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Creativity with a system

Today I would like to talk about three good creativity methods (no, we all know brainstorming already) that help break thinking barriers. These techniques are really useful here and there.


The semantic intuition makes you go from the end to the start. Words related to each other are combined in an unusual way until you have a name for a product that does not exist yet. Once you have the new product name, it is time to think about what this product can actually be and how it can look like.

This picture gives you an example of a new product for the kitchen area (left: food, right: kitchen devices):

semantic intuition


The US-American Alex Osborn invented a checklist with many questions that make you think very thoroughly and in detail about an existing product. This shall lead to ideas for new products.

Here you see a short excerpt of questions for a new product coming from the computer mouse:

osborn's checklist

The Osborn’s Checklist contains many more questions. You can read more about it here.


The Disney method goes back to late Mr. Walt Disney. A Walt Disney biography written by Robert B. Dilts speaks about three characteristics of Mr. Disney: the dreamer, the realist and the critic. The Disney method makes you see a problem or a product from different perspectives.

1. How would a dreamer (enthusiastic, creative) think about this? 2. How would a realist (analytic, practical) think about this? 3. How would a critic (looking for error sources, critical) think about this? 4. To make this creativity method work in practice, you need to add a fourth person or a fourth point of view: the neutral observer.

You can work with the Disney method in a group or – when you have some imagination and acting skills – as a single person.


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