Try this word game to help to break through with original ideas

Digging deep with a deadline looming, but still no creative spark? It could be time to mix things up with a word game to get the ideas flowing.

As toy developer Shimpei Takahashi explans in his presentation for TEDxTokyo, the creative process in the workplace can be difficult when only taking a data-based approach.

Instead of using data, Takahashi says he now uses a word game, shiritori, to help develop ideas. The game involves people taking “turns saying words that start with the last letter of the previous word”.

“Many random words will come out,” Takahashi explained.

“You force those words to connect to what you want to think of and form ideas.”

Regardless of the ideas, maintaining the flow is important.

“Ridiculous ideas are okay,” Takahashi said.

“The key is to keep them flowing. The more ideas you produce, you’re sure to come up with some good ones, too.”

Ideas that are not found in data will begin to become apparent, he said, with there being many methods that can be employed. The point is to gather words at random, rather than drawing on data-based information.

“If you do this, the ingredients for the association of ideas are collected and form connections that will produce many ideas,” Takahashi said.

“The greatest advantage to this method is the continuous flow of images. Because you’re thinking of one word after another, the image of the previous word is still with you.

“That image will automatically be related with future words. Unconsciously, a concert will be connected to a brush and a roulette game will be connected to a hat. You wouldn’t even realise it. You can come up with ideas that you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.”

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