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10 Activities To Generate Better Ideas



What’s for dinner? That’s a question we ask almost every day. Yet, most people only come up with two or three ideas before making a decision. What if you came up with 10 ideas? It’s much more likely you’d end up with something unexpected—and delicious—on the dinner table. We’re so good at converging because we practice decision making at work and in life all the time. But the key to coming up with better ideas is staying in a divergent headspace a little longer. And to stay in that generative mindset, Brendan Boyle says it helps to have a little fun. Brendan is an IDEO partner and founder of the IDEO Play Lab, a toy invention studio that has designed and licensed over 200 consumer products, including the new board games Plumber Pants and Pictionary Air. His meetings are always fun filled, thanks in part to the activities and creative warm ups he uses to get his team and clients into a more creative headspace. To practice a divergent mindset and generate lots of great new ideas, here are 10 creative activities you can try with your team today, shared by Brendan and IDEO U Dean Suzanne Gibbs Howard in the latest episode of our Creative Confidence Podcast.


Pencil Questions


Divide your group up into pairs. Give every group a pencil or project an image of a pencil. Prompt everyone to come up with as many questions as they can about this pencil in 30 seconds. Try for at least 10 questions—the crazier, the better. Now share back with the larger group.


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