On listening to BBC Radio 4 [BBC SOUNDS APP] I came across a ‘Lose Ends Programme’ in which the author [Jeff Kinney] of Diary of Wimpy Kid [one of the worlds best selling children’s authors] spoke about SYSTEMATIC INVENTIVE THINKING. He was sharing how he ‘does’ his creative process and it was systematic, a daily routine and delivered high quality outcomes for him.
I confess I had not come across it so had a hunt about and discovered:
- Its been around since 1993
- It is about thinking INSIDE the box
- It suggests you work with what is familiar and known to you
- It has 5 techniques to be applied singularly or in combination
- Task Unification
- Attribute Dependency
- Function Following Form
If it interests you I an sure you will research the technique fully. A quick example would be subtraction. The principle is that inside a complex whole is usually a simple element that is the golden thread, the causality or the point of engagement. Strip back to that and that is where the creative solution will be.
It reminded me of film director Peter Jackson talking about how to reduce the huge Lord of the Rings Trilogy into three movies. He said on filming the first instalment he had hours and hours and hours of film in the can and was lost in the editing suite. It then occurred to him [SUBTRACTION] to strip away everything that was not Frodo’s story. That would be is arch and that would be his moment of creative forward leaping.
Overall, I thought the idea had utility. Specifically because most of the decision making and task based implementation we are engaged in inside organisations is related to adaptations and re-alignments not radical shifts, revolutions or huge leaps forward. I thought this thinking discipline was therefore sympathetic to most people’s  lived reality  comfort zone.
However, if I were to truly create and wished to veer toward bigger leaps forward and or an artistic aesthetic, I think I would still look outside and not inside the box.