Help Them “Scamper” To Creativity

S.C.A.M.P.E.R. is a mnemonic we use at VentureLab

In these last few posts, I’ve been providing a series of tips for raising entrepreneurial girls. So far, these have included letting them embrace failure, helping them unleash their creativity, harvesting their idealism and letting them get messy as they get creative and discover what makes things tick.

This next tip for raising entrepreneurial girls is about putting attitude to work.

That is, a girl who wants to master entrepreneurship need not simply develop the right attitude. She also needs to learn to use tools that can help her address challenges and discover fresh approaches to seemingly intractable problems.

You know that you are cultivating curiosity when it ricochets into creative problem-solving. Creative thinking is so fun and entertaining—so stimulating to the brain—that there is no necessity for trophies. The creativity itself is its own reward.

In an entrepreneurial classroom, students must have the freedom to imagine, to follow curiosity, to think big, to create, surprise, express, fail, and to have the space so that the brain can grow new neural pathways. If not, then the classroom experience becomes hollow, rote and even dreaded.

This is why we encourage girls not only to think creatively, but to think creatively beyond the particular ideas that they’re refining. We’ve developed a program known as S.C.A.M.P.E.R. that encourages girls to explore their ideas from different angles, which can spark even-better ideas.

S.C.A.M.P.E.R. is a mnemonic we use at VentureLab so that girls remember the entrepreneurial strategy that stimulates new, often better ideas:

Substitute. What materials or resources can you substitute or swap to improve the product?
Combine. What would happen if you combined this product with another, to create something new?
Adapt. How could you adapt or re-adjust this product to serve another purpose or use?
Modify. How could you change the shape, look, or feel of your product?
Put to another use. Can you use this product somewhere else, perhaps in another industry?
Eliminate. What features, parts or rules could you eliminate?
Reverse. What if you try to do the exact opposite of what you’re trying to do now?
One of the benefits of entrepreneurial learning is the unpredictable quest for knowledge that comes from researching your ideas, and thinking how it can be bettered, changed, reworked and refined. S.C.A.M.P.E.R. fosters that way of thinking in girls.

In my next post on tips for raising entrepreneurial girls, I look at how important it is that fathers be involved in helping to educate and motivate their daughters. In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you, and what you’ve done in encouraging creativity among the girls in your life. What happened with them when you did that? Thank you for sharing!

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