My Favorite Creativity Techniques
As it is well known, there are hundreds of creative techniques. Each of them is interesting in relation to the challenge or creative focus we should undertake. After many years working with thousands of students in EADA Business School and other educational centers, and also after organizing creative sessions for companies, I have finally obtained some favorite techniques: masks, the gallery of famous people and brainwriting.
Masks arise from the concept of provocation proposed by De Bono. Imagine that we need ideas to reinvent shoes. The first step consists of finding basic assumptions about shoes. For example, they have soles, they are for feet and they are flexible. Then, we are going to reverse the previous assumptions: shoes without soles, they are not for feet and they are rigid. The most difficult step comes next: generating ideas from obtained provocations. Shoes with transparent soles? Really thin soles to better connect with the ground energy or with sand in summer? Shoes sticked to each other that make us skip to walk and do gymnastics and move? Weight-shoes to do muscle-building exercises?
The gallery of famous people is about participants putting themselves in other character’s shoes (usually a famous one) during a creative session. Instead of thinking as FrancPonti, I spend some hours or days to study, for instance, Tintín’s personality and his way of seeing the world. Once I am in the creative session, I try to generate ideas for the creative focus thinking and acting as Tintín. What would he do in this situation? What kind of ideas would come across his mind? Working with the gallery of famous people with different companies, I have seen incredible performances: Josep Plà, Dalí, Gandhi and Madonna. In order for the technique to work, it is important to truly believe that participants turn into the character (I have sometimes come to work with an actor who helps participants put themselves in the character’s shoes by means of gestures and tones of voice), to study well their personal traits, to avoid fear of looking ridiculous or to think radically different.
Working with the gallery of famous people with different companies, I have seen incredible performances: Josep Plà, Dalí, Gandhi and Madonna.
Brainwriting is a quick and powerful methodology. It is about participants who write any idea that comes to their minds without thinking carefully about it in relation to the creative focus previously stated. Once the five-minute automatic writing has gone by, participants pass the paper to the right, read the ideas from other partners until they retrieve their own writing. Then, they quickly and intuitively write ideas again in relation to the stimuli received. This method derives from the “exquisite cadaver” surrealistic technique, in which connection hundreds of ideas can be originated in a short period of time.
And my two favorite creative technique books are: “Thinkertoys”, by Michael Michalko and “Gamestorming”, by Gray, Brown and Macanufo published by O’Reilly. Visit Michael’s web www.creativethinking.net.
In Neuronilla you may also find an interesting list of creative techniques.