It’s not often you learn from a TV Cop show. The one thing about the genre, is that there’ve been so many, that anything that gets made these days has to have a highly original angle. The Beeb’s latest effort is New Tricks. About retired old policeman forming a team to solve ancient unsolved mysteries. Typically one of them knows something about the background to the case, and between them they all re-visit and solve.
I’m not keen on watching telly when I should be doing other things, but there are times when you just have to veg. And on one such occasion I came across this show, and a little gem it proved to be. The first episode I discovered, saw the oldies forced onto a creative thinking course.
The techique they were trying to master was known as “scamper”. And seems a classic about how to think up new uses or new methods of doing things. A Mnemonic, each word describes a thought process that can help ID a new angle:
S – Substitute – components, materials, people
C – Combine – mix, combine with other assemblies or services, integrate
A – Adapt – alter, change function, use part of another element
M – Modify – increase or reduce in scale, change shape, modify attributes (e.g. colour)
P – Put to another use
E – Eliminate – remove elements, simplify, reduce to core functionality
R – Reverse – turn inside out or upside down.
A quick tap into Google throws up loads more on this, including info from Mindtools. Worth trying next time you need a new angle.