In the same way activity and exercise promote creativity, a successful creative session goes through a sequence of steps that is very similar to that of a workout routine.
Your creativity is actually like any other muscle, and to stimulate a muscle to grow, you need to exercise. And what makes your workouts more effective, it’s warming- up properly before exercising.
The same applies to creativity. Starting a brainstorm with properly warming up your mind and getting the creative juices flowing will put everybody in a favorable position to achieve maximum creativity.
The creative warm-ups install a permissive atmosphere, suitable for letting go, act as an icebreaker between the group members and help developing the first key creative reflexes.
Mentally, a creative pre-session allows a moment of concentration before getting into the heart of the topic and start thinking about it.
On a more subtle level, another important advantage of a mental warm-up is getting everyone stepping outside of their comfort zone and discovering their own mental skills: the ability to express freely without fear of censorship, the ability to change their perspective, to bounce ideas off each other, to tolerate and brainstorm new ideas.
What mental warm-ups and icebreakers to use?
Here are some suggestions in different categories:
Answer questions such as the following:
- What do a lemon and an ostrich have in common?
- What are the different uses of a crocodile?
- How to write in green using a red felt pen?
- If you were stranded on a desert island with a statue, what would you do to survive?
- What is the half of 7?
Then, there are several other creative brain warm ups activities based on the use of images, words, sounds or specific games and directions.
What do you see?
- Draw the relationship with your customers.
- Have everyone draw an outline of their hand on a sheet of paper, then tape it to their back. Have group members mingle and write things on everyone’s back that tells them something positive.
Name 30 ways of using this object.
What do these words mean?
- Requires the group to transport objects across an open space without directly touching the objects or their container
- Requires the participants to divide into groups of 3 or 4 based on their socks’ color, their hair or their eyes color
- Requires the group members to walk by occupying a minimum/maximum of room space
- Develop nonverbal communication in carrying out a task
- Use a song to describe the problem
- Imagine what the product/service would be if it was a song
- Speak to someone by using a particular intonation
- Explore several intonations based on various contexts/scenarios/characters
- Explain the problem/project/product as you would describe it to a six-year-old
- Improvise a collective story around the question ” How we would live if the fire did not exist? What would we do differently? “
- Take a short text (2-3 paragraphs) and read it back to front.
How to use brain warm-ups
- Start the meeting by briefly explaining what a metal warm-up is about
- Choose between several brain warm ups (they need to be prepared beforehand)
- The first brain warm-up allows to evaluate the effectiveness of the session and the group’s talents according to 3 criteria:
- Fluidity: the ability to quickly produce a large number of ideas in the same category
- Flexibility: the ability to switch from one category of ideas to another
- Originality: the uniqueness of the idea in relation to the existing
- If after the first warm-up, the several ideas shared lack of originality, a second warm-up, more focused on the originality can be performed.
- Congratulate the team for their creative energy before moving to the next stage of the creativity session.