101 activities for teaching creativity and problem solving

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Employees who possess problem-solving skills are highly valued in today's competitive business environment. The question is how can employees learn to deal in innovative ways with new data, methods, people, and technologies? In this groundbreaking book, Arthur VanGundy -- a pioneer in the field of idea generation and problem solving -- has compiled 101 group activities that combine to make a unique resource for trainers, facilitators, and human resource professionals. The book is filled with idea-generation activities that simultaneously teach the underlying problem-solving and creativity techniques involved. Each of the book's 101 engaging and thought-provoking activities includes facilitator notes and advice on when and how to use the activity. Using 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving will give you the information and tools you need to:Generate creative ideas to solve problems.Avoid patterned and negative thinking.Engage in activities that are guaranteed to spark ideas.Use proven techniques for brainstorming with groups.Order your copy today.

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101 Activities For Teaching Creativity And Problem Solving pdf

101 Activities For Teaching Creativity And Problem Solving by Arthur B VaanGundy pdf free download. 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving Employees who possess problem-solving skills are highly valued in today’s competitive business environment. The question is how can employees learn to deal in innovative ways with new data, methods, people, and technologies?.

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Arthur B. VanGundy

101 Activities for Teaching Creativity 1st Edition

  • Generate creative ideas to solve problems.
  • Avoid patterned and negative thinking.
  • Engage in activities that are guaranteed to spark ideas.

Order your copy today.

  • ISBN-10 0787974021
  • ISBN-13 978-0787974022
  • Edition 1st
  • Publisher John Wiley &Sons
  • Publication date June 6, 1985
  • Language English
  • Dimensions 8.25 x 0.93 x 11 inches
  • Print length 412 pages
  • See all details

Editorial Reviews

"Many people in business spend their time imagining all the reasons why something can’t be done or why something can’t work. Dr. Arthur VanGundy’s 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving will change this way of thinking. Arthur’s inventive thinking techniques will show people creative ways on how to get things done and how to make them work. As a creativity expert, I’ve reviewed just about all the material on or about creativity in business on the market. This collection is the most comprehensive, practical, and best idea-generating resource available. You can take my word for it."--Michael Michalko, author, Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Business Creativity; Cracking Creativity: The Secrets of Creative Genius; and ThinkPac (A Brainstorming Card Set)

From the Back Cover

  • Generate creative ideas to solve problems
  • Avoid patterned and negative thinking
  • Engage in activities that are guaranteed to spark ideas
  • Use proven techniques for brainstorming with groups

"Many people in business spend their time imagining all the reasons why something can't be done or why something can't work. Dr. Arthur VanGundy's 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving will change this way of thinking. Arthur's inventive thinking techniques will show people creative ways on how to get things done and how to make them work. As a creativity expert, I've reviewed just about all the material on or about creativity in business on the market. This collection is the most comprehensive, practical, and best idea-generating resource available. You can take my word for it." ?Michael Michalko, author, Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Business Creativity; Cracking Creativity: The Secrets of Creative Genius; and ThinkPac (A Brainstorming Card Set)

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  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ John Wiley &Sons; 1st edition (June 6, 1985)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 412 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0787974021
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0787974022
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 2.28 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 8.25 x 0.93 x 11 inches
  • #2,922 in Business Decision Making
  • #3,880 in Decision-Making & Problem Solving
  • #8,667 in Business & Finance

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101 Activities For Teaching Creativity And Problem Solving ( PDFDrive )

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15 A Likely Story Background Have you ever wanted to write the Great American Novel (GAN), but didn’t think you could? Well, now is your chance. Even if we don’t consider ourselves to be writers, we can compose brief, fantasy stories. We then can use our stories as the basis for our GANs. Writing, like painting and sculpting, is a creative activity. All artists use a variety of stimuli to craft their creative products using free association. Some of these stimuli come from the product itself. Thus, an artist might draw a shape that stimulates another shape, which prompts a third and so forth. Creative writing works much the same way. A cre- ative phrase, character description, or plot element might suggest other corresponding thoughts that, in turn, suggest even more. In addition, creating a story about a problem forces us to consider new information and perspectives that might have gone unnoticed. Objectives • To help participants generate as many creative ideas as possible • To help participants learn how to use the activities to generate ideas Participants Small groups of four to seven people each Materials, Supplies, and Equipment • For each group: markers, two flip charts, and masking tape for posting flip-chart sheets • For each participant: one sheet each of three different colors of sticking dots (1⁄2” diameter) and one pad of 4 x 6 Post-it® Notes Handout • A Likely Story Handout 1T0i1mAectivities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving. Copyright © 2005 by John Wiley & S90onms,inInucte. sReproduced by permission of Pfeiffer, an Imprint of Wiley. www.pfeiffer.com 88 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving TLFeBOOK Related Activities • Idea Diary [6] • Text Tickler [20] • Fairy Tale Time [40] Procedure 1. Distribute the handout, review it with participants, and ask whether they have any questions. 2. Decide on a group challenge statement and distribute it to all participants along with the following statement: “Your task for this exercise is to write a brief, fictional story of fewer than 500 words (about two, typed, double-spaced pages). Your story should be related directly to the group problem. Don’t worry if it doesn’t make a lot of sense. Just let go of your imagination. Sometimes, humorous stories work best, but don’t limit yourself. Then read over your story carefully. Scrutinize it for major themes, con- cepts, principles, actions, thoughts, and whatever else strikes your fancy. Make a list of these and write down any ideas suggested to resolve the challenge.” 4. Distribute the handout to be used as a sample story, discuss it with the partici- pants, and ask if there are any questions. 5. Convene the small groups and instruct members from each group to share their three best ideas, write them down on Post-it® Notes (one idea per note), place them on a flip chart, and then vote on the best ideas shared. Debrief/Discussion A Likely Story generates ideas using random stimulation from data generated from the story. It helps us explore our subconscious creative thoughts and use these thoughts to stimulate ideas. And the quality of writing really isn’t important. What is important is to generate a variety of stimuli that might be used to trigger ideas. Consider asking the groups to discuss whether this exercise worked and why it did or did not. Note that not all groups will benefit from this exercise since it does require some creative imagination. It also is possible that someone who can’t think of any ideas with one story may experi- ence a different outcome with another story he or she writes. Also consider having participants debrief using the following questions: • What was most helpful about this exercise? • What was most challenging? • What can we apply? • How would you rate the value of this exercise to helping us with this issue? • Will this exercise be helpful in the future for other sessions? 10•1 WAchtiavtitdieids fyorouTelaecahrinn?g Creativity and Problem Solving. Copyright © 2005 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Reproduced by permission of Pfeiffer, an Imprint of Wiley. www.pfeiffer.com Ticklers: Related and Unrelated Stimuli 89 TLFeBOOK • What will we be able to use from this exercise? • What ideas were generated, and which ones were most interesting? Variation • Have members of each group create a story as a group and then use it to generate ideas. 90 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving TLFeBOOK A Likely Story Handout To illustrate A Likely Story, consider the problem of helping a publisher sell more books. Here’s one story, written entirely with free association. In this case, the author started by writing down the lead sentence and then going from there: It was a day like any other day for Duke Smithers, private investigator. Eleanor Making wanted him to follow her husband for investigation of possible infidelity. Sleazy bars and cheap motels were what he knew best in these cases. One lead led to another like liquid molten lead. First a bartender sees the suspected couple and then a motel clerk denies ever seeing them. It was as if people knew how to disap- pear into thin air. The thought of it made him gasp for air, and then made him parched for a drink. Yeah. A good stiff drink of cranberry juice was what he needed. He opened his desk drawer, retrieved the quart bottle of CJ (cranberry juice), and slammed it down on his desk. He untwisted the lid and thought of what he had learned so far: Mr. Making was making time with Susie Turnoverton, his former secretary who now worked as a CPA. Or was she? The more he reflected while sipping his CJ, the more he thought of how much he liked CJ. And then he passed out, a stream of red flowing from his mouth. Murdered or just resting? Who can tell? O.K. It’s a pretty stupid story. If it can help generate ideas, however, then it’s a pretty smart story. To generate ideas for the problem of selling books, you could read over the story several times and think of ideas stimulated. (Another option would be to list major themes and write them down.) Here are some sample ideas: • Hire an actor to play a fictional detective to promote a detective novel (from “private investigator”). • Start a “Frequent Purchasers” club and reward faithful customers with discounts or free books (from “infidelity”). • Sell popular paperbacks in hotels and motels (from “sleazy motels”). • Sponsor a contest with an airplane trip as the grand prize (from “disappear into thin air”). • Add a pine-scented scratch-and-sniff on the cover of a book about trees (from “gasp for air”). • Advertise health food and recipe books on bottles of fruit juice (from “cranberry juice”). • Give people a trade-in allowance on old books when buying new ones (from “Turnoverton”). • Allow people to buy books on the installment plan (from “CPA”). • Pass out book fliers with coupons in malls (from “passed out”). • Create capsules that ooze fake blood from inside murder-mystery books (from “red flowing from his mouth”). 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving. Copyright © 2005 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Reproduced by permission of Pfeiffer, an Imprint of Wiley. www.pfeiffer.com Ticklers: Related and Unrelated Stimuli 91 TLFeBOOK 16 PICLED BRAINS Background We all have had our brains tickled many times while listening to others talk. Although we may not hear every word spoken, we often scan the output selectively and focus on a few key words and phrases. These words and phrases are the ones that frequently spark new ideas. Sometimes we may not be aware we are influenced by someone’s words; other times, we may have an instant “Aha!” when we hear a certain word. In either case, the ideas usually flow freely. PICLed Brains is based on the Product Improvement CheckList (PICL) (VanGundy, 1985) poster and uses a similar process to generate ideas. However, instead of relying on someone else’s words, we can use random stimulus words, most of which should be unrelated to a problem. This technique is based on the brain’s ability to free-associate when presented with something new. When we first confront a new word, a stream of mental associations is triggered in our brains. Each of these mental associations has the potential to spark unique ideas, mostly because the associations are unrelated to our problems. The Product Improvement CheckList contains stimulus words organized into four categories: 1. Try to . . . (for example, inflate it, twist it, sketch it, wipe it, tighten it) 2. Make it . . . (for example, transparent, soft, magnetic) 3. Think of . . . (for example, time bombs, escalators, oatmeal) 4. Take away or add . . . (for example, anticipation, layers, sex appeal, friction) To generate ideas, randomly select a word from one of the four categories and see if it suggests any new ideas. Then free-associate from this word to get started. If you don’t have a copy of the PICL, you can use the sample words in the handout. Objectives • To help participants generate as many creative ideas as possible • To help participants learn how to use the activities to generate ideas P10a1rAtcitciviiptieas nfortsTeaching Creativity and Problem Solving. Copyright © 2005 by John Wiley & Smonasl,lIgnrco.uRpesporof dfouucredtobsyevpeenrmpiesospiolen eoafcPhfeiffer, an Imprint of Wiley. www.pfeiffer.com 92 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving TLFeBOOK Materials, Supplies, and Equipment • For each group: markers, two flip charts, and masking tape for posting flip-chart sheets • For each participant: one sheet each of three different colors of sticking dots (1⁄2” diameter) and one pad of 4 x 6 Post-it® Notes • (Optional) A dictionary or other book containing lists of words (for example, “Random House Word Menu”) Handouts • List of Stimulus Words Handout • PICLed Brains Handout Time 45 minutes Related Activities • Excerpt Excitation [13] • Say What? [20] • Text Tickler [21] Procedure 1. Distribute the List of Stimulus Words Handout (feel free to add other words or have group members add their own words). 2. Distribute the PICLed Brains Handout, one copy per person or post the words on a flip chart. Explain how to use the words and answer any questions they may have. 3. Instruct the individuals in each group to take turns picking one word unrelated to the challenge. 4. Tell them the group should use each word to free-associate and try to think of ideas to resolve the challenge. Note: if a word doesn’t result in any ideas, they should select another word. 5. Tell them to write down any ideas on Post-it® Notes (one idea per note) and place them on flip charts for evaluation. Debrief/Discussion 1nS0oo1mt dAeicrpteiecvotiltpyielesrefholaartvTeeedat.crAhoiusnkbglpeCaurrestaiitcniivgpiatsyntitamsnutdolPidrtihosbacltuemasrseSwoulhnvyirnetglha.itCsedomptioygrhaitgcbhheta.©lOle2tnh0g0ee5r, since they are qbuyeJsothionnWs mileigyh&t Sons, Inc. Reproduced by permission of Pfeiffer, an Imprint of Wiley. www.pfeiffer.com Ticklers: Related and Unrelated Stimuli 93 TLFeBOOK involve why some words seem to generate more ideas than others. You also could observe that people who initially have trouble with free association often begin to loosen up and increase their ability to think of ideas over time. Observing others use the words also can facilitate learning how to free-associate from random words. Also consider having participants debrief using the following questions: • What was most helpful about this exercise? • What was most challenging? • What can we apply? • How would you rate the value of this exercise to helping us with this issue? • Will this exercise be helpful in the future for other sessions? • What did you learn? • What will we be able to use from this exercise? • What ideas were generated, and which ones were most interesting? 94 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving TLFeBOOK List of Stimulus Words Handout Force it Sand it Jiggle it Brush it Cushion it Bend it Sprinkle it Press it Vibrate it Inject it Twist it Inflate it Bright Transparent Sticky Bounce Spin Pop up Tubes Wet Shine Coarse Bubble Zip Balloons Accordions Sponges Thermostats Tulips Egg shells Mercury Waterfalls Syringes Vises Corkscrews Gryoscopes Funnels Filters Spirals Time bombs Bells Waves Mirrors Velcro Rhythm Static Turbulence Anticipation 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving. Copyright © 2005 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Reproduced by permission of Pfeiffer, an Imprint of Wiley. www.pfeiffer.com Ticklers: Related and Unrelated Stimuli 95 TLFeBOOK PICLed Brains Handout To illustrate PICLed Brains, consider the problem of improving a common household flashlight. Here are some sample ideas: • Make a flashlight buoyant so it floats in water if dropped accidentally (from “inflate it”). • Make the flashlight handle out of rubber so it can be twisted into different shapes as a novelty or secured to some object in order to target the light beam (from “twist it”). • Make the flashlight transparent, like a transparent telephone (from “transparent”). • Include a timer so the flashlight turns off automatically after a certain amount of time (from “time bombs”). • Design the flashlight so that it turns on whenever pressure is applied to the handle (from “anticipation”). 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving. Copyright © 2005 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Reproduced by permission of Pfeiffer, an Imprint of Wiley. www.pfeiffer.com 96 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving TLFeBOOK 17 PICTURE TICKLER Background Visual stimuli of all types can create different perceptions, thoughts, feelings, and associa- tions. What triggers an image in one person may trigger a completely different one in someone else. This technique is similar to PICLed Brains except the stimuli are pictures instead of words. People who have trouble free-associating from unrelated stimulus words may find it easier to free-associate with pictures. So this might be a useful technique for such people. Objectives • To help participants generate as many creative ideas as possible • To help participants learn how to use the activities to generate idea Participants Small groups of four to seven people each Materials, Supplies, and Equipment • For each group: markers, two flip charts, and masking tape for posting flip-chart sheets • For each participant: one sheet each of three different colors of sticking dots (1⁄2” diameter) and one pad of 4 x 6 Post-it® Notes • Windmill graphic • An assortment of color pictures from magazines and catalogs. Color pictures from such magazines as National Geographic work well. The best pictures are those with a variety of actions, objects, colors, textures, and other stimuli. Try to select pictures that vary in content. For instance, don’t select all factory scenes or pictures of the country- side. In general, avoid pictures with people in them, especially close-ups. As a rule of thumb, have at least four magazines or catalogs for each group. H101aAncdtivoituiets for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving. Copyright © 2005 by John Wiley & So•nPs,icIntucr. eRTepicrkolderuHceadnbdyouptermission of Pfeiffer, an Imprint of Wiley. www.pfeiffer.com Ticklers: Related and Unrelated Stimuli 97 TLFeBOOK Time 30 minutes Related Activities • Ideatoons [26] • Doodles [37] • Drawing Room [59] • Modular Brainstorming [62] Procedure 1. Distribute the Picture Tickler Handout and have the participants look at Figure 5.1. 2. Ask the large group whether it suggests any images to them. Any specific associa- tions? Thoughts? Feelings? If so, suggest that the visual stimuli in the picture may have affected them. 3. Ensure they understand how to use the picture to generate ideas. Answer any questions they might have. 4. Distribute the magazines and catalogs to each group. 5. Have the group members take turns selecting a picture that the large group then will describe in detail and write down descriptions of on a flip chart. Encourage them to note any relationships, concepts, and principles visible. Emphasize the importance of describing actual or implied actions or processes. Note that the pur- pose of this exercise is to stimulate ideas, not achieve consensus on correctness. This reminder is important because members are likely to disagree with others about the accuracy of their descriptions. 6. After all the descriptions have been recorded, tell the groups to look them over and see which ones might stimulate ideas. To help them think of ideas, have them take turns free-associating aloud and be playful with their associations. (This way they will be more likely to generate fresh perspectives. Rigidity is an enemy of cre- ative thinking.) 7. Tell them to write down any ideas on Post-it® Notes (one idea per note) and place them on flip charts for evaluation. Debrief/Discussion Many people respond best to visual stimuli when generating ideas. People who tend to create mental images when generating ideas probably respond well when looking at visu- al stimuli. Note that one way to test whether they are visual thinkers is to ask group members to take turns observing each other’s eyes while the other thinks of a creative s1o0l1uAticotnivtiotiessofmoreTpearochbilnegmC. rIefastoivmiteyoannedlPoorokbsletmo tShoelvlienfgt .aCndopuypr,ighheto©r s2h0e05isbpyroJobhanblWy icloeny-& Sons, Inc. Reproduced by permission of Pfeiffer, an Imprint of Wiley. www.pfeiffer.com 98 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving TLFeBOOK juring up visual images. (This is true because the right side of the brain—which is involved with creativity—controls the left side of the body.) Also consider having participants debrief using the following questions: • What was most helpful about this exercise? • What was most challenging? • What can we apply? • How would you rate the value of this exercise to helping us with this issue? • Will this exercise be helpful in the future for other sessions? • What did you learn? • What will we be able to use from this exercise? • What ideas were generated, and which ones were most interesting? Ticklers: Related and Unrelated Stimuli 99 TLFeBOOK Picture Tickler Handout Here’s an example of how to use a picture of a windmill as a source of idea stimulation. The problem involves improving a household telephone. First, describe the picture shown in Figure 5.1. There is a windmill. It is down by the old windmill stream (not the river, but the stream). It’s where I first met you. The air is relatively calm. The wind turns the blades, which turn gears to pump water out of the fields. The faster the wind blows, the faster the blades turn. The windmill building pro- vides protection from the elements. Many windmills are need- ed to pump out all the water. Next, use the descriptions to spark ideas. Here are some Figure 5.1. Windmill examples: • Put the telephone on tiny wheels to roll around on a desk (from “The wind turns the blades”). • Add an LCD panel that shows your name and welcomes you every time you pick up the phone to make a call (from “It’s where I first met you”). • Make a telephone receiver that is shaped like a boat and floats in water (from “pump water out of the fields”). • Use different sound effects to notify users of incoming calls, such as driving rain, pounding surf, or hail (from “The windmill building provides protection from the ele- ments”). • Create an inflatable telephone (from “pump out all the water”). 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving. Copyright © 2005 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Reproduced by permission of Pfeiffer, an Imprint of Wiley. www.pfeiffer.com 100 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving TLFeBOOK 18 RORSCHACH REVISIONIST Background This exercise uses what psychologists call “ambiguous stimulus materials.” To keep things simple, we’ll call them ASM. ASM are stimuli that have no apparent meaning. Instead, we tend to project meaning onto these stimuli based on how we interpret the world. A psychologist, for instance, might use Rorschach inkblots to determine whether a client has an aggressive personality. The client presumably will project aggressive tenden- cies in response to seeing the inkblots. Another person with a different personality might describe feelings of tranquility in response to the same inkblot. Rorschach Revisionist is based on the principle of standard inkblot tests. However, instead of using inkblots to assess one’s personality, they are used as sources of stimula- tion to generate ideas. Thus, instead of projecting personality, participants project their ideas and thinking perspectives. Objectives • To help participants generate as many creative ideas as possible • To help participants learn how to use the activities to generate ideas Participants Small groups of four to seven people each Materials, Supplies, and Equipment • For each group: markers, two flip charts, and masking tape for posting flip-chart sheets • For each participant: one sheet each of three different colors of sticking dots (1⁄2” diameter) and one pad of 4 x 6 Post-it® Notes. • One or two bottles of washable, black liquid ink for each table • One sheet of 8.5” x 11” paper for each participant Ticklers: Related and Unrelated Stimuli 101 TLFeBOOK Handout • Rorschach Revisionist Handout Time 30 minutes Related Activities • Picture Tickler [17] • Ideatoons [26] • Doodles [37] • Drawing Room [59] • Modular Brainstorming [62] Procedure 1. Distribute the handout showing a sample inkblot exercise. Discuss how the stim- uli were collected and then used to generate ideas. Ask if they have any questions. 2. Instruct each participant to make an inkblot by folding the 8.5” x 11” paper in half on the 8.5-inch side (as opposed to lengthwise) so that each half is roughly 5.5 inches long and unfolds like a book. 3. Tell them to place a large (about 1.5 inches in diameter) drop of ink on one-half of their folded paper and then fold it over (as if closing a book) onto the side without any ink. Tell them to press down hard so that the ink is smeared around on the paper. The result is their personal inkblot. 4. Ask the participants to study their personal inkblots and encourage them not to fixate on the first image they see or they may have trouble seeing other images. Have them turn the inkblot upside down and sideways and look at it straight down and from an angle. Then suggest that they squint at it and rotate it to create different perspectives. 5. Ask each individual to share his or her inkblot with the other group members and describe what he or she sees in as much detail as possible. They may see many different images in each inkblot, so encourage them to share all of the images. 6. Caution them about limiting themselves to generating ideas prompted directly from the inkblot stimuli. For example, if they see nothing but animals in an inkblot, they shouldn’t feel obligated to use only animals as stimuli. Instead, tell them to let their intuition take over and concentrate on the inkblots and let the free associations flow. Then write down whatever ideas come to mind. For exam- ple, from animals they might free-associate to zoos and then to amusement parks and so on. 101 A7c.tiAvistkiesthfoergTreoauchpinmgeCmrebaetrivsittoy uansed tPhreobdleemscrSiopltviionngs. Cofoepaycrhigihntk©blo2t00a5s sbtyimJouhlintoWgileenye&r- Sons, Inc. Reproduced by permission of Pfeiffer, an Imprint of Wiley. www.pfeiffer.com 102 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving TLFeBOOK ate ideas, write them down on Post-it® Notes (one idea per note), and place the notes on a flip chart for evaluation. Debrief/Discussion This can be a fun exercise since it produces diverse stimuli as well as perceptions as to what those stimuli represent. Ask the group members to discuss how easy or difficult it was for them to see images within the inkblots and to use them as idea triggers. Also consider having participants debrief using the following questions: • What was most helpful about this exercise? • What was most challenging? • What can we apply? • How would you rate the value of this exercise to helping us with this issue? • Will this exercise be helpful in the future for other sessions? • What did you learn? • What will we be able to use from this exercise? • What ideas were generated, and which ones were most interesting? Variations • Suggest that other group members note what they see in the other inkblots and use their descriptions to help trigger ideas. • Use different colored inks and ask the group members to discuss whether that made any difference in their experiences in creating stimuli or thinking of ideas. 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving. Copyright © 2005 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Reproduced by permission of Pfeiffer, an Imprint of Wiley. www.pfeiffer.com Ticklers: Related and Unrelated Stimuli 103 TLFeBOOK Rorschach Revisionist Handout Refer to the inkblot shown in Figure 5.2 to stimulate ideas for improving a telephone. First, describe the inkblot, for example: • A jet aircraft with swept-back wings Figure 5.2. Inkblot • Siamese twins on a teeter-totter in the large part on the top of the inkblot • A spider • A frog holding a modern sculpture • An Amazon beetle • A moon-landing craft • A mirror image of stalagmites • The remains of a spider dropped from a twenty-story building • Two alligators with conjoined twins on their backs • A Vulcan tree root Next, use the descriptions and any intuitive reactions to generate ideas: • A children’s telephone in the shape of a airplane fighter (or frog, spider, beetle, space- ship, or alligator) • A teeter-totter type of telephone in which the phone base goes down when the receiv- er is lifted (and vice versa) • A telephone designed as a copy of a modern sculpture • A telephone that “walks” across the table toward you when it rings • A stainless steel telephone • An alligator telephone that cradles the receiver in its mouth • A “piggyback” telephone that contains a detachable cellular phone and a computer database of names and addresses • A telephone that comes apart as a puzzle 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving. Copyright © 2005 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Reproduced by permission of Pfeiffer, an Imprint of Wiley. www.pfeiffer.com 104 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving TLFeBOOK 19 SAY WHAT? Background Idea generation should be like a rolling stone that gathers no moss. We should be able to free-associate so fast we don’t have time to judge our ideas. This is especially true in groups, in which people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. If we criticize others’ ideas, we should criticize our own. Figures of speech liven up what we read and hear. They give substance to our com- munications and can convey intended meanings more clearly. They also can become tire- some if used repetitively or improperly, as illustrated in the previous paragraph (that is, “a rolling stone . . .” and “people in glass houses . . . ”). We all use clichés, proverbs, and maxims as part of our everyday speech. However, if we want to use them to resolve our problems, we must use them systematically. That is where this exercise comes in handy. Objectives • To help participants generate as many creative ideas as possible • To help participants learn how to use the activities to generate ideas Participants Small groups of four to seven people each Materials, Supplies, and Equipment • For each group: markers, two flip charts, and masking tape for posting flip-chart sheets • For each participant: one sheet each of three different colors of sticking dots (1⁄2” diameter) and one pad of 4 x 6 Post-it® Notes. Handouts • Clichés, Proverbs, and Maxims Handout 10•1 SAacytiWvithieastf?oHr Taenadchoiuntg Creativity and Problem Solving. Copyright © 2005 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Reproduced by permission of Pfeiffer, an Imprint of Wiley. www.pfeiffer.com Ticklers: Related and Unrelated Stimuli 105 TLFeBOOK Time 30 minutes Related Activities • Picture Tickler [17] • Ideatoons [26] • Doodles [37] • Drawing Room [59] • Modular Brainstorming [62] Procedure 1. Distribute the Clichés, Proverbs, and Maxims Handout. 2. Distribute the Say What? Handout and discuss it with the participants, answering questions they might have. 3. After discussing a challenge to work on, instruct the groups to review the list of Clichés, Proverbs, and Maxims and have each person select one that looks inter- esting. 4. Tell the individuals to write down what they think is the intended meaning behind the maxim or cliché they chose and to use as much detail as they can with their descriptions. 5. Have the individuals in each group share their descriptions, in turn, with the other group members. 6. Tell them to use the descriptions to brainstorm ideas as a group, write down ideas on Post-it® Notes (one idea per note), and place them on a flip chart for evaluation. Debrief/Discussion This is an exercise in which the specific selections can determine the outcome. That is, some selections might result in a higher quantity and quality of ideas than others. Some people might be able to use the phrases more easily than others to trigger ideas, or some may find this approach better than when using another technique using single words, such as the PICLed Brains [16] approach. Also consider having participants debrief using the following questions: • What was most helpful about this exercise? • What was most challenging? • What can we apply? • How would you rate the value of this exercise to helping us with this issue? 10•1 WAcitllivtihtiiessefxoerrTceiascehbineghCelrpeafutilviintytahnedfuPtruobrelemforSooltvhienrg.seCsospioynrsig? ht © 2005 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Reproduced by permission of Pfeiffer, an Imprint of Wiley. www.pfeiffer.com 106 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving TLFeBOOK • What did you learn? • What will we be able to use from this exercise? • What ideas were generated, and which ones were most interesting? Ticklers: Related and Unrelated Stimuli 107 TLFeBOOK Clichés, Proverbs, and Maxims Handout • A friend in need is a friend indeed. • A penny saved is a penny earned. • A rolling stone gathers no moss. • A stitch in time saves nine. • Absence makes the heart grow fonder. • Actions speak louder than words. • All roads lead to Rome. • All that glitters is not gold. • All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. • An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. • Beggars can’t be choosers. • Better late than never. • Better safe than sorry. • Big oaks from little acorns grow. • Don’t bite off more than you can chew. • Don’t borrow from Peter to pay Paul. • Don’t burn a candle at both ends. • Don’t put all your eggs into one basket. • Don’t rock the boat. • Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. • Every cloud has a silver lining. • Experience is the best teacher. • Familiarity breeds contempt. • Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. • For every drop of rain that falls, a flower grows. • Forewarned is forearmed. • Go ahead. Make my day! • Good fences make good neighbors. • He who hesitates is lost. • He who tends a fig tree will eat its fruit. • His bark is worse than his bite. • It never rains but it pours. 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving. Copyright © 2005 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Reproduced by permission of Pfeiffer, an Imprint of Wiley. www.pfeiffer.com 108 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving TLFeBOOK • It takes two to tango. • It’s easier to catch flies with honey than with vinegar. • Jack of all trades, master of none. • Keep your nose to the grindstone. • Look before you leap. • Loose lips sink ships. • Misery loves company. • Neither a borrower nor a lender be. • Nothing ventured, nothing gained. • Out of sight, out of mind. • People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. • Rome wasn’t built in a day. • Seeing is believing. • Something must be seen to be believed. • Spare the rod and spoil the child. • Stone walls do not a prison make. • The early bird gets the worm. • The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. • The meek shall inherit the earth. • The pen is mightier than the sword. • Too many cooks spoil the broth. • Two heads are better than one. • Two’s company and three’s a crowd. • Waste not, want not. • Where there’s smoke there’s fire. • You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. • You can’t judge a book by its cover. • You’re barking up the wrong tree. 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving. Copyright © 2005 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Reproduced by permission of Pfeiffer, an Imprint of Wiley. www.pfeiffer.com Ticklers: Related and Unrelated Stimuli 109 TLFeBOOK Say What? Handout To illustrate this technique, consider the problem of how to recruit professional employ- ees. To generate ideas, you might select two proverbs. The first is “Stone walls do not a prison make.” This proverb might elicit the following free associations: • Although you can imprison my body, you can’t imprison my spirit. • Many people create their own “mental” prisons that restrict their ability to think cre- atively. • Stone walls are generally built from the bottom up in layers. • It is much easier to go over, under, or around stone walls than through them. These interpretations then might spark the following ideas: • Emphasize personal and professional growth opportunities or, if they don’t exist, cre- ate them (from “you can’t imprison my spirit”). • Demonstrate in-house creativity sessions at professional meetings to show how much fun it is to work for your organization and how creativity is encouraged (from “Many people create their own mental prisons”). • Provide intensive orientation sessions to lay a good foundation for understanding the organization (from “Stone walls are generally built up in layers”). • Promise new executives direct access to upper management (from “Stone walls are generally built up in layers”). • Provide new executives with a personal mentor to help cut through the red tape dur- ing their first year on the job (from “It is much easier to go over, under, or around stone walls than through them”). For the second proverb, you might select “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” It might suggest the following thoughts: • We all occasionally need to relax and recharge our batteries. • We should strive to achieve balance in the amount of work and play we do. • Dull people can be unpleasant to be around. These interpretations might prompt the following types of ideas: • Provide professionals with executive sabbaticals (from “We all occasionally need to relax and recharge our batteries”). • Require all employees to take a “play break” every day (from “We should strive to achieve balance in the amount of work and play we do”). • To keep people sharp, require job rotation (from “Dull people can be unpleasant to be around”). 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving. Copyright © 2005 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Reproduced by permission of Pfeiffer, an Imprint of Wiley. www.pfeiffer.com 110 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving TLFeBOOK 20 TEXT TICKLER Background Many people like to read for entertainment or to learn something new. For some people, there’s nothing like curling up with a good novel. Reading helps tickle our gray matter, whether the material is Shakespeare or a clothing catalog. The more we read, the more stimulation we receive. Sometimes, when we least expect it, a potential solution will pop out as we read. This may happen through some subconscious association or because we occasionally ponder a current problem while reading and something we read sparks an idea. Although such ideas may frequently occur by chance, we can make idea generation more predictable. That’s where the Text Tickler exercise can help. Text Tickler involves randomly selecting words from different sources and then using them to prompt ideas. It doesn’t matter where you get the words, as long as you have a varied pool from which to choose. Objectives • To help participants generate as many creative ideas as possible • To help participants learn how to use the activities to generate ideas Participants Small groups of four to seven people each Materials, Supplies, and Equipment • For each group: markers, two flip charts, and masking tape for posting flip-chart sheets • For each participant: one sheet each of three different colors of sticking dots (1⁄2” diameter) and one pad of 4 x 6 Post-it® Notes. Handout 10•1 TAecxttivTiticieksleforrHTeaancdhionugtCreativity and Problem Solving. Copyright © 2005 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Reproduced by permission of Pfeiffer, an Imprint of Wiley. www.pfeiffer.com Ticklers: Related and Unrelated Stimuli 111 TLFeBOOK Time 30 minutes Related Activities • A Likely Story [15] • PICLed Brains [16] • Say What? [19] Procedure 1. Prior to the session, gather an assortment of old books, catalogs, magazines, news- papers, or any source of words, including dictionaries, to distribute during the session. 2. Distribute the Text Tickler Handout and discuss it with the participants, answer- ing questions they might have. 3. At the start of the session, distribute at least one source of stimuli (a magazine or catalog) to each group member. 4. Instruct each participant to select a word or phrase from his or her word source. 5. Tell them to examine the word or phrase and use it to trigger at least one idea and write it on a Post-it® Note. 6. Have the group members pass their Post-it® Notes to the person on their right and tell them to write down any new ideas stimulated. 7. Tell the groups to repeat Steps 3 through 5 and conclude once all group members have selected and reported on a random word and generated an idea or when time is no longer available. 8. Have them place the notes on flip charts for evaluation. Debrief/Discussion This technique should appeal especially well to people who are good at creating visual images from reading different words. It also helps people who can free-associate easily so that one word leads to another, thus creating different perspectives. To facilitate a discussion, try the following types of questions: • Did some words lead to more ideas than others? If so, what were they and why? • What types of problems might this activity work best with and why? • Why is it important that the stimulus words be different from the problem challenge? Also, consider having participants debrief using the following questions: • What was most helpful about this exercise? 10•1 WAchtiavtitwieassfomr oTesatcchhinalgleCnrgeiantigv?ity and Problem Solving. Copyright © 2005 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Reproduced by permission of Pfeiffer, an Imprint of Wiley. www.pfeiffer.com 112 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving TLFeBOOK • What can we apply? • How would you rate the value of this exercise to helping us with this issue? • Will this exercise be helpful in the future for other sessions? • What did you learn? • What will we be able to use from this exercise? • What ideas were generated, and which ones were most interesting? Ticklers: Related and Unrelated Stimuli 113 TLFeBOOK Text Tickler Handout Assume you own a hotel chain and want to attract more customers. First, you need to select some random stimulus words. You are reading a newspaper while flying with sev- eral of your staff members to visit one of your hotels. While reading movie reviews, you see the word “grumpy.” This word sparks the idea of offering “Grumpy Room Service.” All food orders are delivered by a grumpy delivery person as a novelty service. Or in another variation of Grumpy Room Service, give guests a free meal if any staff member treats them grumpily. Then look for another word and choose “research.” This word might trigger the idea of in-room computers with easy-to- access business databases for the business traveler. Finally, you see the word “film” and think of installing picture phones in all the rooms. 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving. Copyright © 2005 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Reproduced by permission of Pfeiffer, an Imprint of Wiley. www.pfeiffer.com 114 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving TLFeBOOK 21 TICKLER THINGS Background Everybody has things. They’re all around us. Life would be boring without things. They make our world more interesting by providing us with varied stimuli. We can see, touch, hear, taste, and smell things. Although specific things may give us pleasure or pain, all things stimulate us. They provide something to which we can react in a number of ways, depending on our personalities and previous experiences. The new perspectives things can give us are the basis for this technique, a cousin of PICLed Brains [16], Picture Tickler [17], and Text Tickler [20]. Objectives • To help participants generate as many creative ideas as possible • To help participants learn how to use the activities to generate ideas Participants Small groups of four to seven people each Materials, Supplies, and Equipment • For each group: markers, two flip charts, and masking tape for posting flip-chart sheets • For each participant: one sheet each of three different colors of sticking dots (1⁄2” diameter) and one pad of 4 x 6 Post-it® Notes Handout • Tickler Things Handout Time 30 minutes 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving. Copyright © 2005 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Reproduced by permission of Pfeiffer, an Imprint of Wiley. www.pfeiffer.com Ticklers: Related and Unrelated Stimuli 115 TLFeBOOK Related Activities • Idea Shopping [14] • Grab Bag Forced Association [75] Procedure 1. Distribute the Tickler Things Handout and discuss it with the participants, answering questions they might have. 2. Gather an assortment of objects representing varied types of things. Examples include pipe cleaners, clay, toy balls, plastic animals, light bulbs, books, radios, candles, watches, telephones, bottles, cans, et cetera. All objects should be unrelat- ed to the problem. 3. Place at least six different objects on each table with small groups of participants. 4. Distribute the handouts to each participant and review the example. 5. Instruct each group to select an object unrelated to the problem, and ask if there are any questions. 6. Have them describe the object in some detail. Encourage them to include physical characteristics as well as how people react to the object and use it. Remind them that action descriptions are important, so they shouldn’t limit themselves to sin- gle-word nouns. 7. Tell them to use their descriptions to stimulate ideas and assign someone to write down each idea on a Post-it® Note and place it on a flip chart. 8. Instruct them to repeat Steps 5 through 7 until they have generated at least twenty ideas or run out of time. Debrief/Discussion One positive feature of this exercise is its use of tangible objects. Thus, it is well suited for those with less ability to visualize and free-associate. The use of an actual object that can be seen and touched makes it easier for some to relate to and play off of for stimulation. If you want to lead a discussion, you could ask the groups to compare differences in using unrelated words, pictures, or objects as idea triggers. Also consider having participants debrief using the following questions: • What was most helpful about this exercise? • What was most challenging? • What can we apply? • How would you rate the value of this exercise to helping us with this issue? • Will this exercise be helpful in the future for other sessions? • What did you learn? • What will we be able to use from this exercise? • What ideas were generated, and which ones were most interesting? 116 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving TLFeBOOK Tickler Things Handout Assume you are an executive flying to a hotel site with several staff members. You want more ideas for attracting customers. One of your managers suggests using an airplane seat as the stimulus object. Right away, Nan (Ms. Creativity) Smith suggests recliner chairs in hotel rooms. Other staff members chime in with such ideas as stereo headsets in rooms and special beds with mattresses that can be raised and lowered. You next challenge your staff members to use an airplane as a stimulus. Nan immedi- ately suggests theme hotel rooms such as aeronautical or outer space rooms. Even Robert (Mr. Analytical) Jones has an idea: join with an airline to offer special discounts for people who fly the airline and stay at your hotel. 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving. Copyright © 2005 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Reproduced by permission of Pfeiffer, an Imprint of Wiley. www.pfeiffer.com Ticklers: Related and Unrelated Stimuli 117 TLFeBOOK TLFeBOOK LLLL Chapter 6 Combinations To combine is to put together. When you put things together, you combine them in ways that may or may not be unique. It all depends on what you combine and who observes the result. That is, it’s a matter of perspective. Each combination is a stimulus that has the power to prompt any number of associa- tions. And associations can help spark ideas. Thus, whatever we combine—whether relat- ed or unrelated to a problem—has the ability to yield creativity. The activities in this chapter rely on the principle of combination and the stimuli and associations that result. Some activities combine things related to the problem, some com- bine things unrelated to the problem, and some combine related and unrelated things. Combination activities are a little like “ticklers” (Chapter 5) in that both activities use various stimuli. The difference lies in how we respond to the stimuli. Ticklers provide direct stimulation; combinations stimulate more indirectly by joining together various elements in new ways. NOTE: FOR ALL ACTIVITES, REMIND PARTICPANTS TO DEFER JUDGMENT WHILE GENERATING IDEAS. 119 TLFeBOOK 22 Bi-Wordal Background Take a word—any word. Now take another word and put them together. What do you get? Two words, of course! But you also get a certain meaning conveyed by those two words. Replace one of the words with another and the meaning conveyed by the combi- nation may change dramatically. Thus, the stimulation value of any combination of words will vary depending on the words involved. Objectives • To help participants generate as many creative ideas as possible • To help participants learn how to use the activities to generate ideas Participants Small groups of four to seven people each Materials, Supplies, and Equipment • For each group: markers, two flip charts, and masking tape for posting flip-chart sheets • For each participant: one sheet each of three different colors of sticking dots (1⁄2” diameter) and one pad of 4 x 6 Post-it® Notes • One thesaurus for each group Handout • Bi-Wordal Handout Time 30 minutes 1R0e1 lAacttievidtieAs fcortTievaicthiinegsCreativity and Problem Solving. Copyright © 2005 by John Wiley & So•nCs,oInmcb. oReCphraotdteurc[e2d4]by permission of Pfeiffer, an Imprint of Wiley. www.pfeiffer.com 120 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving TLFeBOOK • Ideas in a Box [25] • Parts Is Parts [30] • 666 [34] • Word Diamond [35] Procedure 1. Prior to the session, distribute to all participants one copy each of the Bi-Wordal Handout and ask them to read it. 2. Start the session by reviewing the handout and ask if there are any questions. 3. Have each group state their problem challenge so that it involves a verb and an object. 4. Tell the group members to select the verb and object, write them on a flip chart, and look up alternative meanings (synonyms) for each in a thesaurus. 5. Have them write the other meanings in a column below the verb and subject. 6. Instruct them to select one word from each column and use the combination to trigger ideas. 7. Tell them to write down any ideas on Post-it® Notes and place them on flip charts for evaluation. Debrief/Discussion One positive feature of this technique is that it easily can provide new perspectives sim- ply by substituting different words in the problem challenge statement. Although we can experience mental blocks when trying to solve problems, the blocks exist often only because of the words we have chosen to use. Thus, the difficulty is not that we can’t think of creative ideas; it might be due more to how we state a problem. This technique illustrates this point rather nicely. To further demonstrate the important role of initial problem statements, you might ask participants to trade their finished activities with each other or try to resolve the chal- lenge of another group and see how the outcome might differ. Also consider having participants debrief using the following questions: • What was most helpful about this exercise? • What was most challenging? • What can we apply? • How would you rate the value of this exercise to helping us with this issue? • Will this exercise be helpful in the future for other sessions? • What did you learn? • What will we be able to use from this exercise? 10•1 WAchtiavtitiideesafosrwTeearechginegneCrraetaetdiv,iatyndanwdhPircohbloenmesSowlveirnegm. Coospt yinrtigerhets©tin2g0?05 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Reproduced by permission of Pfeiffer, an Imprint of Wiley. www.pfeiffer.com Combinations 121 TLFeBOOK Bi-Wordal Handout Suppose you are an organization that wants to generate ways to increase the amount of money it donates to community service projects. This problem involves a combination of the words “increase” and “money.” For most people, this particular combination would simply mean: “get more money.” Pretty simple. But it doesn’t help us think of many ideas. What if we now substitute a synonym for the word “increase”? We look in a hard- bound or computer software thesaurus and look at several choices: advance, boost, jump, raise, hike, magnify, and snowball. Then we experiment with different combinations of these words with the word “money.” Thus, we can generate combinations such as “boost/money,” “jump/money,” “hike/money,” and “magnify/money.” If we can substitute synonyms for one of the words, then we also can substitute for the other. In this case, a thesaurus provides such substitutes for the word “money” as cash, currency, greenbacks, dough, wampum, and income. Next, we combine the word “increase” with these words and get such combinations as “increase/greenbacks” and “increase/wampum.” All these combinations can stimulate ideas. For instance, we could have employees volunteer their time to help with automobile emergencies and solicit donations from those they help (from “boost/money”). Or we could ask artistic employees to design and sell jewelry to raise funds (from “increase/wampum”). You get the idea. But wait. There’s more. We don’t have to be limited to the words “increase” or “money” in combinations. We also could use any of the other synonyms on the lists. For instance: Increase Money Advance Cash Boost Currency Jump Greenbacks Hike Dough Magnify Wampum Snowball Income To generate ideas on how to increase money, we select words randomly from each column, combine them, and use the new meaning to spark ideas. That’s all there is to it. Here are some sample ideas: • Sponsor a walk or run where participants contribute $5 for each mile they travel (from “hike/cash”). • Use payroll deductions for contributions (from “advance/income”). • Sponsor a carnival with shell games. People bet on the outcome. The proceeds go to charity (from “jump/currency”). • Give donors T-shirts with modified pictures of the denominations they contributed (from “magnify/greenbacks”). • Sell snow cones and doughnuts (from “snowball/dough”). 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving. Copyright © 2005 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Reproduced by permission of Pfeiffer, an Imprint of Wiley. www.pfeiffer.com 122 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving TLFeBOOK 23 Circle of Opportunity Background In one respect, all creative activity is a gamble. We invest our time, effort, and creative abilities in some problem with an unknown outcome. We can’t always predict the result. Sometimes our creative efforts may even make things worse. It’s a crapshoot of the mind. All gambling involves some form of randomness. Chance makes things interesting. It determines whether we win or lose. We can’t control chance, but we can try to capitalize on it and use it to our advantage. We can use randomness, for example, to help prompt ideas. In particular, random combinations of problem attributes can create associations that lead to breakthrough ideas. The Circle of Opportunity activity, created by Michael Michalko (1991), is based on the random combination of problem attributes. Objectives • To help participants generate as many creative ideas as possible • To help participants learn how to use the activities to generate ideas Participants Small groups of four to seven people each Materials, Supplies, and Equipment • For each group: a set of die, markers, two flip charts, and masking tape for posting flip-chart sheets • For each participant: one sheet each of three different colors of sticking dots (1⁄2” diameter) and one pad of 4 x 6 Post-it® Notes Time 30 minutes 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving. Copyright © 2005 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Reproduced by permission of Pfeiffer, an Imprint of Wiley. www.pfeiffer.com Combinations 123 TLFeBOOK Related Activities • Combo Chatter [24] • Ideas in a Box [25] • Parts Is Parts [30] • 666 [34] • Word Diamond [35] • A Likely Story [15] Handout • Circle of Opportunity Handout Procedure 1. Instruct the groups to write down their challenge statement on a flip chart. 2. Distribute the Circle of Opportunity Handout, review it with the participants, and ask for any questions they might have. 3. Have them draw a circle on a flip chart about two feet in diameter, and number it like a clock, placing the numbers inside the circle. 4. Tell them to generate a list of twelve attributes that are either related or unrelated to their problem. Related attributes would describe major problem features. For instance, an airline promotional campaign might include such attributes as peo- ple, costs, travel, and airports. Unrelated attributes are common to many prob- lems. Examples include substance, structure, color, shape, texture, sound, and politics. Tell them to write each attribute next to one of the numbers. 5. Direct them to take turns throwing one die to choose the first attribute and a pair of dice to choose the second. 6. Tell them to free-associate on each attribute individually and then on the two com- bined and to write down on a flip chart each association as it is verbalized. 7. Have them look for connections between their associations and their problems. Encourage them to think about what the associations remind them of, any analo- gies suggested, and any relationships between associations. 8. Tell them to write down any ideas on Post-it® Notes and place them on flip charts for evaluation. Debrief/Discussion This is an excellent exercise to use after a break or at the end of the day when people start getting tired. Its drawing requirements, visual elements, and throwing dice can help pro- vide some needed energy—especially if group members take turns drawing or throwing the dice. 124 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving TLFeBOOK Also consider having participants debrief using the following questions: • What was most helpful about this exercise? • What was most challenging? • What can we apply? • How would you rate the value of this exercise to helping us with this issue? • Will this exercise be helpful in the future for other sessions? • What did you learn? • What will we be able to use from this exercise? • What ideas were generated, and which ones were most interesting? Combinations 125 TLFeBOOK Circle of Opportunity Handout To illustrate Circle of Opportunity, consider ways to improve a briefcase. First, construct a circle as shown in Figure 6.1 with twelve different attributes. You roll a die and get the number 5 (security); you roll both dice and get the number 10 (materials) for the second attribute. You free-associate using these attributes: plastic, hidden, bulletproof vest, case-hardened steel, alarms, motion detectors, and video cam- eras. These free associations might help you think of such ideas as: • Installing hidden security pockets in a briefcase • Constructing the briefcase out of bulletproof materials so it can be used as a shield • Installing an alarm and motion detectors to go off whenever someone unauthorized tries to move the briefcase You roll a die again and get the number 6 (padding) and then both dice and get the num- ber 9 (colors). Figure 6.1. Circle of Opportunity Your free associations are soft, spongy, pockets, and rainbow. From these associations you think of the following ideas: • A multicolored briefcase • Different colors for each file of an expanding filing pocket • A padded handle in a contrasting color • A padded compartment in a contrasting color for use when carrying a notebook com- puter so you can remove the compartment when you aren’t carrying the computer and save space 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving. Copyright © 2005 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Reproduced by permission of Pfeiffer, an Imprint of Wiley. www.pfeiffer.com 126 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving TLFeBOOK 24 Combo Chatter Background This technique was originally known as Semantic Intuition when researchers at the Bat- telle Institute developed it in the 1970s (Schaude, 1978). “Semantic Intuition” is certainly an impressive name, but it’s a little pretentious for this book. I decided to simplify things and call it Combo Chatter. The typical new-product process involves generating ideas, selecting the best ones, developing them into workable products, and then assigning them names. Combo Chat- ter reverses that process somewhat: instead of generating ideas and then names for the ideas, it generates names and then the ideas. For instance, if a company wants to improve the toaster they market, they might think of a toaster made of see-through plastic and name it, “BreadView.” Combo Chatter might produce the same see-through product but do it using the words “bread” and “view” in juxtaposition. Although this example applies to new product improvements, that doesn’t mean it is appropriate only for new product development. It can work very well for almost any challenge. Objectives • To help participants generate as many creative ideas as possible • To help participants learn how to use the activities to generate ideas Participants Small groups of four to seven people each Materials, Supplies, and Equipment • For each group: markers, two flip charts, and masking tape for posting flip-chart sheets • For each participant: one sheet each of three different colors of sticking dots (1⁄2” diameter) and one pad of 4 x 6 Post-it® Notes. Handout • Combo Chatter Handout Combinations 127 TLFeBOOK Time 30 minutes Related Activities • Ideas in a Box [25] • Parts Is Parts [30] • 666 [34] • Word Diamond [35] Procedure 1. Distribute the handout, review it with the participants, and answer any questions they may have. 2. Instruct participants to generate two lists of five to six words related to their prob- lem and write them on a flip chart. Tell them to do this as a group. 3. Have each group member take turns selecting one word from each list and have the group use the combination to stimulate ideas. 4. Direct them to write down any ideas on Post-it® Notes and place them on flip chart paper for evaluation. Variation • If time is available, have individual group members generate their own lists of words for the group to use as idea triggers. Debrief/Discussion This can be a useful technique for at least two reasons: (1) it has the potential to create many different perspectives and (2) it combines elements of both related and unrelated stimuli. That is, it uses attributes related directly to the problem and combines these attributes to create a more or less unrelated stimulus. Thus, it helps create perspective changes not possible with activities that rely on a single stimulus. Also consider having participants debrief using the following questions: • What was most helpful about this exercise? • What was most challenging? • What can we apply? • How would you rate the value of this exercise to helping us with this issue? • Will this exercise be helpful in the future for other sessions? • What did you learn? • What will we be able to use from this exercise? • What ideas were generated, and which ones were most interesting? 128 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving TLFeBOOK Combo Chatter Handout Assume a manufacturer of coffee cups wants to design a new coffee cup. They might list “things involving coffee cups” and “things involving people who drink coffee,” as shown below: Coffee Cups People Handles Tense Hot Addicted Logos Cream and sugar Breakable Grind beans Spills Carry cups After examining different combinations, they might generate the following types of ideas: • Squeezable handles to relieve tension (from “handles/tense”) • Squeezable handles that inject cream or sugar (from “handles/cream and sugar”) • A combination coffee cup and bean grinder (from “handles/grind beans”) • Insulated coffee cups (from “hot/carry cups”) • Cups that break down into small pieces for easy carrying (from “breakable/carry cups”) 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving. Copyright © 2005 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Reproduced by permission of Pfeiffer, an Imprint of Wiley. www.pfeiffer.com Combinations 129 TLFeBOOK 25 Ideas in a Box Background Ideas in a Box—originally known as Morphological Analysis or Matrix Analysis—was developed by astronomer Fritz Zwicky (1969) to help generate scientific ideas. As with other combination activities, Ideas in a Box prompts ideas by forcing together problem attributes that lead to new ideas. Although the activity has variations, the one presented here is typical. Objectives • To help participants generate as many creative ideas as possible • To help participants learn how to use the activities to generate ideas Participants Small groups of four to seven people each Materials, Supplies, and Equipment • For each group: markers, two flip charts, and masking tape for posting flip-chart sheets • For each participant: one sheet each of three different colors of sticking dots (1⁄2” diameter) and one pad of 4 x 6 Post-it® Notes. Handout • Ideas in a Box Handout Time 30 minutes Related Activities • Circle of Opportunity [23] 130 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving TLFeBOOK • Combo Chatter [24] • Parts Is Parts [30] • 666 [34] • Word Diamond [35] Procedure 1. Distribute the handout to participants, review it with them, and ask for any ques- tions they might have. 2. Have each group obtain a sheet of flip-chart paper and tape it lengthwise to a wall or lay it down on a table. 3. Tell them to list major problem attributes across the top of the sheet of paper. 4. Direct them to list potential or existing subattributes for each category. 5. Have them combine one or more subattributes from each category and use the combination to suggest ideas. 6. Tell them to write down any ideas on Post-it® Notes (one idea per note) and place them on flip charts for evaluation. 7. Select another combination of subattributes and use it to generate ideas. 8. Have them continue this process until you have generated all possible ideas. Debrief/Discussion This exercise provides a relatively systematic way to consider different idea variations. Its emphasis on unrelated stimuli, however, may make it somewhat limiting. However, it is an excellent exercise to use for people who think in structured ways and like to analyze situations. Ideas in a Box might also work well with people who are good at free-associat- ing from an initial stimulus word. You might test this last observation by asking partici- pants to select one of their subattributes, take turns free-associating words, and then using these words to help trigger ideas. Also consider having participants debrief using the following questions: • What was most helpful about this exercise? • What was most challenging? • What can we apply? • How would you rate the value of this exercise to helping us with this issue? • Will this exercise be helpful in the future for other sessions? • What did you learn? • What will we be able to use from this exercise? • What ideas were generated, and which ones were most interesting? Combinations 131 TLFeBOOK Ideas in a Box Handout Suppose you are director of packaging design for Snafu Snack Food Company. Sales of your Cheesy Chunk Crackers have been slipping. Market research indicates supermarket consumers consider two criteria when buying cheese cracker products: (1) ability of the package to catch their eyes and (2) value-added or unique features. You have been directed to redesign the current box to emphasize value-added fea- tures. Your boss gives you free rein to make changes, so you decide to use Ideas in a Box to help spark ideas. You set up a matrix as shown in Table 6.1. Container Shapes Container Materials Cylindrical Cardboard Spherical Plastic Rectangular Metal Pyramidal Combinations Types of Closures Lining Materials Ziploc® Wax paper Clips Aluminum foil Adhesive Regular paper Screw cap Cellophane Table 6.1. Ideas in a Box Matrix Next, select one subattribute from each column. For instance, you might design a cylindrical package made of plastic with a screw top and an aluminum foil lining. Or you might select a spherical container made of combinations of materials with clips for clo- sures and a cellophane lining. You get the idea. Although Ideas in a Box may not always prompt unique ideas, it will help you search systematically for possible combinations. 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving. Copyright © 2005 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Reproduced by permission of Pfeiffer, an Imprint of Wiley. www.pfeiffer.com 132 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving TLFeBOOK 26 Ideatoons Background If you liked Ideas in a Box and are a visual thinker, then you’ll like Ideatoons. Ideatoons are based on the work of architects Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, and Murray Silverstein (1977), who used a visual thinking activity known as “pattern language” to help create new building designs. The architects developed abstract visual symbols that substituted for words. Each symbol represented a particular problem attribute. The symbols helped bring out poten- tial relationships between attributes that, when identified, could trigger ideas. For instance, vertical arrows might point toward a curved line at the top of a page. This sym- bol might then suggest different ways of supporting or building an arch. Michael Michalko (1991) adopted this visual approach and used it to describe Ideatoons—graphic problem representations. (This technique is also similar to the Sym- bolic Representation activity developed by VanGundy, 1983.) You don’t need to be an artist to use Ideatoons—you just need the ability to draw anything remotely resembling something else. Objectives • To help participants generate as many creative ideas as possible • To help participants learn how to use the activities to generate ideas Participants Small groups of four to seven people each Materials, Supplies, and Equipment • For each group: markers, two flip charts, and masking tape for posting flip-chart sheets • For each participant: one sheet each of three different colors of sticking dots (1⁄2” diameter) and one pad of 4 x 6 Post-it® Notes.. Time 45 minutes Combinations 133 TLFeBOOK Related Activities • Picture Tickler [17] • Rorschach Revisionist [18] • Doodles [37] • Drawing Room [59] • Modular Brainstorming [62] Handout • Ideatoons Handout Procedure 1. Distribute the Ideatoons Handout, review it with the participants, and answer any questions they may have. 2. Tell them to divide their problem into major attributes. 3. Ask them to illustrate each attribute with an abstract, graphic symbol. Have them do this on a Post-it® Note (one illustration per note). Encourage them to focus on the general nature of their drawings and not to worry about how correct or artistic they might be. 4. Instruct them to place the completed cards, face up, on their tables and experi- ment with different groupings of the symbols. Caution them to avoid consciously creating any particular patterns and not to worry about having to use every note with each arrangement of symbols. 5. As they arrange and rearrange the symbols, tell them to use each combination of symbols to free-associate and see what ideas are suggested. Tell them that they don’t have to limit themselves to combinations of symbols, but also may use indi- vidual ones. 6. Note that if they start to run out of ideas, they may add another Ideatoon or begin a new set. 7. Tell them to write down any ideas on Post-it® Notes (one idea per note) and place them on flip charts for evaluation. Debrief/Discussion This technique can be quite stimulating and fun to do in a group. It works especially well for people who free-associate well and can think symbolically. On the other hand, people who expect literal perspectives may have difficulty. Fortunately, most groups contain at least a couple of people who can help stimulate others. It is especially important that you encourage the participants to have fun. If time is available, you might ask them to discuss how easy it was for them to use the symbols. Also consider having participants debrief using the following questions: 134 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving TLFeBOOK • What was most helpful about this exercise? • What was most challenging? • What can we apply? • How would you rate the value of this exercise to helping us with this issue? • Will this exercise be helpful in the future for other sessions? • What did you learn? • What will we be able to use from this exercise? • What ideas were generated, and which ones were most interesting? 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving. Copyright © 2005 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Reproduced by permission of Pfeiffer, an Imprint of Wiley. www.pfeiffer.com Combinations 135 TLFeBOOK Ideatoons Handout Suppose you are a packaging design director concerned with developing new cheese cracker box designs. First, you develop a list of problem attributes: box, package opening, closure, and package lining. Next, illustrate these attributes using graphic symbols such as the ones shown in Figure 6.2. Then experiment with different combinations of symbols to help kick start your imagination. Figure 6.2. Ideatoons Here are some sample ideas: • A box with two chambers: one for crackers and one for cheese spread (from the box and package opening symbols). • A box with disposable, tear-off closures. Use each closure strip only once (from the box and closure symbols). • Nested package linings with a vacuum in between (from the package opening and package lining symbols). • Put a cheese cutter inside each package so consumers can stamp out pieces of cheese to conform to the shape of different crackers (from the package opening and closure). 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving. Copyright © 2005 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Reproduced by permission of Pfeiffer, an Imprint of Wiley. www.pfeiffer.com 136 101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving TLFeBOOK 27 Mad Scientist Background This technique, developed by Doug Hall (1994), is similar to Circle of Opportunity [23]. Instead of using a circle, however, Mad Scientist uses Green Die and Red Die lists of prob- lem attributes. Attribute lists for each die are numbered 1 through 6. The attributes for Mad Scientist differ from those used for Circle of Opportunity in two ways: (1) Mad Scientist categories are more general and (2) some of the categories may be completely unrelated to the problem. The procedure for combining attributes also is different: Circle of Opportunity combines two different attributes from the circle, whereas Mad Scientist combines two different lists of attributes. Objectives • To help participants generate as many creative ideas as possible • To help participants learn how to use the activities to generate ideas Participants Small groups of four to seven people each Materials, Supplies, and Equipment • For each group: markers, one green and one red die (or any two dice of different col- ors), two flip charts, and masking tape for posting flip-chart sheets • For each participant: one sheet each of three different colors of sticking dots (1⁄2” diameter) and one pad of 4 x 6 Post-it® Notes. Handout • Mad Scientist Handout Time 45 minutes Related Activities • Circle of Opportunity [23] Combinations 137 TLFeBOOK

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