SCAMPER your way to innovative solutions

Do you remember how you felt in April 2020?

That was the point when we all began to realize that this COIVD-19 pandemic might be around for longer than we had anticipated. And all the plans we had for the year were in jeopardy!

Remember that feeling? We realized that we could not simply adapt your way out of the situation. We could not iterate or tweak the plans to meet the changed circumstances.

It was time to INNOVATE! We all had to come up with novel responses to the situation, try out things we had never thought of doing before, see what we could do to move through an uncertain environment.

While there are many resources available about Innovation, there’s one tool I find that offers a practical way of generating new ideas to move out of a difficult situation. SCAMPER.

You can use the seven words that make up the acronym SCAMPER as prompts to think differently about a situation.

SUBSTITUTE – What can be replaced to change the purpose or function of the product or process?

COMBINE – What features, uses, or components can be combined?

ADAPT – What can be tweaked to improve the outcome?

MODIFY – How can the process be changed in a way that changes the outcome?

PURPOSE – How can this product/process/service to put to a different use?

ELIMINATE – What can be removed or simplified?

REVERSE – Would changing the sequence produce a different outcome?

I faced this challenge with one of my clients in April 2020. We had been convening a group of leaders over several years and had planned a final in-person convening to bring the program to a close.

Finding that this was now impossible, we had to SCAMPER our way to a novel response.

After engaging the leaders, we SUBSTITUTED the single in-person event with six virtual sessions over several months.

We MODIFIED our approach so the leaders had a much stronger say on the topics we covered.

We ADAPTED the sessions by opening them to a broader group of leaders, allowing the peer support to benefit more parts of their organizations.

How can you use SCAMPER?


This tip is one of several that leaders can use to Cultivate Change?


Do you find resources like this useful?

Contact me to learn more about how I support leaders as they manage change and growth.




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