Leading people into a creative mindset
Creative thinking enables your people to offer up fresh concepts, challenge norms, and imagine a better way of doing things for your customers.
We know that it can be difficult to get a group of people to think creatively. Whether you’re designing a new process, problem solving, or innovating, it can be a challenge to draw ideas out of your team or work group. Here are a few practical exercises and some inspiration to help you lead others into a creative mindset.
“Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.”
– Albert Einstein
What is creative thinking?
Creative thinking is imagining new ideas or looking at things from different perspectives. This enables you to solve problems, invent, and create new offerings and processes. Are you a creative thinker? See our infographic below for five traits of a creative thinker.
Five workshop warmups for creative thinking
Here are five examples of warmups that you can try in your workshops to encourage creative thinking. These could work well in face-to-face and virtual settings.
1. Ask everyone to sketch & share a place they used to love as a child.
2. Take 2 mins to write down the to-do lists that are clogging up everyone’s brain. Write them on post-its and hang them outside the room.
3. Ask every person to describe on thing that brought them joy this week.
4. Take 3 mins to brainstorm possible alternative uses for different objects. For example, what could you use a ruler for, other than measuring things?
5. Ask everyone to sketch a noun (e.g. a stapler, a mother-in-law, a glass of water). Share your sketch with everyone in the room, then split up into pairs. Give each pair 30 secs to brainstorm and find a noun that connects what each individual drew (e.g. stapler + glass of water = anchor). Sketch the new noun and share with everyone in the workshop.
Let us know what you think to these exercises, or if you have any more ideas. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Creative thinking through LEGO Serious Play
LEGO Serious Play is a recognised technique that engages a group of people to achieve a shared goal through play. A facilitator guides the groups through a series of questions and participants respond by building 3D LEGO models. Learn more here
An article by Jenn Choi explains how companies are using LEGO to unlock talent employees didn’t know they had, improving strategic planning, communication, and creative thinking.
“The moment of awakening came when the quietest members of his team shared some of the most valuable insights that day” (source)
Major companies, including Google, NASA, Coca-Cola, Toyota, and Unilever are using LEGO Serious Play to approach a range of company objectives. Have you tried Lego Serious Play?
“This has been a fascinating process which has created the opportunity to review thoroughly what we do within our Clinical Admin team and consider our approach in a totally different way.“
– Sue Varvel, Dir. of Nursing & Clinical Services at Rennie Grove Hospice Care