Bryan Coffman has posted an interesting essay on the creativity technique of subtraction in his Innovation and High Performance blog. To use this idea-generation technique, the first step is to subtract something from the equation that appears to be absolutely necessary. Then play vigorously with the remaining challenge. But, he warns, this creativity technique does require some “sleight of head” thinking:
“Suspend any sense of impossibility. If you believe that what you’ve subtracted can’t actually be subtracted, you’ll never jump to the new perspective that allows you to see new ideas. You need to fool yourself and suspend your disbelief long enough to get to the cool ideas.”
Bryan’s post also offers some tips and examples on how to get the most out of this creativity technique. Good stuff!