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Creativity Techniques
There are a number of creativity procedures that can be used to help you discover new mind funnels and generate how-to statements that reflect new perspectives on a problem situation. Let's look at some of these.

Reverse Assumptions. This method helps you deal with unwarranted assumptions about a problem. You begin by non-evaluatively listing five to twenty basic assumptions about your problem. Include especially obvious assumptions you take for granted—ones you don't even consider anymore. Next, reverse the meaning of these assumptions. Then, non-evaluatively force combinations between your reversed assumptions and your how-to statement. Select, combine, change, add to, and work over your ideas to come up with many new problem statements.

Like-Improve Analysis. Describe your problem. Now look at what you like and what you don't like about the description. Dissect out what you want to improve. Writing the information down as you proceed will greatly improve the quality of the final how-to problem statement.

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Guided Fresh Eye. This method encourages you to think about the problem situation as if you were someone or something else. Begin with the problem statement. Now rewrite the problem as if you were a dolphin, bat, eagle, jellyfish, pea pod, or oak seed (choose one); or chemical engineer, mechanical engineer, Martian, or artist (again, choose one); or biologist, chemist, secretary, banker, frog or pharmacologist (choose one); and so forth. Now restate the problem. You'll see new perspectives.

Word Substitution. Word substitution can effectively transform how-to problem statements. Systematically change key nouns, verbs, and adverbs to help you switch track in your creative thinking. For example, you can transform "How to get rid of an autocratic leader" into "How to abolish...," "How to work with...," "How to change...," "How to succeed with...," "How to enjoy...," "How to flourish with...," etc. Note the different perspectives that occur with each word substitution.

Who, What, Where, When, and Why. This method asks the questions that force you to look at a problem in a different way. First, you write a problem statement. You then attempt to answer the following questions about the problem: Why? Who? What? Where? When? Now restate the problem. See if answering these questions hasn't given you new insights.

Needs, Obstacles, and Constraints. This method forces you to look at a problem in a different way. You begin by writing a problem statement. Then you non-evaluatively list your needs; that is, what you want achieve or gain. Next, you list the obstacles or things in your way tha need to be overcome. Finally, you list the constraints—things you mus accept or cope with. All this will change your perspective on the problem.

Weaknesses of Quick-Fix Solutions. This method asks you to list four quick-fix solutions and the weaknesses of each. Now rewrite the problem statement based on what has been learned from the analyses of the quick fixes.

Targeted Analogies and Metaphors Based on the Problem's Essence. The mere mention of a problem can generate myriad thoughts and pictures in your mind that are hard to avoid and thus spoil creativity. Here's a method that should help you put these thoughts out of your mind as you consider the situation.

In the first step, deal only with an action verb that captures the essence of the problem. For example, the "essence" or action verb of an auto jack is lifting things; the wheelbarrow is transporting things; walking on water is floating things or freezing water.

In the second step, generate examples of the problem's essence as metaphors and analogies from the plant and animal world; from industry and government; from various professions; from other countries; from ethnic and religious groups; from the historical past; from mythical and exotic world places, and so forth.

In the third step, choose one interesting example and list detailed characteristics and properties of the example. In the fourth step, force combinations between these characteristics to provide exotic, bizarre ideas.

Finally, improve and develop each bizarre idea into realistic, sensible, workable problem statements. One way to do this is to non-evaluatively list each characteristic, property, nuance, and free association as you consider the bizarre idea. Force combinations between these and the problem. Analogies and metaphors like these can get you thinking along new lines and new mind funnels so you will wind up in new places.

Source of Reference:
Edward Glassman, The Creativity Factor: Unlocking the Potential of Your Team , Pfeiffer and Company. You can obtain this fine book here

You can download excellent powerpoint slides on Marketing Strategy and Marketing Management HERE.

You can download powerpoint slide on creative thinking and marketing management here.