The author advocates the use of formalised heuristic principles and teamwork as the cornerstone of creativity techniques on which he has written papers in German, and in view of the interest aroused has taken the opportunity to write a summary for an English-language journal. The purpose of the paper is to review the large number available, to indicate their most profitable field of use and their limitations. He classifies the techniques into four main groups, intuitive association, intuitive confrontation, systematic variation and systematic confrontation. Brainstorming is an example of the first, excursive synectics of the second, morphological analysis of the third and the morphological matrix of the last. He briefly summarises the method employed by about 20 of the 50 he says exist.

The paper concludes with some advice to potential users of the methods and a review of the use made of them in German industry.