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The Smart Solution Book by Mr. David Cotton

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Tool 23

The two words technique

What the tool is

A tool that uses free association of words relating to a problem to create fresh insights into the problem.

When to use it

  • To create fresh insights into a problem or to inform a decision.

What you will need

  • Pen and paper.

How to use it

  1. Create a two-word phrase to summarise a problem.
  2. Write each word at the head of a column in a table and then freely associate ideas with each word, listing them in the table columns.
  3. Randomly match pairs of words across the columns to gain new insights into the problem and its possible resolution.

For example:

I manage a team of 20 people whose motivation levels fluctuate and vary from highly motivated all the time to hardly motivated any of the time ...

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