Random images or words are the basic elements for creativity boosting. Regardless which technique is used, these are the core elements within every single creativity methodology. Since lateral thinking promotion is the goal, any given element is good enough to achieve it. “The Catalogue” technique aims it by helping to randomly select words or images which are next used as seeds for idea generation. You have a link below where a similar game is proposed, which achieves same result as “The Catalogue” technique by means of random word selection.
So, how does this tool work? Let’s see an example.
1) Set the challenge to be solved. An example. Imagine you own a headhunting consulting business. Your challenge may be “how can I offer new services to my clients, both candidates and company managers?”
2) Pick up a catalogue where both images and words are available. A supermarket brochure may be a good choice, even a magazine, or anything where you can get inspiration from. A valid choice is shown below.
3) Choose one word, one image, both of them, as you prefer. They are the key elements to make you think of your challenge and imagine new perspectives which finally lead to creative solutions. Then you must describe all attributes that come to your mind related to the elements that have been chosen.
4) From the attribute list, concentrate on the challenge and try to solve it. Now it’s the time to open up you creative skills. Following our example, let us choose the juice bricks at the right bottom of the brochure. They are juicy, presumably fresh, keep their properties for long time if stored in the fridge. Now let’s link these attributes with our headhunting challenge…
What if our candidates were like an opened juice brick? How to keep them fresh? How to maintain their properties? How about organizing a monthly interview with company managers we offer our services to? It would be a way to keep the candidates in the loop, regardless real necessity by the managers. The candidates would be interviewed and so would show their skills to managers. In some cases managers may be impressed and keep a fast way at hand to rapidly count -if necessary- on given people whose skill are specially interesting.
And what may happen if our candidates were the brick themselves? Robust and able to keep the content in good conditions? Able to support several bricks piled up? How about thinking of providing new services by taking advantage of candidates’ relevant skills? Interim management? Brand new consultant services? Candidate’s part-time job by providing support to given companies which were interested in short term collaborations? It would simultaneously enrich candidates by enabling them to share their knowledge in distinct challenges, and also would provide good service to company managers who would be temporarily supported by specialized professionals.
Just two examples of what this simple method can provide. As usual, the appropriateness of the creative ideas is to be evaluated according to the given challenge, but the power of the method for potential idea generation is obvious.
Hail to the creativity!