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Generating ideas: The journey to the heart of analogies

Crée par : Les 7 Sens
Bibliothèque : Les 7 Sens (publique)
Dernière mise à jour : 17 août 2018

This idea-generation tactic consists of changing the field of investigation for a familiar field, different from the field concerned, in order to enrich it. For example, if I work with mobile phones, I can make an analogy with sweets, paintings or music.

1. Have fun.

2. Enrich an object or service. 

3. Improve, transform, purify, use an object differently, or a service or behavior.

It is up to you to organize yourself and imagine how to exploit the wealth of content. It is important to lead to transpositions in the context, the situation, the starting object. The deviation into analogy is a source of inspiration. The more you play with analogies, the more you will be able to extract all their richness.

A few tips: 

- Look for analogies, i.e. specific fields (e.g. plants, music, etc.) or specific things (animals, clown, cockpits, novels, songs, materials, cooked dishes, etc.). 

- Find analogies in the different sensory channels (visual, auditory, touch, smell, taste).

- Make your list. You will use it and enrich it for further research.


Define the framework

Recall the context of your research.

Clarify your objectives. Remind them, refine them.

Determine the selection criteria for your idea production.


Find analogies

Depending on your subject, choose one, two, or three analogies (maximum) that, depending on the criteria defined, will probably provide you with the most information.


Search for portrait elements

Say the sentence: "if... (the theme to explore) was... (we give the analogy) it would be...".

Each participant silently notes his/her ideas on a post-it (one idea per post-it with a large marker).


Collect post-its

Have your participants read the post-its, without commenting around the table. Take the post-it notes and stick them on a panel on the left half of a flip chart.


Associate adjectives with the analogies

Collect explanations, comments, qualifiers, associated characteristics. Write them down next to it. For example:

If the team's life was an animal

- a Chameleon - Adaptability, Work 

- a Marsupial - Effort, Happiness, Energy


Continue with the analogies

You repeat steps 3, 4 and 5 with the other selected analogies. For example, if the life of the team was a film...

If the team's life was an architecture, a building.


Integrate the information

Everyone rereads all the information collected.

The criteria is then specified.


Propose solutions

Each team member makes suggestions on improvements, transformations, decisions to be taken, taking into account the characteristics discovered according to the selection criteria.

Small groups formalize the most relevant ideas.

Les 7 Sens
Réseau de professionnels pour favoriser les compétences en créativité et l'éthique de l'humain.
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