Video lesson

Rather than continue to hit your head against a brick wall, approach a problem from a different angle. Get creative. Find workarounds. Seek out a fresh perspective on the situation from an outsider.

Reflection questions

  • Who do you know who could provide you with a fresh perspective on how to tackle an obstacle you’re facing?
  • Think about a project or problem you’re working on. If you had to start it from scratch, what would you do differently?
  • How can you build creative thinking activities into your schedule? This could include making time for walks outside, brainstorming sessions, mind mapping, physical exercise, etc.

Exercise: Organize a brainwriting session

“Brainwriting” can be an effective group activity to stir up creative ideas on how to tackle a problem. Here’s how it works:

  1. Give your participants paper and have them write down three or four ideas about how to tackle a particular problem.
  2. After a few minutes, each participant passes their paper to someone else, who builds off what the previous person has written, adding new ideas as bullet points.
  3. A few minutes later, pass the paper to another participant and continue this process until as many people as time allows have had a chance to contribute their thoughts to the various ideas.
  4. Then post the sheets of paper and discuss the various ideas presented.

Compared to traditional brainstorming sessions where participants just blurt out ideas, brainwriting can help ensure that everyone has an opportunity to share their ideas and that ideas are fleshed out a bit before engaging in a broader group discussion. And it’s only one of many variations of brainstorming. For more group creative thinking exercises, check out this resource:

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