thinkpak creative brainstorming exercisesThe trouble with brainstorming when you are trying to thing of new ideas is that you tend to get stuck in your old way of doing things and can end up with predictable results. The Thinkpak brainstorming card deck by Michael Michalko, who also wrote the excellent book Cracking Creativity aims to help you break out of your normal way of thinking.

The card Deck works on the SCAMPER principle
S = substitute
C = combine
A = Adapt
M = modify or magnify
P = put it to another use
E = eliminate
R = reverse or rearrange

Start brainstorming ideas by first picking a subject or object to work with

For example take something simple like a metal spoon then shuffle the cards and pick one. I drew a “modify” card which asks me – how can you make your subject more attractive and appealing, so maybe the spoon could be painted like the metal work you get on barges, or perhaps it could be musical for kids to persuade them to eat certain foods. The card also asks how about a twist and what can you do differently, so maybe it could be a two ended spoon with a desert spoon one end and tea spoon the other. Maybe the spoon could literally have a twist or curve that it makes it easier to eat.

When you have come up with as many ideas as you can using the current card, choose another one and continue the process. Hopefully the cards will stimulate ideas that you may otherwise not have thought of.

The Creative Thinking Website of Michael Michalko also has more creative exercises you might want to try out