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« HIT* (or miss) Thinking
A few years ago, in a movie on the
Claus Von Bulow trial, I saw the defense team play basketball while
each player wore a Tee-shirt emblazoned with a word or two that
explained an aspect of the case.
Shooting hoops, the lawyers would
see the buzz-words flash by their mind's eye in intriguing
combinations until someone suddenly AHA's a needed solution.
HIT - * Heuristic Ideation
Technique - is a great way to quickly spit out avenues for further
development. It can be also used as a stand-alone technique.
Heurism is a Greek word that means
self-discovery and the word is most often seen in the phrase:
Eureka! Which translates as: I have found!
HIT involves playing with ideas
until they assemble themselves into creative new ways and provoke a
leap in understanding. It takes the randomness
out creativity by recognizing it to be work - the 2% inspiration
culled from the 98% perspiration.
- Choose two items of interest that already
exist (For example - if I want to create novelties, I might select
a cup with a floral pattern, and a certain greeting card
- Make a list of each of their components. In my
example - the cup list might include things like: Its
material, whether a coffee, tea or soup cup, the shape, the inside
or outside color, etc.. Greeting card components can include:
The event, the card stock, its pattern, color, texture,
- Construct a grid where the Rows list all the
components of one idea and the Columns list all the components of
the other. Each cell thus holds a combination of elements from
- Cross out the cells that correspond to
existing or silly ideas - e.g. Coffee cup with floral
design or Card stock teabag.
- Highlight cells that have potential for
further creative development - e.g. Soup-sized mugd with
- Develop your highlighted cells into workable
HIT ideas by using other tools from the TOOL BOX.
- Identify cells that are thought provokingly
worthy of being assembled in other HITs.
- New ideas are usually combinations of
elements of existing ideas;
- The nucleus of many new ideas
is often captured by a two-element combination;
- Combinations of dissimilar items (like 'chalk
and cheese') will work better than combinations of similar items
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