Sometimes you want to get people in a completely different mindset before you get to the meat of the business at hand. This is a great exercise to get them thinking about everything but your business – specifically a business they know nothing about. It’s also a great way to level the playing field amongst meeting attendees. No one person’s ideas are necessarily better than someone else’s. It’s important to ensure that this is not treated as a contest. It’s just a sharing of ideas. You might be surprised to discover the way some people’s minds work!
Assignment: Give everyone 3 white sheets of paper and some colored markers. This exercise is done in three rounds. In the first round, ask them to design a hat. Have them all show their hat designs. Then on the next sheet of paper have them design a vacuum cleaner. Once again, have them share their designs with the group. Then in the last round, ask them to design a dog washing machine. Don’t give them any further explanations.
Allotted Time: Allow 30 seconds for the design phase of each round. Total time depends on the size of your group, as this will drive how long it takes everyone to show off their designs.