Forced Relationships technique – get unexpected rewards with free brainstorming training

Forced Relationships Technique: Fostering Innovation through Unlikely Connections


Forced Relationships brainstorming method training

The Forced Relationships technique is a creative thinking and problem-solving method that involves intentionally combining unrelated concepts, objects, or ideas. This approach encourages participants to explore the connections between seemingly disparate elements. By forcing these relationships, new, innovative, and often unexpected ideas can emerge, breaking free from conventional thought patterns.

Understanding Forced Relationships

Forced Relationships is based on the principle that innovation often occurs at the intersection of different domains or disciplines. By deliberately creating connections between unrelated items, this technique pushes the boundaries of traditional thinking and fosters a creative environment conducive to groundbreaking ideas.

Steps of the Forced Relationships Technique

  1. Identify the Problem or Goal: Clearly define the problem you’re trying to solve or the goal you’re aiming to achieve.
  2. Select Random Elements: Choose two or more completely unrelated elements. These could be objects, concepts, words, or images.
  3. Force Connections: Explore possible connections or relationships between these elements. How could they interact? What similarities or contrasts exist?
  4. Brainstorm Ideas: Use these forced relationships as a springboard for brainstorming. Consider how these unusual connections could lead to a solution or a new approach to the problem.
  5. Develop Concepts: From the brainstorming session, identify any viable ideas or concepts that emerge. These should be innovative solutions that wouldn’t typically be considered in a standard brainstorming process.
  6. Evaluate and Refine: Assess the practicality and potential of these ideas. Refine and develop them further into workable solutions.

Examples of Forced Relationships in Practice

Example 1: Product Innovation

  • Problem: Developing a new kitchen gadget.
  • Elements: A book and a blender.
  • Forced Relationship: How can the concept of a book be integrated into a blender?
  • Idea: A blender with recipe pages as part of the lid, turning to the desired recipe automatically sets the blender to the right settings.

Example 2: Service Improvement

  • Problem: Enhancing customer service in a retail store.
  • Elements: A mirror and a smartphone.
  • Forced Relationship: Combining the reflective aspect of a mirror with the connectivity of a smartphone.
  • Idea: Smart mirrors in fitting rooms that allow customers to request different sizes or colors directly from the mirror interface.

Example 3: Marketing Strategy

  • Problem: Creating a new marketing campaign.
  • Elements: A tree and a puzzle.
  • Forced Relationship: Merging the organic growth of a tree with the interlocking nature of a puzzle.
  • Idea: A marketing campaign that grows organically, where each ad piece interlocks with others to create a bigger picture, emphasizing community and interconnectedness.


The Forced Relationships technique is an effective tool for sparking creativity and innovation in a professional environment. By intentionally combining unrelated elements, it challenges conventional thinking and encourages the exploration of new, uncharted territories in idea generation. This method is particularly useful when conventional approaches have failed to produce satisfactory results, or when a fresh perspective is needed. The technique’s strength lies in its ability to generate novel ideas and solutions that are both creative and practical.

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