Here’s an illustration of creativity in action. Probortunity. Have you ever heard this word before? Neither have we, until we stumbled upon the British web site of brainstorming as we were gathering information on creative thinking techniques. Probortunity is the merging of two words: problem + opportunity. The people who coined the word say that people usually are unable to distinguish a problem and opportunity, and since there’s a negative connotation to the word “problem”, they created “probortunity.” It can be a challenge, question, mystery, concern, problem, puzzle, difficulty or opportunity. So it encompasses what you want to improve or change for the better. Memory Improvement through creative thinking with the SCAMPER technique – expanding your cognitive horizons.
The “Scamper” technique is based on the concept of probortunity. To understand it, you dissect each letter’s corresponding action: “s” for substitute, “c” for combine, “a” for adapt, “m” for modify, “p” for put to other purposes, “e” for eliminate, and “r” for reverse or rearrange. In summary, the Scamper technique entails examining a problem or “probortunity” and brainstorming ways to substitute elements for enhanced efficiency. The subsequent phase involves combining elements to seek potential solutions. Afterward, you adapt, modify, repurpose, eliminate, and reconfigure your product or process. Explore the world of Memory Improvement through the innovative SCAMPER method to enhance your cognitive prowess.
This is another creative thinking technique. Creative thinking proponents and organizations have endorsed the concept of Random Words. They’ve developed software tools, like random word generators. The Random Words technique stimulates your mind by creating new ideas and concepts and lies at the core of brainstorming. For people in advertising, it is an especially effective technique for coming up with fresh marketing slogans and brand names. For people who need multiple user names and passwords, Random Words can be a useful tool.
The way we learned it in school, making an analogy is comparing a situation or product to something else. The phrase “is like” is therefore essential in this creative thinking technique. Analogies enable us to ponder our individual probortunities and discover solutions through comparisons we hadn’t considered previously. The first step is to think of an analogy: what does our situation (or product or service) remind us of? What other areas have situations similar to mine? Who else experiences this situation but does not possess the same expertise?
Step 1 – create an analogy – running a business is like managing a theatre production. Step 2-use this analogy as a stimulus to obtain bridging ideas. One of these ideas may just turn out to be a solution to the problem. Step 3 take one bridging idea and complete the thought process: Running a business is like managing a theatre production. A theatre production is split into two halves. Do we therefore need to split our sales team into two groups a pre-sales and an after-sales team? As per Brainstorming Co UK, numerous analogies can stimulate your creativity, opening paths to innovative solutions.
Other Creative Thinking Techniques
There are numerous techniques you can adopt to see which one works best for you or your group such as False Rules, Escape, Challenge, Random Picture, Wishful Thinking, etc. Which will discuss each of these techniques with examples. In Chapter Fifteen, we’ve put together worksheets containing a few creative thinking techniques that you may want to try out.
Blockers to Creative Thinking
Take it from Robert Allen (The Mind Workout Book, 2003). “The only way to be creative is to believe that you are creative”, and this belief should set you on the right course. Logic dictates that the more you think you’re creative, the more creative you become. Always hold on to your ideas, Allen says, even those you think are bad; you’ll never know when they’re actually good ideas in disguise.
After spending four years in university and then a few more years on their first job, people tend work their analytical thinking skills more than their creative thinking (unless they are employed in places that put emphasis on creative thinking such as publishing, advertising or the arts). Individuals who work in environments that demand analytical thinking tend to fall in a pattern where their creativity lags behind. Blockers to creative thinking occur and they may or may not be aware of them, and hence prevent the growth of new ideas. Unleash the power of Memory Improvement with SCAMPER, a creative approach to boost your cognitive abilities.
Some blockers to creative thinking include:
- Fear and self-doubt – wasn’t there a saying once that said “fear is our greatest enemy?” Fear is the biggest blocker to creative thinking. We dare not voice our opinion for fear of being ridiculed or rejected, or we don’t speak up because we think our ideas are corny.
- “There’s only one correct answer” – this stubbornness turns off the flow of creative juices. This attitude can be changed by practicing some of the creative thinking techniques mentioned earlier.
- Going with the status quo- we would rather conform or stay on the beaten path so as not to disrupt the peace and spirit of the team. This is also an offshoot of blocker 1, fear. We feel safer in a sea of sameness, rather than in the field of battle.
- Passing on judgment too quickly-sometimes, out of habit, we become too jaded in our views and opinions, incapable of seeing a positive aspect or two about ideas or alternatives that are presented to us.
By being receptive to new ideas after we’ve applied creative thinking techniques, we train our minds to tap our hidden creativity and arrive at solutions we never thought possible. If you read the stories of cancer patients, for example, many of them have turned their disease into an opportunity to create projects that are important to them. Their cancer diagnosis put their minds on overdrive until they found an activity or a mission that fulfilled them, hence taking their minds and worries off their cancer, and instead channeling their efforts towards more meaningful endeavors. Elevate your memory and creativity with the Memory Improvement SCAMPER method, unlocking your full potential.