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Creative tools > Remembrance

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


When to use it

Use it when you want to identify solutions to a known problem.

You can use it at all stages of innovation and implementation.



X          Long



        X  Psychological



  X        Group


How to use it

Think about the problem as if it were already solved

Bring the problem to mind and think about and around it. Then put it in the past, remembering it as something that has been solved. Imagine what it is (present tense) like now that it has been solved.

Let memories of the solution surface

Now move your mind to the gap between when the problem used to occur and now that it has been solved. Initially, this may be a blank space. Muse about this and let alternative scenarios and timelines fill in the gap, thus 'remembering' what did or may have happened.

Be like a trial witness straining to remember the detail. Do it like remembering detail from your childhood. Find the way you remember and do the same to bring to mind the solution to your problem.


I have a problem about reducing office smells (including coffee, trainers, old food,...). I think about the nice clean smell and remember how it started with a good clean-out and then continued with regular 'full-scrubs'. I develop the idea into a high-intensity 'office-scrubbing' business, complete with steaming and 'dry cleaning'.

How it works

Remembrance is an old Buddhist trick, where you can induce new states of mind by 'remembering' it happen.

Treating something as if it had already happened tricks the subconscious, which can be very obliging at times, into making up something to fit the bill.

'As-if' framing is often used in persuasion, where speaking or acting 'as if' something is true leads to people accepting it without question. It goes straight to their subconscious minds without question. Police and lawyers know this well, and questioning methods seek to avoid implanting false memories (it is called the 'false memory syndrome').

See also



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