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“Scamper” and think bigger

Sometimes teams will get stuck on one idea and are not able to think bigger than that idea. They just get fixated with one solution, and when it doesn’t work, they keep trying the SAME solution over and over again, without actually modifying it. Here is an exercise:

  1. Make 4 columns on the blackboard, with the headings “Benefits”, “Disadvantages”, “SCAMPER”, and “Results/Other Possibilities”.
  2. Ask the team to discuss the advantages/benefits of their idea.
    1. What is GOOD about this idea? Write these answers in the first column.
    2. What doesn’t work about this idea? What are the disadvantages? Write these answers in the second column.
  3. Ask the team how they could SCAMPER the things they wrote down in column two.

S – substitute
C – combine
A – adapt
M – modify
P – portion (use the part that works)
E – eliminate/expand
R – reverse, look at it from a different perspective

Finally, discuss possible changes they could make to their original solution to take those disadvantages/ things that weren’t working, and turn them into benefits/things that did work.

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