Creative Thinking

by Jayne Cormie

Random object

This technique is considered by many leading creative experts to be the best creative thinking tool. It uses a freewheeling approach to thinking creatively and is designed to reflect the thinking style of creative thinkers. Using a random object/picture, the brain is stimulated into making associations and connections between the object/picture and the creative task.


To use physical objects to stimulate new ideas


To use this technique effectively, you must let your mind go on a journey where you know the objective and starting point, but the destination is unknown.

  • Select an object at random.
  • Method 1 – make as many free associations/connections between the stimulus and your creative task as you can think of.
  • Method 2 – describe the object by listing all the features, traits, elements and so on, and then consider how these could be applied to your task.

Random object in practice

One day, two senior Disney executives were brainstorming ideas for a new Disney theme park in Florida. They had been working all morning bouncing ideas around and straining their brains to come up with something unique. But so far... just the same old ideas!

Little did they realise that their creative fortunes were about to change...

Suddenly something caught the eye of one of the executives. A large shiny snow dome was nestled amongst an abundance of movie props and Disney toys on a shelf in the corner of the room. Picking it up to shake, she said, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we could make a theme park out of one of these?’ Quick as a flash, the other replied, ‘What a fantastic idea!’

With renewed excitement, the pair began to think about how they could indeed make a theme park out of a snow dome. This is how the concept for the Blizzard Beach theme park was created... using a snow dome as the stimulus!