As a strategic planning and workshop facilitator one of my engaging and powerful creativity tools is to get workshop participants to draw the solution.

It is a fun, insightful way to break-free of the usual solutions.

For example:

When I was facilitating a group of managers with an International Airline recently, I asked each of the team of customer service staff to draw nine potential frustrations in two minutes that a customer may feel when they deal with the airline.

Why 9 drawings?

This takes the pressure off the drawing part (i.e. I cannot draw) and places the emphasis on just getting down some ideas.

This was fun, energetic and we could compare and contrast the different drawings and their meanings.

Then we select one and try and reduce or take that frustration away (again in two minutes).

Drawing a range of solutions has a number of benefits:

  • It is more evocative and emotional.
  • You can communicate a powerful message quickly.
  • Images are universal – this is a major advantage when you are working with people where English might be a second language
  • It forces you to use your more visual, imaginative right-brain
  • It stimulates discussion in a brainstorming group or session.

I have tried this technique in many new product development workshops where we have generated some powerful new product concepts and a graphic designer has sketched out what the new product might look like.

Try it.
The next time you are facilitating or leading a group ask each member to try and draw nine new ideas or solutions.
It is a fun way to engage the collective creativity.

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