Business Problem-Solving 101 – How to Combine Different Things Together to Achieve Exciting Results

Combine Things

Can you combine business and pleasure?

I might scroll through Instagram on a regular basis. Not that I’m proud to admit it, as I know just how much valuable time is wasted as the screen sucks away your focus and concentration. But every so often you can stumble across some valuable gems.

Thursday is my least favourite day of the week to work from home. The gardener is here in full force. I really am blessed to have a gardener and appreciate the neat and tidy lawn and hedges after he has been here, but it’s the noise that drives me insane. The incessant lawn mower and worst of all, the leaf blower. The leaf blower is without a doubt his favourite piece of equipment. He blows the fallen leaves and grass cuttings around the garden for hours, I don’t think the possibility of hearing loss and of course environmental noise pollution even crosses his mind.

In his book Thinkertoys’, Michael Michalko shares a valuable creativity tool – COMBINE. Take unrelated objects and combine them together to create something new. After all that really is what creativity is all about.

What would happen if you combined a leaf blower and radio-controlled car? Two totally random and unrelated objects and definitely not anything I would have dreamed of connecting or piecing together on my own.

Now back to Instagram, during my morning time waster, I stumbled across an ingenious video posted by Lawn Pro that had me intrigued. They had taken a leaf blower and attached it to the top of a radio-controlled car, and a young, maybe 6-year-old boy was clearing the grass cuttings off the sidewalk.

How remarkably clever is this? An invention, no doubt by some dad who isn’t too excited about raking and picking up leaves every Saturday morning. Of course, what 6-year-old wouldn’t love the challenge of steering a leaf blower directly at piles of grass cuttings to see how quickly and skilfully they can clear the walkway. Ingenious!

Combining totally random objects like these, leads to the invention and discovery of many new things and can also help to solve complex business problems as well.

Browse the suggested list of combinations below to steer your thinking in a new direction:

  • What totally random objects could be combined?

One could combine items in a truly unique way by pairing seemingly unrelated objects with one another. For example, try combining a paintbrush with cotton balls, or a guitar pick with rubber bands! These mashups may not provide the most practical solutions in life, but they would certainly make for an interesting conversation piece. An even more ambitious combination could be beads with screws, or belts with wire coat hangers—possibilities are endless. Ultimately, the best random object combinations are those which otherwise have no relation to one another and cause people to question how it all fits together.

  • Can you combine an assortment?

Combining an assortment is proving to be more common than ever. Individuals and businesses alike are experimenting with different groupings, mixtures, and fusions of various products, cultures, and ideas. The possibilities seem endless as we become more creative with how we combine an assortment. An exciting new trend that has been taking off recently is turning what once seemed like mismatched items into something beautiful and functional. Whether it’s combining both styles from the past and present, mixing different methods of production, packing an assortment of different colours together the results can often surprise us in a delightful way.

  • Can you combine different ingredients together?

It can take quite a bit of experimentation to find the perfect mix, but the possibilities are nearly limitless. When the right combination is achieved, you can have something entirely unique that holds its own set of special properties, like strength or toughness. Different materials can be combined to create new materials or products. Some common material combinations include wood and metal, glass and metal, concrete and stone.

Material combinations can also be used to create a certain effect or look, such as using different woods to create a unique pattern or using different stones to create a mosaic.

When combined, ingredients can create entirely new flavours and textures. For example, flour and water make dough, while milk and eggs make custard.

  • Could you combine packaging or groups of products together?

Combining packaging or groups of products together can be a creative way to offer customers a more diverse range of options. For businesses, this strategy can help increase sales and brand recognition while offering motivation to customers to try new items they may not have considered before. Not only does clever product combination create convenience and savings for customers; it also shows an appreciation for their individual tastes and needs. With the right selection of compatibility, manufacturers can use this approach to make the buying experience more intuitive and joyful for all their consumers.

  • Can you combine any colours?

Colour combinations can be used in fashion, interior design, and art. Some popular colour combinations include black and white, blue, and green, and red and orange. Colour combinations can also be used to create a mood or atmosphere, such as using warm colours to create a cosy feeling or cool colours to create a refreshing feeling.

  • Can you combine any foods together or add something to an existing product?

There are endless possibilities when it comes to combining foods. Some classic combinations include peanut butter and jelly, spaghetti and meatballs, and macaroni and cheese. Other popular food combinations include sushi rolls, trail mix, and salads. Or giveaway a free sweet or toy.

  • Can you add or combine flavours?

Flavour combinations are often used in cooking to create unique dishes. Some common flavour combinations include sweet and savoury, sweet and spicy, sweet and sour. Flavour combinations can also be used in cocktails, such as combining gin with tonic water or vodka with cranberry juice, bubble-gum ice cream or cream soda lip balm.

  • Can you combine different textures?

Texture combinations can be used in art, fashion, and interior design. Some popular texture combinations include smooth and rough, hard and soft, shiny and matte. Texture combinations can also be used to create a certain effect, such as using rough textures to create a rustic look or using smooth textures to create a sleek look.

  • Can you create a blend of different spices?

Spices can be combined to create new flavour profiles for dishes such as chilli chocolate or even mixed altogether to create a unique blend.

  • How about combining patterns?

Patterns can be combined to create new designs or to achieve a desired effect. For example, stripes can be combined with polka dots to create a fun and festive look, or plaids can be combined with solids to create a more sophisticated look, or why not take a boring product and give it a festive facelift with some brightly coloured prints or polka dots.

So, if you are drawn to spending a few hours mindlessly scrolling through your favourite social media apps every day, make the time count. See how many of the things you find can potentially be combined with something else, to solve a problem or create something new entirely.


Cultivate a Culture of Innovation & Creativity

Author of Ideas Like Shoes

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