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The following Creativity tool stimulates the ideation activity of Brainstorming and enables people to express ideas and beliefs non-verbally, even if they cannot or will not do it orally. This is especially beneficial for developing visions of the business, system, or organization.  It should also be used when defining, especially complex products or processes.

Creativity Tool Method

Use the Creativity Tool to Launch Ideation When Brainstorming

Creativity Tool Example

The Creativity tool allows each team to draw pictorial answers about a specific question or to provide solutions for a specific scenario. Additionally, the Creativity tool frequently takes less time than narrative capture. If you use the Creativity tool early during the workshop, you can mount visually stimulating wallpaper that participants will refer to later. Since teams rather than individuals generate the results, you provide timid participants permission to speak freely by enabling them to defend or explain what their teams created. Complete the following:

  • Divide the group into smaller teams of three to five people.  Watch the mix of people—plan how you want to mix them.
  • Explain what they will be doing and provide a visual prompt of the question(s) that need to be answered.  Examples:
    1. Draw a picture of how the organization looks today.
    2. Illustrate how you would like the organization or system to look in the future.
    3. Draw your vision of where you are going with the business or system.
    4. (illustrative) Provide answers to the question, “What do you expect to get out of this class?”
  • You can use one or more of the above examples or your own. Therefore, if you have the teams draw pictures of both today and the future, you empower them with the ability to compare and contrast.
  • Provide a time limit, flip chart paper, and colored markers.
  • When finished, have each team present their drawing(s). Consider using the Bookend tool for identifying commonalities and items that may be extremely unique. Keep the drawings mounted on the wall and do NOT mark on them.
  • Separately, capture their narrative explanations and feed back and confirm that the narrative reflections are accurate and complete.

Creativity Tool Notes

The Creativity tool is powerful in drawing out beliefs and ideas. Use it effectively by knowing how you are going to use the output.

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Facilitation Expert

Terrence Metz, CSM, PSPO, CSPF, is the Managing Director of MG RUSH Facilitation Training and Coaching, the acknowledged leader in structured facilitation training. His FAST Facilitation Best Practices blog features over 300 articles on facilitation skills and tools aimed at helping others lead faster, more productive meetings and workshops that yield higher quality decisions. His clients include Agilists, Scrum teams, program and project managers, senior officers, and the business analyst community among numerous private and public companies and global corporations. As an undergraduate of Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) and MBA graduate from NWU’s Kellogg School of Management, his professional experience has focused on process improvement and product development. He continually aspires to make it easier for others to succeed.

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