Forced Connections


Creative Problem Solving Techniques when you feel stuck.

It’s bound to happen at some point. You’re presented a problem that needs a creative solution and you hit the wall. No more ideas are being generated, just a lot of pencil tapping and blank stares. This is the perfect point to interject some forced connections.

Forced connections is an idea we learned at a workshop of Dr. Roger Firestien’s where you provide your mind new avenues to explore by seeing or hearing something that takes you in a different direction.

It can be pretty simple to execute on too. Sometimes as simple as just looking around the room your in, or getting a change of scenery. The ticking of the clock or the bird on the window sill can be the thing that triggers your next thought. If that isn’t working for you try some of these sites.

Flickr offers random images from the past 7 days.

Sometimes a simple Google Image search of nature scenes can be helpful too.

Turning pages of magazines will help as well. I hear you can still buy the paper versions if you look hard enough.

Lastly, if you prefer audio books over reading you might enjoy this three minute recording that just mentions various images. Feel free to use it at your own speed to help you get unstuck. This is actually a recorded mp3 of listing off flickr images that I saw on screen. Perhaps hearing these things will be more helpful for you.


Hopefully these resources will help in your creative brainstorm. If you want to dig further I’d suggest starting with this book by the good Dr. Roger Firestien.

Why Didn’t I think of that?