101 Activities For Teaching Creativity And Problem Solving

(Joyce) #1

Combinations 127

24. Combo Chatter

This technique was originally known as Semantic Intuition when researchers at the Bat-
telle Institute developed it in the 1970s (Schaude, 1978). “Semantic Intuition” is certainly
an impressive name, but it’s a little pretentious for this book. I decided to simplify things
and call it Combo Chatter.
The typical new-product process involves generating ideas, selecting the best ones,
developing them into workable products, and then assigning them names. Combo Chat-
ter reverses that process somewhat: instead of generating ideas and then names for the
ideas, it generates names and then the ideas. For instance, if a company wants to improve
the toaster they market, they might think of a toaster made of see-through plastic and
name it, “BreadView.” Combo Chatter might produce the same see-through product but
do it using the words “bread” and “view” in juxtaposition. Although this example
applies to new product improvements, that doesn’t mean it is appropriate only for new
product development. It can work very well for almost any challenge.


  • To help participants generate as many creative ideas as possible

  • To help participants learn how to use the activities to generate ideas

Small groups of four to seven people each

Materials, Supplies, and Equipment

  • For each group: markers, two flip charts, and masking tape for posting flip-chart

  • For each participant: one sheet each of three different colors of sticking dots
    (^1 ⁄ 2 ” diameter) and one pad of 4 x 6 Post-it®Notes.


  • Combo Chatter Handout

06 VG 119-166b 10/5/04 5:03 PM Page 127

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