Got stuck? 


Hello.
If you’ve landed on this page, chances are, you are holding the Creative Shower get-unstuck dice in your hands (and if not, you can still consider yourself lucky and just read on).
We hope you’ve been having fun with it and that it’s proven to be useful in helping you solve your challenges. Or at least in getting past the stuck point.

On this page you can find the information from the box plus some additional information on each technique, including examples that should help you to better understand and apply the hacks.

And, remember, if in need of some extra inspiration, you can always reach out to us

The dice

Some good news

Good news #1
All human beings are naturally creative.

Bad news
Too much structure and fear of failure lock our minds in a box.

Good news #2
There are hacks that can get you unstuck.

Good news #3
Six of these hacks are on the Creative Shower dice.

How to play

1.  Think of a business problem or challenge you are facing. 2.  Roll the dice. 3.  Apply the dice technique for 10 minutes. 4.  For more information and examples read on below.


1.  Think of a business problem or challenge you are facing.
2.  Roll the dice.
3.  Apply the dice technique for 10 minutes.
4.  For more information and examples read on below.


The hacks

Connect & Combine

Combine your challenge with a random noun.
e.g. What would happen if you combine ‘How to grow sales in telecommunications’, with a ‘hairdryer/or a dog/or a bike’?


This technique is extremely useful when you are in need of fresh ideas or a creative twist to your solution. The idea behind the hack is that, essentially, you need to be able to rearrange the things you know and the resources you have in order to come up with brand-new ideas.

 Tina Seelig has a great short explanation of Connect-and-combine, which you can see in this video. Basically, what she says is that if you combine your existing know-how with another perspective, your breadth of knowledge expands exponentially. And one easy way to do that is by using random objects and attaching them to your product or challenge.

In case you are having trouble coming up with random words, here is a random-word-generator that you might find useful.

And here are some questions that might help you in your ideation once you’ve picked your word:

  • What would happen if you combined your challenge/product with another product, to create something new?
  •  What if you combined purposes or objectives?
  • What could you combine to maximize the uses of this product (if your challenge is tied to a product)?
  • How could you combine talent and resources to create a new approach to your challenge/product? 

Another great example is combining ideas from different domains that are unrelated at a first glance. Think of Salvador Dali who integrated Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity into his masterpiece Nature Morte Vivante; or Paul Klee who combined the influences of cubism, children’s drawings, and primitive art to come to his own unique artistic style. To learn more, check out this article.

Put to another use

Think of your challenge in a different setting.
e.g. What would happen if instead of looking at ‘telecommunications’, you consider growing sales in another industry – ‘real estate/or a farmer’s market/or tourism’ – and then transfer back the ideas. 


This hack is part of a creative-thinking tool called SCAMPER – which is basically a made-up word, or abbreviation, for a few different techniques. In any case, put-to-another use is a great way to envision your product in a different environment and to allow yourself to discover new directions in your creative thinking process.

Some questions that will help you in your ideation could be:

  • Can you use your product/service somewhere else, perhaps in another industry? Or, could you place your challenge in another industry?
  •  Who else could use your product/service (if there is a product tied to your challenge)
  •  How would your product/service/challenge behave differently in another setting?
  •  Could you recycle the waste from your product to make something new?

 An example that could get your creative juices flowing could be the art of Peddy Mergui, who reimagines fashionable brands as they would exist in the grocery store. Think of iMilk or Nike-branded oranges. Here’s the article for some visual inspiration.

Reverse

Do the exact opposite of your challenge.
e.g. What would happen if you think of all possible ways to reduce your sales? Now use these ideas to inspire innovative solutions. 
 

Reverse thinking requires you to step away from the ‘normal’, logical direction and basically twist things around – be it an element or the entire challenge – and look for opposite ideas. What usually happens is that people find it easier to generate ideas about the reversed challenge because it’s much more fun and somehow takes away all boundaries - people feel free to share their most daring and ‘silly’ thoughts.

Here are some questions that might help you in the process:

  • What would happen if you sequenced things differently? (if you are looking at a process)
  •  What if you try to do the exact opposite of what you're trying to do now?
  • What components could you substitute to change the order of your product/service?
  • What roles could you reverse or swap?
  • How could you reorganize your product/service?

 Once you have reversed your challenge and finished brainstorming ideas, you should now list them and now think in reverse again – this time, to come up with a solution to each ‘negative’ idea. This could help you not only to be a step ahead but also to discover aspects of your challenge (or specific product) that you haven’t thought of until now.

Cyriel Kortleven gives a great example of the reverse hack on his website, which you can check out here. There are also a few videos to get you in the right mood. 

5 Why's

Do the exact opposite of your challenge.
e.g. What would happen if you think of all possible ways to reduce your sales? Now use these ideas to inspire innovative solutions. 
 

Reverse thinking requires you to step away from the ‘normal’, logical direction and basically twist things around – be it an element or the entire challenge – and look for opposite ideas. What usually happens is that people find it easier to generate ideas about the reversed challenge because it’s much more fun and somehow takes away all boundaries - people feel free to share their most daring and ‘silly’ thoughts.

Here are some questions that might help you in the process:

  • What would happen if you sequenced things differently? (if you are looking at a process)
  •  What if you try to do the exact opposite of what you're trying to do now?
  • What components could you substitute to change the order of your product/service?
  • What roles could you reverse or swap?
  • How could you reorganize your product/service?

 Once you have reversed your challenge and finished brainstorming ideas, you should now list them and now think in reverse again – this time, to come up with a solution to each ‘negative’ idea. This could help you not only to be a step ahead but also to discover aspects of your challenge (or specific product) that you haven’t thought of until now.

Cyriel Kortleven gives a great example of the reverse hack on his website, which you can check out here. There are also a few videos to get you in the right mood. 

Brainwriting

Gather a team of outsiders (to your challenge).
Formulate your challenge as a question and stick it on the wall. Every team member silently writes down his/her ideas on post-it notes, sticks them on the wall and shares them with the team. Group the ideas and vote for the best. 
 

Brainwriting is our favourite way to brainstorm. It’s very simple and incredibly effective. And always works wonders. The key point here is that idea generation should exist separate from discussion, or in other words – write first, talk second. In this way, you allow people to think for themselves, unbiased from anyone else, and it is also a good way to defer judgment.   

Keep in mind that people are still likely to come up with the most obvious solutions at first, so emphasize one of the key brainstorming rules: go for quantity. Encourage wild ideas and keep an open mind.

To make the brainwriting session effective:

  • First you need to set the right atmosphere. Pick a cozy room, light up some incense sticks and put some background music, if you wish.
  • Brainstorming is best done when standing up, so you might want to remove most (if not all) chairs.
  • Clear up some space on the wall, tape a big white paper, and make sure you have a variety of colourful post-it notes and markers for everyone.
  • Before you begin, it helps if you write the challenge and stick it to the wall above the white paper, so that everyone can see it up front.
  • To make the session quick and effective, keep the time constraints. Depending on the complexity of the challenge, anything between 5 and 15 minutes is a good call.
  • And, remember – one idea per post-it.

From our experience, the best way to organize this is for everyone to keep their post-its to themselves until the time is up. Then the sharing part begins and people take turn in explaining all their ideas and, along with that, sticking them to the white canvas. One person at a time. Once everyone has shared, cluster the ideas and vote for the one(s) you like best. 

Metaphor

My [challenge] is like [compare to something else] because [come up with reasons].
e.g. Growing sales in telecommunications is like growing a garden because you need the right seeds, fertile soil, consistent care, a certain amount of sunlight, etc. Transfer those solutions to your challenge. 
 

Metaphors are a great tool that can help you discover new ways of looking at your challenge or product; and, more importantly, to see it from a different perspective. You might have already seen the second part of Tina Seelig’s video, where she talks about metaphors. She gives some good examples that visualize this hack. For instance, if you think describe crime as a monster or a virus, you can come up with very different solutions. For instance, if it’s a monster, you would probably think of having more police, or more jails, and keeping the ‘monster’ criminals contained; whereas, if you envision crime as a virus, the direction will probably be more towards social- and health reforms.

In this sense, metaphors can give you a lot of new ideas in dealing with your challenge. So here is how it works.

  • You pick up a metaphor that works for your challenge (or product).
  • Then you list a number of reasons, stating why your challenge can be compared to this.
  • Finally, you make sure you transfer those solutions – or concepts – to your actual challenge.

Basically, metaphors help you unlock a wide array of solutions – a great tool for a broadening your scope before going towards a specific solution.