Problem Solving Exercise: Quick Thinking

Problem Solving Exercise: Quick Thinking


This is a fun activity which encourages delegates to become creative with their ideas and share them with others. They will learn the value of quick thinking and quick judgement since sometimes you may need to rely on gut instincts to cut your search space and save time looking for solutions. If the delegates know each other or are from the same organisation, a common problem can be chosen as the main topic which helps them to use this exercise to brainstorming the problem.


Delegates to come up with creative ideas in a short amount of time, share them and vote for best solutions.

What You Need

  • Flip chart/ Whiteboard
  • A4 or A5 sheets


  • Ask the delegates to form a circle.
  • Write down a question on the flipchart or whiteboard. This question could be something about how to increase productivity within the organisation or how to solve a specific problem in the business.
  • Explain that delegates have 3 minutes to come up with two creative answers to the questions. Each answer should be written on a separate paper. Ask them to put their initials on each paper as well so they can be traced.
  • Once the time is over, ask the delegates to pass one paper to the left and one paper to the right.
  • Ask them to read the two suggested solutions they receive from others and write their vote on them. Their vote should be a number between 1 and 5, 1 being low and 5 being high.
  • Ask them to pass the paper they received from right to the left and the one from left to the right.
  • Read solutions and vote again.
  • Continue this cycle until delegates receive their own solutions back.
  • Ask them to sum up the total votes for each solution.
  • Collect the three highest voted solutions and bring them to the attention of the delegates. You can stick these on the flipchart next to the question and hang the flipchart on the wall for reference.
  • Follow with a discussion.


Explaining the Test: 5 minutes.

Activity: 3 min answering, 5 min voting = 8 minutes

Group Feedback: 10 minutes.


How did you find this exercise? Was this activity effective in generating more ideas and solutions? How do you feel about sharing your ideas with others? How effective was the limited time? Was the voting effective to bring out ideas that everyone liked without anyone being able to use political dominance to dictate the solution? Do you think it is important not to have the initials on papers so the voting can be completely anonymous?




Saurabh Sharma

By Saurabh Sharma @ Monday, November 1, 2010 7:02 AM

Really, these exercises are very good.
These have practical approach for learning.


By sangeeta @ Friday, July 29, 2011 9:35 AM

Dear Sir/madam
It is such a help to have these exwercisec to use asa resource for planning activities. It is a greta service for enhancing the skills on your part.
thanks its really not enough to thank i mean i have no words.
sangeeta pethiya

Chelsea Elm

By Chelsea Elm @ Friday, July 29, 2011 7:10 PM

Glad that you liked our training materials. Look forward to serve you more training exercises in the future. All the best.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The Most Similar Exercises & Articles to this in Order of Similarity Are:

Problem Solving Exercise: Analogies
Fishbowl Conversation Technique
Decision Making: The NAF Technique
Teambuilding Exercise: Handle Toxic Waste
Crisis Management: Brainstorm a Solution

Training Resources for You

Course Design Strategy

Course Design Strategy

Available as paperback and ebook

Training Resources

Free Training Resources

Download a free comprehensive training package including training guidelines, soft skills training activities, assessment forms and useful training resources that you can use to enhance your courses.

Body Language Guide

Our Comprehensive Guide to Body Language

Train the Trainer Guides

Train the Trainer Resources

Get Insights - Read Guides and Books - Attend Courses

Training Materials

Get downloadable training materials on: Management Training, Personal Development, Interpersonal Development, Human Resources, and Sales & Marketing

Browse Full Product Catalogue About Training Materials