“Start a collection of odd, interesting things (e.g., a slinky, model airplane, robot and so on) and put them in a curiosity box or bag…Then, you can pull out unique items randomly when confronted with a problem or opportunity…

When brainstorming for new ideas, odd, unusual things often trigger new associations. It may sound silly, but seemingly silly things can provoke the most random associations, literally forcing us out of our habitual thinking patterns.”

This was quoted on a website that is not active any longer. However, it is a quote from The Innovator’s DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators.

I have done this in classes for having students introduce themselves. I have also used it for other things. It is quite useful for starting yourself in a new and unexpected direction (often the basis of creativity).

The only caveat is that if you have a hoarding tendency, you need to be careful how many of these odd collections you maintain.

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