Some of the best ideas occur by connecting the unconnected – simply making connections where others have not.
There are many examples of innovations that have occurred by seeing, hearing, tasting or feeling something completely unconnected to the original problem or challenge.
Try introducing random stimuli to your idea generation process. Use these stimuli to form new connections and discoveries.
– Pick up a picture. Consider how you can relate it to your situation.
– Take an item. Ask yourself questions such as “how could this item help in addressing the challenge?” or “what attributes of this item could help us solve our challenge?”
– Choose a word from the dictionary or newspaper and look for novel connections between the word and your problem.
– Connect diverse people to combine different perspectives, experiences and talents.
– Ask yourself what if we combined this with that?