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Where do ideas come from mummy? The related worlds creativity tool

by | Jun 3, 2019

Your creative problem has probably been tackled – and solved – by someone else before you. Maybe it was a great thinker, or maybe it was a ‘dumb animal’. Whichever it is, using the Related Worlds tool can help…

As John Cleese famously said:

“We don’t know where ideas come from but we do know they don’t come from our laptops.”

Japan’s famous bullet train used to make a loud boom when it travelled through tunnels. But thanks to a spot of bird-watching, an engineer was able to fix the problem after he was inspired by a kingfisher.

There’s even a name for taking ideas from nature – it’s called biomimicry and there are hundreds of examples of how our lives have been improved by observation of nature.

How about how a woodpecker’s head has inspired shock absorbers and better helmets?

Or how the study of mussels inspired a new glue?

The BBC World Service has made a series on this fascinating subject called 30 Animals That Made Us Smarter and it’s well worth a look!

Next time you have a creative challenge consider where else in the world – in nature – or somewhere else your challenge may have been tackled and solved. Religion, politics, sport and nature are all sources of inspiration and ideas.

These are all examples of the Related Worlds creativity tool – someone somewhere has had your challenge if you can find an analogy or metaphor, like the kingfisher’s beak.

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