Wednesday, July 25, 2007

SCAMPER - creativity toolbox

SCAMPER - seven tools to being creative

SCAMPER is a creativity toolbox that you can use to generate more creative ideas on demand. Alex Osborne’s book, “Applied Imagination” emphasized the use of questions to spur ideas. Bob Eberle rearranged the questions to spell the word SCAMPER.

SCAMPER is an acronym for a series of questions to help you generate many ideas more quickly. Ask each question and force yourself to generate at least one answer for each of the elements in SCAMPER. When you are generating ideas remember that no idea is a bad idea. In the later stages of creative problem solving you will test, filter and strengthen the creative ideas. At this stage just generate ideas.

To instantly be more creative use the SCAMPER toolbox. Use SCAMPER to generate creative ideas for a new product or service. Use SCAMPER to generate ideas to change a process. Use SCAMPER to find solutions to a problem.
Here is how it works. For each element in SCAMPER ask the question, “What might I xxx?”

For example; the S in SCAMPER is for Substitute. So the question you ask is, “What might I substitute?”

The C in SCAMPER is for Combine. So the question you ask is, “What might I combine?”

Substitute one of the components for some other material. Substitute one of the steps in the process. Substitute a person on the team.

Combine two or more concepts that do not normally go together. What can you combine that hasn’t normally been combined? Red and blue to make purple.

Adapt a product for a different use. Adapt a concept in a different way. Adapt your position in a changing market.

Modify - Minimize/Maximize:
How can you modify the product physically? Stretch, bend, fold or shrink it. Make it bigger. Make it smaller.

Put to another use:
If this dog won’t hunt, how can you use this dog in another way. Everything has more that one use.

Erase - eliminate:
Take out the parts that don't add value. Erase a step in the process. Eliminate some part of the product. What can you remove?

Reverse - rearrange:
Turn things around, upside down and backwards. Or maybe change your perspective.

That is the SCAMPER toolbox. Use it to generate creative ideas.

For more ideas on creative problem solving.

George Torok
Creative Problem Solving
Creative Facilitator

What can you….?

Put to another use

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