Combination Creativity

You should always look for creative ideas outside your industry and see how they can be applied to your business. This approach gives you an easy way to infuse new ideas into your organization without having to create something out of nothing.

One spin is to take two different ideas that already exist and combine them together to create a new and innovative solution. This is called Combination Creativity and history is full of examples.

Fulton is widely recognized for revolutionizing transportation by creating the Steamship. But he didn’t create it out of thin air. He simply combined the steam engine and the sailing ship.

Ford, as you know, is credited with the assembly line, but he used combination creativity as well to develop the process. He combined the processing techniques used in slaughterhouses with the technology for making farm tools. He simply looked at the “disassembly” of pigs and reversed the logic for building cars.

The Reebok pump shoe idea was born by mixing a tennis shoe with a hospital (intravenous) IV bag.



Among other things, Einstein is world famous for his Theory of Relativity. Again this idea did not come out of thin air, but from combining many of the leading expert’s theories. Plank, Mach, Lorentz, and Poincare’s ideas can all be seen in his work. And recently there appears to be solid evidence that his 1st wife had a lot to do with the development of the Theory of Relativity. They have now found key ideas, concepts, and equations in love letters she wrote to Einstein.

William Gibson said, “The future is already here, it’s just unevenly distributed.” That’s a unique way to look at it.

Try solving your problem by using Combination Creativity. The odds are pretty good someone else already has the pieces you need. It just takes a little creativity on your part to put them together.

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