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Monday, October 4, 2010


According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the current number of unemployed persons in the U.S. is 14.9 million (unemployment rate at 9.6 percent).

I know that because in August I was added to the list. Since then, I've been discovering what it is like to be unemployed (something that I have not been pretty much since I was in my teens -- a long, long time ago). I'm here to tell you that it is true: It's hard work being out of work. After all, the second I wake up, I'm on the job!

Yes, for the past couple of months I've been busy crafting my resume, helping friends and family members with projects, and trying to re-invent myself career-wise. What do I want to do when I grow up?

One of the things that I've discovered is that my resume -- that one page description of who I am by way of what I've done for the past 30 years -- has pigeonholed me. Or, better put, I have not yet creatively crafted my "sales brochure" into a something that at least gets me a lot of interviews. So, I've been doing a lot of reflecting lately. I've been SCAMPERing.


Developed by Bob Eberle, SCAMPER is an acronym for useful list of words that can be applied as stimuli to make you think differently about the problem area.

Substitute: What can you substitute? What can be used instead? Who else instead? What other ingredients? Other material? Other process? Other power? Other place? Other approach? Other sounds? Other forces?
Instead of ... I can ...

Combine: What can you combine or bring together somehow? How about a blend, an alloy, an assortment, an ensemble? Combine units? Combine purposes? Combine appeals? Combine ideas?
I can bring together ... and ... to ...

Adapt: What can you adapt for use as a solution? What else is like this? What other idea does this suggest? Does past offer a parallel? What could I copy? Who could I emulate?
I can adapt ... in this way ... to ...

Modify: Can you change the item in some way? Change meaning, colour, motion, sound, smell, form, shape? Other changes?

Also: Magnify: What can you add? More time? Greater frequency? Stronger? Higher? Longer? Thicker? Extra value? Plus ingredient? Duplicate? Multiply? Exaggerate?

And: 'Minify': What can you remove? Smaller? Condensed? Miniature? Lower? Shorter? Lighter? Omit? Streamline? Split up? Understate?
I can change ... in this way ... to ...

Put to other uses: How can you put the thing to different or other uses? New ways to use as is? Other uses if it is modified?
I can re-use ... in this way ... by ...

Eliminate: What can you eliminate? Remove something? Eliminate waste? Reduce time? Reduce effort? Cut costs?
I can eliminate ... by ...

Rearrange: What can be rearranged in some way? Interchange components? Other pattern? Other layout? Other sequence? Transpose cause and effect? Change pace? Change schedule?
I can rearrange ... like this ... such that ...

For more information, you can go to for "Wise ways and words in all matters creative" including:

Creativity is more than tools and techniques. This pages links to descriptions of critical principles about being creative.

* Creative Problems: Defining creative problems and solutions.
* Diffusion: Spreading ideas through social networks.
* Divergence and convergence: Staying open and staying focused.
* Exploration: Going where no one has gone before.
* Forced association: Banging things together to create new things.
* Ground Rules: Shared rules that enable safe creativity.
* Jumping: Jumping to new idea domains.
* Practice!: Build you 'creative muscle' with regular practice.
* Questioning: Asking things to get the mind going.
* TRIZ 40 Principles: Principles that have been used to gain many patents.
* Stimulation: Prodding your subconscious into giving you new thoughts.
* Use What Works: There are many tools, so use what works for you.

At you'll find many other very creative ways to be, well, more creative.

Sir Bowie "off this day and this week to continue to re-invent myself and create creative ways to create or acquire a fullfilling career" of Greenbriar


  1. Thanks for introducing us to SCAMBERing. Nice to know there's a term for how I've lived my life. I just thought the word was CRAZY! Off to see what new things I can assimilate into my creative collective!

    Sir Hook the Practicing Jumper and Diffusion Divo of Warrick

  2. Scampered all over Franklin Street - Evansville's Fall Festival of unhealthy but yummy foods!

    Sir Lance joined us too and we created memories -