Why warm up the creative muscles
Ideation is a crucial part of any organization or team. It unlocks creativity and innovation. But starting an ideation session without a warmup limits the creative juices of the participants. You wouldn't start a run or a football game without a warmup. So why should you start ideating immediately when your creative muscles are not warmed up?
An ideation warm-up exercise is designed to get the creative juices of the participants flowing. It helps them break down barriers and encourages participation from all of the team members. When a warm-up exercise is done right, you'll create a more open and relaxed atmosphere for the ideation session itself. The ideas will flow freely, and they'll find ideas outside of their usual patterns of thought.
You can use this exercise before your favorite retrospective!
30 circles exercise
What you'll need
Just a pen or a piece of paper (per person) with thirty blank circles. Or ask everyone to draw their circles. It is best to use an oversized piece of paper. It gives the participants more room to draw.
- Give each participant a sheet of paper and a pen.
- Ask them to draw as many of the blank circles as possible into recognizable objects in three minutes (baseball, clock faces, ...).
- Compare the results with the group. Look for quantity or fluency of the ideas. Ask how many circles they filled in. They usually don't finish all thirty circles. Look for diversity or flexibility in the ideas. Are the ideas derivative (basketball, baseball, ...) or distinct (a planet, cookie, faces, ...)? Are there any rule breakers and combined circles (e.g., snowmen)?
That's it. Easy right?