Creating random connections and pairing odd combinations supercharges your idea generation abilities.

As you combine random objects and ideas some will naturally be crazy or impractical, others shear entertainment and occasionally you may stumble upon a new idea that really works and has great potential. The beauty of discovery, combining dreams, imagination and the already known.

The odd combinations mind map example contains random words to explore unlikely pairings; some I could develop further, others had no immediate connection. As a further option I could cross pair by plucking and combining any of the words that appear in the mind map – examples might be water socks and bed boots.

Here are ten starter tips for creating odd combinations:

1. Open books at random pages and pair words or phrases
2. Listen to the very next thing someone says and add it to the next thing someone else says
3. Visualise objects out of their normal environments such as imagining items hanging in trees
4. Combine products such as a torch and a timer to create a timer torch; a torch that shows battery power
5. Revisit existing ideas and imagine a modern version (see the “How could you modernize a door?” Mind Map)
6. Combine occupations; ask someone outside your field of expertise how they might tackle your project
7. Read your surroundings; signs, shops, vehicles, packaging, magazines, clothing etc & make combinations
8. As with comedy sketches, imagine items in unlikely scenarios such as a toilet in an elevator
9. Channel swap on T.V. and radio; example: listen to the news and finish the sentence on another station
10. Read two books or scripts and combine stories like the channel swap idea

The Odd Combinations Mind Map is one of over 20 Mind Maps which appear in my E-Book Idea Creation<

The beauty of creating combinations is that they are infinite. Someone had to invent the odd combination of peanut butter and jam sandwiches – have you tried them? 🙂

What might you discover?

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