The creativity process enables us to solve problems, leverage opportunities, improve products, and upgrade procedures.
Here is another secondary use of the creativity process: It enables the participants to learn new facts, principles, and ideas. It acts as an interesting training tool.
Here is a suggestion to exercise your creative thought processes: You should approach a problem (or an opportunity) from different angles. You should avoid functional fixedness by leaving a thought hanging in the mid-air while you move to pursue another thought. You should keep skipping around to prevent premature closure.
This activity is a creativity technique that can employed by a small group of people.
To solve a problem or profit from an opportunity. To learn useful facts, concepts, and principles about products and processes.
The ideal number of participants for this activity is 3 to 6.
Minimum: 30 minutes
Maximum: 3 hours
Best: 45 minutes
A die (singular of dice) with numbers 1 through 6.
Three forms (blank sheets of paper with these headings):
Timer (found in most smart phones)
Seat the participants around a table. Place the three forms in the middle of the table. Make sure that one of the participants has a smart phone with a timer.
Select a stimulus. Ask the participants to choose a stimulus in the form of a word, phrase, or a short sentence that identifies the target of your creative thinking. Some groups may select a problem. Others may begin with an opportunity. The stimulus does not have to be a SMART objective. Actually, a fuzzy statement would work best in this situation.
Sample: The last time we conducted this activity with a group of five people, the stimulus word was “Bingo”. Nobody knew what made them choose this word—and nobody seemed to care.
Assign roles. Appoint one of the participants to be the Die Keeper. This person’s responsibility is to roll a die at the beginning of each round. Appoint another person as the Time Keeper. This person’s responsibility is to keep track of 3-minute periods of time.
Explain the sequence. The game is conducted in 3-minute brainstorming discussion rounds. At the beginning of each round, the Die Keeper rolls the die and announces the number that appears on top of the die. Depending on this random number, the group completes a different type of activity:
When the die shows a 1 on top, ask the group to follow these steps:
Invite the group members to rapidly call out facts about the stimulus. Ask one of the participants to record these statements on the Facts form.
Stop this activity at the end of 3 minutes. Roll the die again to choose the next activity. If you roll another 1, ignore it and roll again.
Samples: Here are some items from the group’s Facts sheet:
Bingo is an interesting game.
People use a 5 x 5 grid to play bingo.
Each square in a bingo card has a different number.
The object of the bingo game is to mark five squares in a straight line.
The first person to mark five squares in a straight line yells, “Bingo!” and receives a prize.
2. Specify Goals
When the die shows a 2 on top, ask the group to follow these steps:
Ask the group members to call out different goals related to the stimulus. These are objectives, standards, or restrictions for your creative product. Ask one of the participants to record these items on the Goals sheet.
Stop this activity at the end of 3 minutes. Roll the die again to choose the next activity. If you roll another 2, ignore it and roll again.
Samples: Here are some sample items from the group’s Goals sheet:
The bingo game should be an instructional game.
The game should be intellectually stimulating.
The trainer should be able to modify the game to suit a variety of instructional topics.
The game should not end too quickly.
3. Generate Ideas
When the die shows a 3 on top, ask the group to follow these steps:
Ask the group members to brainstorm interesting, unusual, and practical ideas associated with the stimulus. Ask one of the participants to write down these items on the Ideas sheet. Work rapidly without evaluating any of these ideas.
Stop this activity at the end of 3 minutes. Roll the die again to choose the next activity. If you roll another 3, ignore it and roll again.
Samples: Here are some items from the group’s Ideas sheet:
The squares in the bingo cards may contain different questions.
The squares may contain different answers. The facilitator can read different questions and the players can mark the squares with the correct answers.
Not all bingo cards should contain the same set of answers.
4. Take a Break
When the die shows a 4 on top, ask the group to follow these steps:
Ask the group members to stop thinking about--or talking about--the stimulus. Invite them to spend the next 3 minutes in some activity that distracts them. Encourage them to work individually or in groups on some physical activity such as arm-wrestling or moving the table and chairs to a different location.
Stop the activity at the end of 3 minutes. Roll the die again to choose the next activity. If you roll another 4, ignore it and roll again.
Sample: When Alan rolls a 4, the group members decide to take a walk. They synchronize their watches and wander outside the room.
When the die shows a 5 on top, ask the group to follow these steps:
Ask the group members to review the facts, goals, and ideas on the three different forms. Invite them to think about each item and come up with a related item that belongs to a different form. Write the new items on the appropriate forms. Skip from one sheet to another in a random order.
Stop this activity at the end of 3 minutes. Roll the die again to choose the next activity. If you roll another 5, ignore it and roll the die again.
Samples: When Barbara rolls a 5, she reads this item on the Facts sheet:
The middle cell in a bingo card is free.
Chuck suggests a suitable goal based on this fact:
The bingo card should not contain any free square.
Diane calls out a different idea related to the same fact:
Each participant should be permitted to mark any square on his or her bingo card as the free square.
Next, Chuck reads this item from the Goals sheet:
The bingo card should be inexpensive to produce.
Alan suggests this related idea:
The participants should draw their own bingo grid on a blank sheet of paper.
When the die shows a 6 on top, ask the group to follow these steps:
Ask the group members to review the items on the three forms and combine them into an integrated package. Build on the facts, ideas, and goals from the forms. Keep reviewing the items and create a total package.
Stop this activity when the timer goes off at the end of 3 minutes. Roll the die again to choose the next activity. If you roll another 6, ignore it and roll the die again.
Sample: Diane rolls a 6. Looking at the Idea Sheet, the group visualizes a bingo package that can be used by a teacher to review a reading assignment. They decide that the package to be a set of handouts explaining how to create and conduct a bingo review game.
Conclude the activity. Reserve the last few minutes of the available time for bringing your activity to a close. During this time, review the three forms and decide whether you want to integrate the ideas now or leave them aside for another discussion at a later time.