This is the second in a series on a creativity exercise called SCAMMPERR, an acronym that stands for substitute, combine, adapt, magnify, modify, put it to other uses, eliminate, rearrange, reverse. We covered substitute in our initial post, now let’s get on to combine.
Creativity in new products and services often comes from combining things that may have been previously unrelated. Gutenberg’s printing press, for example, combined a wine press and a coin punch. Once upon a time you went to the grocery store, the gas station and a fast-food restaurant. Then, someone had the idea that you could combine those into a single location. Or, there is the optical lens company that thought to combine their technology that darkens as the light gets brighter with window glass.
When thinking through a problem and considering how to combine disparate elements, here are some questions to ask:
- What ideas, processes, or parts can be combined?
- What purposes or objectives can be combined?
- Can I combine or merge it with other objects, processes or ideas?
- What can be combined to maximize the number of uses?
- How could you combine talent and resources to create a new approach to this product?
- What materials could be combined?
Have you creatively combined anything? Next time, we’ll discuss Adapt.