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Welcome to the Search and Reapply tutorial


This web page is a tutorial on just one part of a free training web site on brainstorming.

How to use the Search and Reapply technique

This technique is one which many people will have heard of. It involves finding a stimulus by looking into another area of expertise to find a process which has solved a similar probortunity. You then see how you can reapply that solution to your own specific question.

Typical questions you might ask yourself for this technique are:

  • Who else has solved this probortunity?
  • What similar area of expertise might have solved this probortunity?
  • Is there anyone else in the company who knows how to solve this?
  • What else could we use to solve the probortunity?
  • Where else might this probortunity have been solved?
  • What other companies might know how to solve this?
  • What similar problems have been solved, and how?
  • What other industries face the same probortunity and what do they do about it?

By answering these questions you can often come across trains of thought which help to solve your probortunity.

An example of Search and Reapply:

The probortunity is that you are the manufacturer of grand pianos and you need to work out how to get the pianos into people's dining rooms through small doors. What can you search for and reapply? - spend a few minutes yourself to do this before moving on.

The following could be examples of Search and Reapply:

  • DIY furniture
  • Kit cars
  • Dieting
  • Magic tricks
  • Children's toys where you put different shaped bricks through holes
  • Giving birth
  • Furniture removers
  • Doctor Who's Tardis

The next stage would be to think about the various ways which the ideas generated by these situations could be used to solve the probortunity. The technique described above is the after-the-event version of this technique for solving probortunities.

The alternative way is to be constantly on the look out for new ideas and objects and asking yourself how you can use them within your field of expertise. This way is more involved in searching for opportunities. By using this anticipatory method you are likely to come up with new ideas before they are urgently needed and you can always keep one step ahead of your competition.


Please try this technique for yourself and you will certainly improve at coming up with new ideas.


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