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The Constraint Suite:

five unique techniques

to drive your creativity

through constraints

For the book 'When the Box is the Limit', five techniques have been specifically created to facilitate your brainstorming sessions in order to come up with great ideas and answers to your professional challenges. Depending on your challenge, your team, your ambition and the time you have available, you can apply each technique separately or use two or more of them sequentially. Or you can choose to integrate these techniques into a classic brainstorm session.

Each technique has its own specificity. For instance, two techniques (The Propeller and The River) are aimed to work on challenges with natural constraints, whereas the three other techniques (The Frugalizor, The Casual Constraint Contest and Tree of Trade) use self-imposed constraints as a stimulator to come up with new and surprising ideas. Some will work better for enhancing or developing new products and services, while others are more focused on general problem solving. Anyway, don't let the brief description of each technique restrict you. Test them out and see what works best for your business, your team and your goal.

Five techniques. Five tools. All for free!

Try them out and share your experience with other users in the community.


Based on the idea of frugal innovation (= making products and services available and affordable to the masses with limited resources), you will enhance your product or service via twelve frugal mechanisms.

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Tree of Trade is a technique that is built on thinking in alternatives. Your goal is to replace essential elements of your subject by creative alternatives that cater the same needs.

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This technique allows you to analyse the constraint(s) you're facing, by digging deeper into it. On the other side, The Propeller will lift you up and give you a clear overview of the challenge you're facing.

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A highly activating team game, combining teamwork, competition and restrictions, the magic mix for generating great ideas quickly.

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By using a river that crosses your path as a metaphor, you are obliged to find a solution to reach your goal on the other side of the river. There are six options that will guide you.

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