Steal from a thesaurus

Many great inventions are “combinatorial creativity”, in other words, stealing solutions from one world and applying them to another. Think of the Gutenberg – the inventor of printing – borrowing the screw-press from the wine industry and using it to force metal type down onto paper.

This technique uses a thesaurus as a prop. Identify the thing you are trying to do, then find synonyms for it (words which have similar meanings). Use these synonyms as clues to find other people who may have solved similar problems. Then steal – or combine – to find a new solution to your problem.

Download this worksheet – and have a look at this example of how you could use this technique to find new ideas for a training scheme.