Put It To Other Uses For Creativity



Humans have been doing it for years: taking one thing and putting it to another use. George Washington Carver, for instance, took the lowly peanut and re-purposed it into 300 other products. Consider 3M, which was trying to develop an adhesive that was not very sticky for use on bulletin boards. That never caught on, but a 3M chemist had the insight to use it on note paper and Post-Its were born.

What else could you do with your products and services? To answer this question, you must first turn off preconceived notions and look at the problem afresh, as a 12-year-old might.

Could it do more things, as does the Swiss Army Knife? Can you modify it some way to fit a new use?

Can you find other functions, purposes or relationships? Could you spin it off into something new?

Is anything being wasted in your process? Could that be put to some use?

One company received paper that was too thick for the toilet paper it manufactured and they didn’t want to waste it. They asked, “what else can we do with this?” And the paper towel was born. Goodyear Tire developed a pollution-free furnace that burns discarded tires, converting them to energy.

How could your product or service be used in a different market, country or field?

What’s the most unusual, practical or silliest new use you can think of?

Have you ever creatively put something to another use? Tell us about it.


Part 1 of the series – SCAMMPERR For Creativity

Part 2 of the series – Combine It For Creativity

Part 3 of the series – Adapt It For Creativity

Part 4 of the series – Magnify It For Creativity

Part 5 of the series – Modify 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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