List of Techniques to Generate Creative Ideas

6 Different Approaches to generate ideas

1. Extract the abstract:

Simplify to a skeleton. Pay attention to details and classify.

2. Observe the features:

Use SCAMPER on Attributes / Components / Processing-steps.

3. Visualize through others:

Use peripheral vision. Change Focus / Angle / Entry-point.

4. Look outside boundaries:

Challenge rules, assumptions, constraints, logic. Ask what-if.

5. Keep eyes wide open:

Look for inspiration. Apply random-stimulus, import / export.

6. Scan through alternatives:

Consciously generate ideas. 5W1H, Mindmap, Brainstorm.

Think like a person from another profession.

Approach a problem like a child or person from a different field. Imagine how they would look at the problem. Generate ideas by thinking in a different point-of-view.

Engineer – Add, Subtract, Combine, Modify

Salesman – Exaggerate, Magnify, Maximize

Driver – Find alternative routes, directions, shortcuts

Lawyer – Break rules, Challenge logic, Reverse assumptions

Player – Delay judgment, ignore mistakes till end

Artist – Random association, Inspiration from nature

List of other thinking tools:

BAR – Bigger Added, Remove/Replace

CAMPER – Consequences-Assumptions-Main Points, Prejudice-Evidence,Relevance

C&C – Compare and Contrast

C&S – Consequence and sequel

Directed Thinking – Consider All Factors; Why yes? Why no? Why Wait? What else? Way to go?

FIP – First Important Priority

OPV – Other People’s Point Of View

PCD – Possibilities-Consequences-Decision

PMI – Plus Minus and Interesting

POOCH -Problem-Options-Outcomes-Choices

Reversal – State the problem, reverse the problem, ask why? Brainstorm, seek the solution

SCAMPER – Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify (magnify/minimise),Put to other use, Eliminate, Remove/reverse.

SCUMPS – Size, colour, use, materials, parts, shape

SWOT – Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats


Creativity can be taught

Everyone can be creative knowing these tools/tips.

pdf Creativity Tools


Creativity can be taught.

Anyone can create and innovate.

Creativity is about generating new ideas.

Innovation is about implementing them.

Brainstorming: Generate ideas without constraints. Evaluate them later.

Mindmap:  Utilize memory / association power of brain. Instantly find related words on any topic. Use the 5W and 1H questions for getting started.


Tools for generating new ideas:

Juxtaposition: Bring two things together – Related or Unrelated – Natural or forced – Conscious or Random

Out-of-the-box: Think out of boundary / assumption / logic / usefulness

Change: Shape / Size / Color / Approach / Order / Perspective / Entry-point / Application-area

Reverse / Eliminate / Separate / Copy / Combine: Function / Logic

More Verbs for ideas generation: Remember the basic operators and the 6 universal questions (5W and 1H).