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Scamper - Creativity tools from MindTools Improving Products and Services This tool can help you develop new products and services. © iStockphoto/aladin66 It can often be difficult to come up with new ideas when you're trying to develop or improve a product or service. This is where creative brainstorming techniques like SCAMPER can help. We'll look at SCAMPER in this article. About the Tool SCAMPER is a mnemonic that stands for: Substitute.Combine.Adapt.Modify.Put to another use.Eliminate.Reverse. You use the tool by asking questions about existing products, using each of the seven prompts above. Alex Osborn, credited by many as the originator of brainstorming, originally came up with many of the questions used in the technique. Note: Remember that the word "products" doesn't only refer to physical goods. How to Use the Tool SCAMPER is really easy to use. First, take an existing product or service. Then, ask questions about the product you identified, using the mnemonic to guide you. Finally, look at the answers that you came up with.

Jumpstart storytelling - creating the conditions for collaboration Posted by Shawn Callahan - April 1, 2008Filed in Business storytelling, Changing behaviour, Collaboration When we start on a major change project we will often run a number of workshops with the leadership team to really get them to own and define the project. A big part of this activity is getting this group to collaborate and work as a team. In the past we have run sociometry exercises, anecdote circles and future backwards activities to get this group to gel. But I have a much better way now thanks to Seth Kahan’s jumpstart storytelling technique. How to run a jumpstart storytelling session Divide the participants into groups of 6Ask everyone to provide a concrete and specific example in response to a story eliciting question that is related to the objective of the workshop or project. The energy goes through the roof with this technique and people get to hear stories they have never heard before.

DO IT - A Simple Creativity Process - Creativity Techniques from MindTools A Simple Process for Creativity Follow this 4-step process. © iStockphoto/3dbrained DO IT is a process for creativity. Techniques outlined earlier in this chapter focus on specific aspects of creative thinking. DO IT bundles them together, and introduces formal methods of problem definition and evaluation. These help you to get the best out of the creativity techniques. DO IT is an acronym that stands for: D – Define problem.O – Open mind and apply creative techniques.I – Identify best solution.T – Transform. These stages are explained in more detail below: 1. This section concentrates on analyzing the problem to ensure that the correct question is being asked. Check that you are tackling the problem, not the symptoms of the problem. 2. Once you know the problem that you want to solve, you are ready to start generating possible solutions. At this stage of DO IT we are not interested in evaluating ideas. 3. Only at this stage do you select the best of the ideas you have generated. 4. Key Points

River of Life Brief Description: River of life is a visual narrative method that helps people tell stories of the past, present and future. Individuals can use this method to introduce themselves in a fun and descriptive way; a group can use it to understand and reflect on the past and imagine the future of a project; and it can be used to build a shared view compiled of different and perhaps differing perspectives. When to use: Personal introductions.Project review and reflection.Planning for the future.Reconciling different perceptions of a project, situation or issue. How to use: For individual introductions:Introduce the method if participants are not yet familiar with it. Break into small groups and ask people to think about the past, present and future of the project or issue you are addressing.Ask them to draw images, or find images in magazines that represent key milestones from the past, present and those they would envision for the future. Tips and Lessons Learnt Examples & Stories Page Authors

SWOT analysis A SWOT analysis, with its four elements in a 2×2 matrix. A SWOT analysis (alternatively SWOT matrix) is a structured planning method used to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats involved in a project or in a business venture. A SWOT analysis can be carried out for a product, place, industry or person. It involves specifying the objective of the business venture or project and identifying the internal and external factors that are favorable and unfavorable to achieve that objective. Strengths: characteristics of the business or project that give it an advantage over others.Weaknesses: characteristics that place the business or project at a disadvantage relative to others.Opportunities: elements that the project could exploit to its advantage.Threats: elements in the environment that could cause trouble for the business or project. Identification of SWOTs is important because they can inform later steps in planning to achieve the objective. Use[edit] Criticism[edit]

Step by step guide to brainstorming By Jeffrey Baumgartner Preface: Brainstorming Is Not an Effective Creativity Tool Before you read the article below, there is one thing you should know. The article below was first written in 1997. Meanwhile, I leave the original text of the Step by Step Guide to Brainstorming below for archival purposes. The Step by Step Guide to Brainstorming Brainstorming can be an effective way to generate lots of ideas on a specific issue and then determine which idea – or ideas – is the best solution. A brainstorming session requires a facilitator, a brainstorming space and something on which to write ideas, such as a white-board a flip chart or software tool. Brainstorming works best with a varied group of people. There are numerous approaches to brainstorming, but the traditional approach is generally the most effective because it is the most energetic and openly collaborative, allowing participants to build on each others' ideas. Step by Step Define your problem or issue as a creative challenge.

Brainstorming What this handout is about This handout discusses techniques that will help you start writing a paper and continue writing through the challenges of the revising process. Brainstorming can help you choose a topic, develop an approach to a topic, or deepen your understanding of the topic’s potential. Introduction If you consciously take advantage of your natural thinking processes by gathering your brain’s energies into a “storm,” you can transform these energies into written words or diagrams that will lead to lively, vibrant writing. Whether you are starting with too much information or not enough, brainstorming can help you to put a new writing task in motion or revive a project that hasn’t reached completion. When you’ve got nothing: You might need a storm to approach when you feel “blank” about the topic, devoid of inspiration, full of anxiety about the topic, or just too tired to craft an orderly outline. Brainstorming techniques Freewriting Break down the topic into levels Cubing

Six Strategies for Differentiated Instruction in Project-Based Learning Project-based learning (PBL) naturally lends itself to differentiated instruction. By design, it is student-centered, student-driven, and gives space for teachers to meet the needs of students in a variety of ways. PBL can allow for effective differentiation in assessment as well as daily management and instruction. PBL experts will tell you this, but I often hear teachers ask for real examples, specifics to help them contextualize what it "looks like" in the classroom. 1. We all know that heterogeneous grouping works, but sometimes homogenous grouping can be an effective way to differentiate in a project. 2. Reflection is an essential component of PBL. 3. This is probably one of my favorites. 4. Another essential component of PBL is student voice and choice, both in terms of what students produce and how they use their time. 5. Formative assessments can look the same for all students. 6. Teamwork and collaboration occur regularly in a PBL project.

Creative Problem Solving Basics: the technique Preface I wrote this article on creative problem solving (CPS) in 2010. However, not long after writing it, a growing unhappiness with the method as a creativity technique caused me to analyse the CPS methodology in detail, identify its flaws and devise a better approach. Nevertheless, a large number of creativity consultants and others swear by CPS. Creative Problem Solving (CPS) Basics Creative ideas do not suddenly appear in people's minds for no apparent reason. Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Edison and other creative geniuses have always worked in the same way. This approach has been formalised as Creative Problem Solving (CPS). Although creative problem solving has been around as long as humans have been thinking creatively and solving problems, it was first formalised as a process by Alex Osborn, who invented traditional brainstorming, and Sidney Parnes. However, there are numerous different approaches to CPS. CPS Steps Let us look at each step more carefully. 1. Do It!

Your Future Depends on Your Creative Mind Your future, and your children's future, depends on your being able to add value where computer software cannot. This means that you and your children need to be creative thinkers and, even more importantly, recognise the potential value of creative ideas. The biggest threat to your job and your working future is not outsourcing to China or India. It is not reckless bankers. It is not even idiot politicians (though they come close!) Rather, the biggest threat is innovative new technologies that can do ever more of the tasks that people like you do – but at significantly less cost. A Brief History of Technological Advancement For the past 200 years, technology has been replacing jobs. Of course, technology also improved the efficiency of factories. As long as productivity generally grows along with technological development, this works just fine. To put it in a nutshell, technology has been replacing jobs relentlessly for two centuries. Let us face facts: this is not going to happen.