Creative Simplification


We rarely think of a function of creativity as simplification, but it's a useful trait. How do we do it? Seek streamlining of processes, procedures, ways of doing things...Here's one simple technique from Dr. Edward DeBono, inventor of Lateral Thinking.

Look around and choose 3 items you can see- chandelier, calculator, fan. Now pick any 3 other words randomly (Notebook, CD, external harddrive...) and see if you can use one of the words in the second set of 3 to simplify one of the first words.

So, recognizing that some ideas come to us fully formed (rarely) and that some need further development, here are some possible ideas- 

  •  the spiral binding on the notebook makes me think of a fan moving around the ceiling to cover a wider area
  • external harddrive makes me think that a calculator could store certain regular expenditures so we don't have to start from the beginning each time
  • CD is writable on one side (not on the other) so maybe a chandelier crystals can reflect iridescence in one light and have a strobe or dimmer effect from another perspective

You just look for connection between any of the elements and remembering the focus is to simplify, then anything is fair game, whether far-fetched or not.

Your turn- practice with the items above or substitute one set and try to find simplifications, or just start with another set of lists, keeping them random. Have fun and be aware it's also serious fun with real potential outcomes of value!