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How to


Creative tools > How to

When to use it | How to use it | Example | How it works | See also


When to use it

Use it when defining the problem, to get a clear definition of what you want.

Use when giving ideas, to trigger additional thoughts and ideas.

Use it when you want to nudge thinking towards a solution (as opposed to a more divergent exploration of ideas).



X          Long



    X      Psychological



      X    Group


How to use it

Start problem statements with 'How to...'

When you are writing the initial problem statement, you can start it with 'How to...', thus focusing attention on a solution. Note, however, that this does result in a solution orientation. It is good where the team may well get lost in divergence, but may be too focused for a team who are normally very convergent and judgemental.

Offer ideas as 'How to...'

When you are offering ideas, even wacky ones, consider phrasing them as 'How to' statements. This not only gets you thinking about solutions, it also hooks in other people to contribute further to this thinking.


'How to get children to do homework'

'How to relax'

'How to design a restaurant that will stand out from the competition'

'How to go bananas'

How it works

A problem with many creative sessions is that people get stuck inside their own heads with their own thinking and ideas and do not do enough chaining of ideas, for example as is requested by Brainstorming.

'How to' effectively asks a question without phrasing it as a question. This sets up a creative tension that gets the subconscious engaged with thinking about ways to solve the problem that is inherently stated.

Note the difference inside you when you hear the following two statements:

  • Make the room lighter.
  • How to make the room lighter.

The second statement should cause more intrigue and get you thinking more about how to add more ideas and solutions to the problem of making the room lighter. Thus the statement is far more effective at creating synergies and causing deeper exploration.

See also

Problem Statement, Wishing

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