Use the essence (accessible version)
This thinking guide can help you create new ideas by getting to the heart of the issue and then looking elsewhere whilst retaining the essential qualities.
Step1. What is the essence of the issue? Can you think of one work which describes or captures what it is all about? Perhaps a word that describes the essential qualities or heart of the situation. When you have thought of an appropriate word, move on to step 2.
Step2. Next, can you think of anything else that has this same word as its essence? Think of as many examples as you can, but remember they must have the same essential word. Then move to step 3.
Step 3. Now think about each of the other things identified in step 2, and systematically list their other characteristics. What words or descriptions could you use to describe each one? When you have done this for each of the examples you thought of in step 2, move on to the final step.
Step 4. By now you should have defined the essence of your issue or topic, thought of other issues or topics which have the same word as their essence and described some of the characteristics of these other words. Now you need to think these characteristics in light of your original idea or issue. How can they be applied? What parallels can you draw? What are the differences?
Once all these steps have been finished, your assignment is complete.