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Use Random Stimuli to Boost Creativity

Use Random Stimuli to Boost Creativity
Exercises, Team Building, Creativity, Problem Solving, Art

Article Rating:::: 21 Ratings :::: Monday, September 23, 2013

A great way to increase creativity is to use random stimuli. Random thoughts can lead to new associations which in turn can help the group to explore new parts of a search space not considered before.

This exercise helps delegates to use readily available modern technology for inspiration from random content and to improve their creative brainstorming.

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Recap Exercise: Visualise What You Learned Today

Recap Exercise: Visualise What You Learned Today
Exercises, Train the Trainer, Creativity, Memory, Art, Learning

Article Rating:::: 28 Ratings :::: Monday, May 13, 2013

Research has long shown that visualisation can lead to better recall and learning. As a trainer, you can exploit visualisation to your advantage. One area where visualisation is useful is when recapping on content already covered or at the end of a course. This exercise helps you to take advantage of the power of visualisation.

The visualisation produced in this exercise can also act as a reminder for the delegates and will help to reinforce associations and memory.

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Pictorial Problem Solving

Pictorial Problem Solving
Exercises, Creativity, Decision Making, Problem Solving, Brainstorming

Article Rating:::: 24 Ratings :::: Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Words can sometimes limit creativity. Humans are generally very visual and have evolved to sense the world primarily thorough focused looking and observation. As a result, a large part of the brain is dedicated to visual processing.

To analyse problems we can tap into this huge potential processing power by visualising problems. There have been many studies in this area which has led to exceptionally useful tools such as mind maps which are great for creative thinking.

This exercise helps delegates to express a problem using images. It is much more free flow than mind maps as it is not restricted to any particular method. This allows people to think more visually about a problem and break through the limitations imposed by thinking primarily in words.

Pictorial problem solving is also ideal for brainstorming as it makes it easier to communicate ideas.

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Creativity Exercise: How Would a Celebrity Handle This

Creativity Exercise: How Would a Celebrity Handle This
Exercises, Creativity, Problem Solving, Acting, Brainstorming

Article Rating:::: 1 Ratings :::: Monday, April 8, 2013

When confronted with a problem, sometimes it is useful to approach it from the point of view of someone else. A useful technique is to look at the problem from the point of view of a resourceful celebrity. Charismatic persona, wealth and fame can help to solve problems in novel ways that may otherwise not be considered.

This exercise serves two purposes. It helps delegates to avoid thinking about resource limitation and instead focus on problem solving. It also helps following the mentality of a role model and encourages people to think from the point of view of someone they admire.

You can run this exercise in a number of ways depending on what you want to achieve. See variations for details.

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Brainstorming Exercise: Rolestorming Technique

Brainstorming Exercise: Rolestorming Technique
Leadership, Exercises, Creativity, Problem Solving, Brainstorming

Article Rating:::: 25 Ratings :::: Wednesday, January 2, 2013

While brainstorming, sometimes people may feel reluctant to voice their ideas especially if they want to raise a concern or highlight a problem. This is particularly common when senior staff or managers are present and no one wants to look bad by saying something negative about their boss’s suggestions. In addition, people generally prefer not to be the messenger of bad news and would rather leave it for someone else to highlight the issue. Unfortunately, this leads to groupthink where people end up agreeing with each other rather than thinking of better alternatives or solutions.

The rolestorming technique proposed by Rick Griggs in 1980s aims to solve this problem by giving an opportunity to participants to adopt different roles while going through the brainstorming session.

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Brainstorming Exercise: Rotating Roles

Brainstorming Exercise: Rotating Roles
Leadership, Exercises, Creativity, Problem Solving, Brainstorming

Article Rating:::: 35 Ratings :::: Monday, December 17, 2012

In this brainstorming exercise participants take different roles to contribute to the problem solving activity. This allows them to contribute without fear of being laughed at or criticised. The roles are defined by a facilitator prior to the brainstorming session to bias it towards a particular direction.

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Brainstorming Exercise: The Shifting Technique

Brainstorming Exercise: The Shifting Technique
Exercises, Creativity, Decision Making, Problem Solving, Brainstorming

Article Rating:::: 14 Ratings :::: Monday, October 29, 2012

In this exercise delegates learn about an effective brainstorming technique that aims to take advantage of personal and group creativity. In classic brainstorming sessions, some members might feel too shy or threatened to present their ideas or to challenge bad ideas. Another common problem is group think; the group can end up exploring a particular area for solutions and ignore all others by remaining too focused on the current ideas. The Shifting Technique helps you to systematically avoid these issues.

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Reverse Brainstorming and Negative Brainstorming

Reverse Brainstorming and Negative Brainstorming
Exercises, Team Building, Creativity, Decision Making, Brainstorming

Article Rating:::: 93 Ratings :::: Monday, July 30, 2012

You can extend classical brainstorming and double brainstorming with the following techniques to get more results:

  • Reverse brainstorming. With this technique participants are encouraged to look at the problem from an opposite angle. This is particularly useful in situations where it is difficult to identify solutions to a problem in a direct way.
  • Negative brainstorming. With this technique participants look at how things go wrong and identify problems to solutions.

To carry out these two types of brainstorming sessions, use the following exercise.

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Illustration Exercise: Circular Life Drawing

Illustration Exercise: Circular Life Drawing
Exercises, Icebreakers, Creativity, Art, Illustration

Article Rating:::: 13 Ratings :::: Monday, July 23, 2012

This standard exercise is ideal to get a group of delegates practice drawing from life without using a specific model.

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Classical Brainstorming and Double Brainstorming

Classical Brainstorming and Double Brainstorming
Exercises, Team Building, Creativity, Decision Making, Brainstorming

Article Rating:::: 11 Ratings :::: Monday, June 18, 2012

Brainstorming is one of the most widely used techniques to generate ideas. If it is carried out systematically it can do wonders and can lead to innovation and a huge amount of creativity. Classical brainstorming involves a small group of people, a well–trained facilitator and a clear problem to explore.

Brainstorming is about two fundamental areas: idea generation and idea evolution. In a brainstorming session, three principles must be followed:

  • Aim for quantity. Quantity would lead to quality through the evolution of ideas.
  • Defer judgement. New ideas can be fragile. If all ideas are recorded and given a chance, they can grow legs and stand on their own feet. Otherwise they can be lost without been given a chance.
  • Go for associations. Even if an idea is not suitable, it can open up the search to reach another idea which can be much more useful. This is why no idea should be killed and judgement should be deferred. It allows you to maximise the search efficiency and lets you come across more novel ideas.

In this exercise, delegates get to practice classical and double brainstorming. Also see reverse brainstorming and negative brainstorming for other techniques.

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