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Stimulating Creativity with SCAMPER ...

To create a new product, service, process, method or model, try applying "SCAMPER" to an old one. SCAMPER is an acronym for Substitute; Combine; Adapt; Modify, Minimize, Magnify; Put to Another Use; Eliminate, Elaborate; Rearrange, Reverse ...

  1. Substitute ... What can you substitute? What can be used instead? Who else instead? What other ingredients? Other material? Other process? Other power? Other place? Other approach? Other sounds? Other forces? ... "Instead of ... I can ..."
  2. Combine ... What can you combine or bring together somehow? How about a blend, an alloy, an assortment, an ensemble? Combine units? Combine purposes? Combine appeals? Combine ideas? ... "I can bring together ... and ... to ..."
  3. Adapt ... What can you adapt for use as a solution? What else is like this? What other idea does this suggest? Does past offer a parallel? What could I copy? Who could I emulate? ... "I can adapt ... in this way ... to ..."
  4. Modify, Minimize, Magnify ... Can you change the item in some way? Change meaning, color, motion, sound, smell, form, shape? Other changes? ... Also: 'Minify': What can you remove? Smaller? Condensed? Miniature? Lower? Shorter? Lighter? Omit? Streamline? Split up? Understate? ... Also: Magnify: What can you add? More time? Greater frequency? Stronger? Higher? Longer? Thicker? Extra value? Plus ingredient? Duplicate? Multiply? Exaggerate? ... "I can modify/minimize/magnify.. in this way ... to .."
  5. Put to Another Use ... How can you put the thing to different or other uses? New ways to use as is? Other uses if it is modified? ... "I can reuse ... in this way ... by ..."
  6. Eliminate, elaborate ... What can you eliminate? Remove something? Eliminate waste? Reduce time? Reduce effort? Cut costs? ... "I can eliminate ... by ..."
  7. Rearrange, reverse ... What can be rearranged in some way? Interchange components? Other pattern? Other layout? Other sequence? Transpose cause and effect? Change pace? Change schedule? ... "I can rearrange ... like this ... such that ..."

[Attribution: Robert Eberle, Alex Osborn]


Phases of Innovation ...

Innovation: something new and better
Something: product, service, process, method, position, solution, paradigm
New: did not exist before in our market space
Better: superior value compared to the competition

Creativity can exist in vacuum, innovation cannot.

  1. Preparation ... focus on the problem or opportunity, and who it affects
  2. Exploration ... identify current solutions, alternatives, and substitutes
  3. Stimulation ... use creativity techniques to trigger new ideas, concepts, and solutions
  4. Incubation ... give the new ideas some time and thought
  5. Illumination ... identify new ideas, concepts, and solutions
  6. Selection ... establish and use clear criteria for selecting the "best" concept
  7. Planning ... decide how to implement the concept
  8. Implementation ... put the plan and concept to work
  9. Evaluation ... determine if the new concept is working
  10. Iteration ... apply incremental improvement to the concept, or start over


Jim Jindrick

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