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an elusive beast

The frenetic businesses that we work for have forced a set of creative constraints on us: time, resource, standards, processes, risk, IT, stakeholder clout and many subtle others.

Nickname warm up Try using this exercise on a group that doesn’t know each other well, particularly one that is hierarchical. It’s a great way to level out a discussion and enable every voice to be heard:

n A set of written nicknames are put in a hat n Each member picks a name from the hat n A ball is tossed to a random person n That person tells a short story about how they got the name as a child n The ball is tossed again until everyone has told a story n Nicknames are used throughout the creative session

There’s a great example of a senior manager drawing ‘squirt’ from the hat and the group going quiet until he smiled and got into the swing of the exercise.

Brain writing 6 x 3 x 5 Once warmed up, this is a collaborative and fun technique to generate over 100 ideas in 30 minutes:

n A group of 6 people (ideal but can be fewer) is assembled n Each person has a sheet of paper with 3 columns n The creative challenge is stated to the group

n Each person writes down 3 ideas in the 3 columns in 5 minutes n After 5 minutes the sheet is passed on and a new sheet received n The exercise is repeated 6 times in silence n At the end, a discussion combines ideas and finds patterns

The beauty of this technique is that is leads to unfiltered ideas. Everyone has an equal voice. Sure, it gets very hard to think of new ideas towards the end, but that’s when previous ideas can be elaborated on or just combined.

Food for your creative mind There are many other creative exercises, which the Kelley brothers explore in their excellent book on Creative Confidence 3

about having fun. So here’s a recipe that I hope will work for you:

n Be comfortable with failure – accept that you won’t always get it right. n Live a creative life – your best ideas will come from the treadmill, not the team meeting.

n Unleash your creative confidence – give your right brain permission to speak.

If you want to learn more, my talk at Learning Technologies looked more deeply at creative confidence

Richard Hyde is a director at Mind Click @richardthyde

References: 1. Zabelina & Robinson (2010), Child’s play: Facilitating the originality of creative output by a priming manipulation

2. Ken Robinson (2006), How schools kill creativity

3. David & Tom Kelley (2013), Creative confidence, unleashing the creative potential within us all

, and you can even invent your own. It’s just


e.learning age april 2015

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