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.
Adopt the point of view of a celebrity and aim to solve a given problem creatively.
What You Need
- If you are choosing the celebrities yourself, it is ideal to use an image of each celebrity as a visual reference during the exercise.
- Divide the delegates to groups of 3 or 4.
- Ask each group to consider a problem that they will be working on in this exercise. It is best if it is a current work-related problem that requires creative thinking to solve. All members must be able to contribute.
- Ask each group to select a celebrity (see variations for other options). They will be looking at the problem from this celebrity’s point of view.
- It is best to select a celebrity that everyone is familiar with.
- Allocate 15 minutes for these discussions.
- Monitor to make sure groups don’t get carried away by discussing a celebrity’s life as opposed to using the point of view to solve a problem.
- Bring back everyone together and ask each group to present their problem and then explain how looking form their celebrity’s point of view has helped them to come up with novel ideas.
- Ask other groups to provide feedback and suggestions.
- Continue until all groups have presented their cases.
- Allocate 20 minutes for this part.
- Follow with a discussion on the effectiveness of this method.
Explaining the Exercise: 2 minutes
Activity: 5 min choosing celebrity + 15 min group discussions + 15 min sharing with other groups = 35 minutes
Group Feedback: 5 minutes
How many new ideas did you come up with as a result of thinking form this new point of view? How does the choice of celebrity affect your brainstorming? What other celebrity’s point of view would you consider for your specific problem?
There are a number of ways to run this exercise depending on what you want to achieve:
- Individual. You can run the exercise on an individual level. Ask each delegate to select their ideal celebrity for a given problem and to analyse the problem from that point of view. You can then ask delegates to share their analysis with others in an overall group discussion.
- Role modelling. If your focus is mainly on role models, you need to ask individuals or groups to select celebrities or characters that they admire. These characters must be role models that they like to follow. People are usually much more familiar with their own role models so it can be quite empowering to look at problems from this point of view. The role models can be current or historic.
- Choice. Celebrities can be chosen by delegates or then can be chosen by you. You can assign a group a specific character and ask them to consider only that point of view. You need to make sure that they are familiar with that character, otherwise this will not work. You can provide an image of the character to make the exercise more visual and memorable.
- Several short sessions. Rather than running one exercise, you can aim to run several short exercises lasting about 5 minutes, each focusing on a specific celebrity’s point of view. These celebrities can be chosen by the group or by you. Here is an example. Ask all delegates to consider a common problem. Next, show an image of a celebrity (or even play a short video) and then ask all delegates to consider the problem from this celebrity’s point of view. After 5 minutes of discussions move on to the next character. Ask someone to record the ideas and discussions as they are suggested. Finish with a general discussion on all useful ideas considered.