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Brainstorming Exercise: Design Shoes

Brainstorming Exercise: Design Shoes
Leadership, Exercises, Problem Solving, Brainstorming, Design

Article Rating:::: 96 Ratings :::: Monday, November 11, 2013

This is an entertaining and educational exercise. It helps to unleash people’s creativity, bring them together and get them to cooperate on a common task and solve problems.

In this exercise, the main aim is to get teams design shoes. You will provide a set of criteria as well as research materials and teams should then work on a creative solution. The designs are compared and a winning team is rewarded.

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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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Decision Making: The NAF Technique

Decision Making: The NAF Technique
Exercises, Team Building, Decision Making, Problem Solving, Brainstorming

Article Rating:::: 35 Ratings :::: Monday, June 24, 2013

A particularly useful technique in brainstorming and decision making is the NAF technique. The acronym stands for New, Appeal and Feasibility. It is basically a simple way to score ideas to see if they are worth pursuing or implementing. It also helps you to see what you can do to increase the probability of success when developing or implementing an idea.

The NAF technique is not necessarily a mathematical decision making technique. It is designed to measure gut feelings about particular ideas and hence it very much relies on participant’s instincts and judgement. Since the technique relies on emotions it is a great complementary method that can be used in conjunction with logical and quantitative decision making techniques. This helps to give an overall idea on the probability of success for any given creative thought.

In short, the NAF technique allows the team to measure its enthusiasm for following up with a given idea or its implementation.

This exercise is ideal for members of a team that need to brainstorm on a specific problem. However, you can easily run the exercise for delegates that come from different organisations so long as you can get them to work on a common problem for the purpose of this exercise.

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Teambuilding Exercise: Handle Toxic Waste

Teambuilding Exercise: Handle Toxic Waste
Exercises, Team Building, Decision Making, Problem Solving, Resource Management, Outdoors

Article Rating:::: 43 Ratings :::: Monday, April 15, 2013

In this team building exercise, the group must work together to handle toxic waste symbolised by an object. Many areas can be explored in this exercise including leadership, problem solving, teamwork, communication skills and attention to detail. You can easily adjust the difficulty level of this exercise by varying the type of equipment used or changing a number of parameters as described in the Variations section below.

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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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Handout: Problem Solving Questions

Handout: Problem Solving Questions
Exercises, Decision Making, Problem Solving, Brainstorming

Article Rating:::: 14 Ratings :::: Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The following is a series of questions presented under a number of categories that help to analyse a given problem. The set of questions can be used in a handout for people who want to explore a given problem. The questions help delegates to consider different aspects of the problem and create a structured approach in asking the right questions.

You can also use this handout in problem solving exercises or as an extra training resource that can be made available to delegates while going through another exercise when addressing problems.

Instructions: For each question, consider the contrasting opposites and see where your problem lies. Then add more details as necessary to define the problem further in relation with the opposites mentioned in the question.

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Crisis Management: How to Have a Plan Before it is Too Late

Crisis Management: How to Have a Plan Before it is Too Late
Leadership, Games, Exercises, Problem Solving, Resource Management

Article Rating:::: 12 Ratings :::: Wednesday, March 27, 2013

This is a useful exercise that helps delegates to quickly come up with a plan to respond to a crisis. In today’s dynamic world, crisis management is crucial. Risk prediction and risk management is vital for companies. This exercise turns crisis management into a game, providing a fun and educational environment to learn about this important management activity.

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Brainstorming Exercise: Dialectic Inquiry

Brainstorming Exercise: Dialectic Inquiry
Exercises, Decision Making, Problem Solving, Brainstorming

Article Rating:::: 12 Ratings :::: Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sometimes it is important to scrutinise a plan to make sure it is valid. A common method used is known as Devil’s Advocate. This is basically an individual who has been given the role of an adverse critic. The aim is to look for problems, issues and anything that is inconsistent in a given plan.

The role is mainly negative and the danger is that the negativity can come to seriously undermine a potentially good idea. For this reason, an alternative method has been developed by Mason and Mitroff known as Dialectical Inquiry (Mason and Mitroff 1981).

In this exercise, delegates get to practice brainstorming using this particular method.

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Problem Solving Exercise: If Time Was Not an Issue

Problem Solving Exercise: If Time Was Not an Issue
Exercises, Problem Solving, Goal Setting, Brainstorming, Resource Management

Article Rating:::: 6 Ratings :::: Wednesday, March 20, 2013

When solving problems, it is sometimes easy to dismiss new ideas straight away by worrying about lack of resources or lack of time. A new idea is usually very fragile and cannot stand much scrutiny. Thinking of limitations can seriously stop you from coming up with novel ideas as you may kill them off before they have a chance to prosper.

To avoid this, a useful technique is to artificially eliminate these resource limitations and instead freely think about the long-term benefits of a given idea.

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