Turning Walls Into Doors: Exercises To Enable Creative Thinking
February 4, 2019
Unleash Your Team’s Creative Potential
Whether you’re the head of a small entrepreneurial start up, or a team lead at a massive organization, a creative approach is essential when it comes to breaking barriers and achieving goals. Like a certain wild-haired physicist said, “problems cannot be solved with the same mind set that created them.”
At ImageThink, our entire 360 degree team—from account managers to graphic recorders—is dedicated to helping you find that new approach. From meeting quarterly goals that seem just out of reach, to matching client needs that seem unachievable, we believe that unleashing your team’s creativity is an essential first step towards turning impossible goals into imminent realities. All it takes is a small shift in perspective for entirely new paths to make themselves apparent, and for the wall that you’ve been beating your head against to suddenly turn into a door.
Here are a few exercises to unleash the creative power lying dormant in everyone.
Shake Off The Box, With ImageThink Creativity Cards
Feeling stuck in the proverbial box? Like a Magic Eye Puzzle, staring too hard at the same thing can lock you in exactly when stepping back is what’s needed in order to uncover a solution.
That’s why we created our Creativity Card deck. Each card has a fun and unique exercise designed to prompt creative thinking. They’re a great way to jump start imagination and invigorate lateral thinking, whether by yourself or with your team. You might be surprised at the way that the energy you create while using them can be brought back to your daily tasks!
Here are just a few of our favorites:
- Find an object close to you and think of a word that rhymes with it. Invent a new product with those two words.
- Think of an acronym. Invent another meaning and make a doodle out of it.
- Illustrate how someone from 200 years ago would describe your problem.
Get in touch with our account managers to learn how you can get your own deck!
Draw Your Big Idea is filled with visual thinking exercises to help you uncover new perspectives and achieve personal and business goals.
Define The Pros…And The Other Pros
Ask any improv comedian: negativity is the creativity killer. A central tenet of improv is “Yes, And,” the concept that by finding ways to agree to and expand on a statement, scenes can become more more expansive (and funnier) than if they are shut down with a “no.”
It turns out, the same thing is true during brainstorm meetings!
That’s not to say that a critical eye isn’t crucial in the final evaluation of a project, plan, or strategy. But if you’re still scanning for new solutions, it’s not a time for undercutting your ideas, or anyone else’s. It’s a time for casting a net as wide as possible, from as many sources as you have access to.
That’s the idea behind the Pros and Pros List, from Draw Your Big Idea. If you’re feeling like all your options are dead ends, maybe it’s time to find the potentiality they are hiding.
To use the Pros and Pros list, first hold a brainstorm to ideate as many potential solutions to your challenges as possible. Next, break into teams and define each ideas pros and cons. Finally, find the opportunities hidden in the cons. How can a small budget be used to showcase your ingenuity and cost-conscious approach to a prospective client? How can a tight timeline create opportunities for learning how to streamline working methods? It’s true that some ideas might end up being more feasible than others, but the Pros and Pros exercise allows you a moment to open up and consider those ideas you might have thrown out right off the bat. You might be surprised what you end up with.
Change Your Scenery, Change Your Mind
Still stuck? A change in scenery can do wonders when it comes to opening up new modes of thinking. Take an hour away from your desk and work on your project in a common area or a nearby coffee shop. Even simply trading workspaces with a coworker might be enough to break you out of your rut.
Ready to really unleash your team’s creative potential? Check out our custom tailored visual thinking workshops, where you’ll learn how simply picking up a pen can lead to real world breakthroughs.