Scamper to Creativity

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.

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