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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

How to Think Like a Fool #17: Connect the Unrelated

IMAGINE: Connect the Unrelated
If you take two or more concepts, words, objects, or even people, and find different ways to put them together, the Frankenstein monster that results may come to life, cure what ails you, solve all your problems, and give you a back massage. Or not. Or it could give something you would have never imagined before.

Some tips for successful imaginary grafting include not spending time looking for things that will fit together easily. The randomness of connecting some of the first things you see brings those rare thoughts from outside your comfort zone.

It may take a lot of work/play/imagining to make the amalgamations produce anything useful, so it's worth pushing through that feeling of pointlessness.

I find that when working in this way, I get flashes of ideas that do solve the problem (or another problem), even if they don't involve the original objects or concepts I'm connecting. I write these ideas down, because who cares if they don't follow the rules of the connection game I'm playing—the bigger game is to solve the problem, no matter where the ideas come from or how they are conceived.

Think: How can I connect these? What do they have in common? Where do they fit? What can they do together that they could not do separately?

Tomorrow: How to Think Like a Fool #18: Transform Objects

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1 comment:

Teresa Thomas-Carroll said...

FYI: Thought you'd like to know that I pointed out your blog post as a good example of how to problem solve creatively by connecting two seemingly different factors. (on Twitter @superconnector and Connection Concierge page on Facebook). Onward and upward!