Adapt It For Creativity



This is the third post in a series on a creativity exercise called SCAMMPERR, an acronym that stands for substitute, combine, adapt, magnify, modify, put it to other uses, eliminate, rearrange, reverse. We’ve covered substitute and combine, now let’s move on to adapt.

In order to be an original thinker, you must first know about the ideas of others. Sometimes you can pick up an idea from one arena and adapt it to work in another. So, you start trying to adapt by first asking:

– What have others done?

– How would a scientist, preacher, artist, criminal or professional athlete approach this problem?

– Can I adapt something from nature?

– How would a dinosaur, a bird or an insect handle this?

– Are there specific objects in nature for which there is an analogy? For instance, my topic is like an avalanche because…

In 1956 a pair of brothers who sold water pumps for farm use took their knowledge of pumps to design a special whirlpool bath to treat their cousin’s arthritis. The product didn’t take off until they incorporated the whirlpool action into luxury bath tubs. You might have heard of the brothers Jacuzzi.

Have you ever adapted something to solve a problem? Tell us about it.


Part 1 of the series – SCAMMPERR For Creativity

Part 2 of the series – Combine It For Creativity









About the Author

Harry Hoover
Harry Hoover is a partner in My Creative Team, the agency that makes Fortune 1000 clients look good. His communications career spans 35 years and runs the gamut from print and broadcast journalism, government and corporate communications to advertising and public relations agencies. He is the author of Born Creative: Free Your Mind, Free Yourself and Moving to Charlotte: The Un-Tourist Guide.

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