Idea generation: ‘Osborn’s Checklist’ template

New ideas tend to arise from combining or altering existing elements. Alex Osborn, a creative theorist coming from the advertisement industry and the originator of the brainstorming technique, therefore created a complete checklist containing many possibilities to change an existing idea or product into new ideas, whether close or far from the initial idea. This idea creation technique is called Osborn’s Checklist, also known as SCAMPER, which letters refer to the actions Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Magnify, Put to other use, Eliminate and Rearrange. This template offers a version of the checklist that is very easy to apply with the Manual Thinking material, the format being apt for both individual and teamwork.

Dowload the template heremanual thinking template osborn checklist

Step 1: Download & print the template on a sheet of Manual Thinking’s large labels

Step 2: Place an initial idea, product or object in the center of the map and stick the labels of the template around

Step 3: Convert the initial product or idea into new ideas, using the actions described in the template. Try to find at least 2-3 ideas for each stage and draw them on big labels which you place around the checklist.manual thinking template osborn checklist example map

Osborn, A.F. Applied Imagination: Principles and Procedures of Creative Problem Solving, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1953
en.wikipedia.org (page: Alex Faickney Osborn. Sept. 2013)