Be more creative in 15 minutes

Posted by on Jun 13, 2016 in creativity, teams | No Comments

One of Dale Chihuly’s stunning creations in the Chihuly Garden and Glass by the Seattle Center

Creativity is the new black. It boosts employee morale, is self-generating (creative leaders breed creative employees) and being creative is good for your mental and physical health.

You can get more creative in the workplace in just 15 minutes by playing the shifting game.

It’s a wonderful way to boost a team’s creativity and is taken from Robert Epstein’s, The big book of creativity games.

An added bonus is that it taps into Susan Cain’s terrific work on introverts and the optimal ways in which they work.

Let’s say you’re looking for a new name for a product or service your company has created. For the first 5 minutes your team works together to generate ideas.

Then for the next 5 minutes each person retreats to a quiet space and thinks about the challenge individually and records ideas.

Finally, for the last 5 minutes the group comes back together again where everyone is given space to share their ideas.

Research shows that this kind of shifting group produces twice as many ideas as a traditional non-shifting group who work together for 15 minutes.


Think about the personalities in your workplace. Some are more confident and outgoing than others, aren’t they? You know who will say a lot and who’s going to bubble over with ideas.

Likewise, you also know there are quieter, more introvert members of the group.

Using the shifting team technique allows people equal space to reflect and consider on their own rather than be dominated. They benefit as individuals having their personal space and the group benefits as it gets more ideas.

So, not only do you generate more ideas, but introverts and extroverts’ needs are met. Win-win.

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