could.
I am not going to give you a million dollars, but go ahead and list as many items as you can anyway. Then sit back and look at the list. Do the items suggest, recommend, hint, or point you in new and creative solution to the problem?