Big Book of Creativity Games - IDEAS hub

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2022 • 55 Pages • 473.29 KB • English
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The BIG Book of The BIG Book of CREATIVITY CREATIVITY GAMES GAMES Quick, Fun Activities for Jumpstarting Innovation Robert Epstein, Ph.D. Editor-in-Chief, Psychology Today University Research Professor, United States International University Director Emeritus, Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies Chairman and CEO, InnoGen International McGraw-Hill New York San Fransicso Washington, D.C. Auckland Bogotá Caracas Lisbon London Madrid Mexico City Milan Montreal New Delhi San Juan Singapore Sydney Tokyo Toronto Copyright © 2000 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. Except as permitted under the United States Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means, or stored in a data base or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 AGM / AGM 0 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 ISBN 0-07-136176-6 The sponsoring editor for this book was Richard Narramore, the editing supervisor was Paul R. Sobel, and the production supervisor was Charles Annis. This book was set in Arial by Jessica Rogers. Printed and bound by QuebecorWorld / Martinsburg. McGraw-Hill books are available at special quantity discounts to use as premiums and sales promotions, or for use in corporate training programs. For more information, please write to the Director of Special Sales, McGraw-Hill, 2 Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10121-2298. Or contact your local bookstore. vii CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGMENTS xiii GETTING READY 1 The New Science and Technology of Creativity 3 How to Use This Book 17 THE GAMES 27 The ABCs of Creativity 29 How success can kill creativity The Amazing Magazine Game 33 More diverse reading leads to more diverse ideas The Anonymous Suggestion Game 35 How to use anonymity to boost creativity The Audience Game 41 Facing an audience can stimulate ideas Bridges to Creativity 45 Open-ended instructions can produce better bridges Broadening: Design Challenge 53 Participants design a game to show the power of broadening viii Broadening: Workplace Challenge 57 Participants plan for diverse training in their workplace The Broader the Better 59 Bringing more skills to a problem leads to fresher ideas Building a Better Capturing Machine 63 Participants use what’s on hand to preserve new ideas Capturing: Design Challenge 67 Participants design a game to show the power of capturing Capturing: Workplace Challenge 71 Participants find better ways to preserve ideas in their workplace Capturing a Daydream 73 Using unguided imagery to learn about creative potential Challenging: Design Challenge 77 Participants design a game to show how failure spurs creativity Challenging: Workplace Challenge 81 Participants find ways to manage failure in their workplace Creative Potential: Design Challenge 83 Participants design a game that reveals our creative potential Creative Potential: Workplace Challenge 87 Participants reveal the creative potential in their workplace The Experts Game 89 Exploiting expertise to boost creativity Feedback and Recognition: Design Challenge 91 Participants design a game to show the power of feedback ix Feedback and Recognition: Workplace Challenge 95 Participants improve feedback practices in their workplace The Keys to Creativity (Basic Version) 99 Volunteers try to retrieve keys using a broom or mop The Keys to Creativity (Advanced Version) 105 Solving a tougher, more realistic version of the keys problem The Lola Cola Game 109 A naming game, in which instructions make all the difference Managing Resources: Design Challenge 113 Participants design a game to show how resources help creativity Managing Resources: Workplace Challenge 117 Participants plan better resource management for their workplace Managing Teams: Design Challenge 119 Participants design a game to show how to use teams wisely Managing Teams: Workplace Challenge 123 Participants plan better team management for their workplace The Memory Game 127 Some people record their new ideas, while others rely on memory The Monkey-Do Game 131 Will participants imitate the bad habits of the group leader? The News-You-Can-Use Game 135 Solving a simple problem using a newspaper The No-Hands Game 141 A fun competition in which instructions are pitted against feedback x The Not-for-the-Fainthearted Game 145 A shaping game that shows how failure leads to new ideas The Odd Couple Game 149 How odd pairings can stimulate creativity The Popsicology Game 153 The more popsicle sticks, the better the designs The Random Doodles Game 157 Remembering our scribblings can be tough Selling a Zork 163 Odd stimuli bring out instant creativity in this fun sales game The Shifting Game 167 Shifting in and out of teams brings lots more ideas The Srtcdjgjklered Game 171 Participants complete a fun story using “work ticklers” Sticky Business 177 Teams compete in design contest, but some need more glue Surrounding: Design Challenge 181 Participants design a game to show the power of unusual stimuli Surrounding: Workplace Challenge 185 Participants redesign their workplaces to boost creativity The Team as Quality Editor 187 How teams excel at screening ideas The Tell-Me-a-Story Game 191 Participants tell a story inspired by an unusual stimulus xi The Tiny Little Nod Game 195 A shaping game showing the power of subtle feedback The Toys-as-Tools Game 199 Participants invent new children’s toys The Ultimate Challenge Game 203 Participants solve problems that have no solutions The Ultimate Design Game 207 Participants boost workplace creativity by a factor of ten or more The Waiting Game 211 A new idea gets you released from the room What D’Ya Know? 213 How strong are your creativity competencies? INDEX 219 ABOUT THE AUTHOR 225 1 getting getting ready... ready... 3 THE NEW SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY OF CREATIVITY These aren’t just any old games. They’re games born of extensive laboratory research on the creative process. So before we starting fooling around, let’s take a quick look at the underlying science. Myth Busting Everybody knows that creativity–the ability to express ideas which are both new and valuable–is mysterious, right? And even a 6-year-old can tell you that creativity is located in the right brain. But systematic research on the creative process in individuals shows otherwise. In fact, many common conceptions about creativity prove to be shaky when you look at the creative process carefully. Myth: Creativity is rare. Actually, research shows that the neural processes that underlie creativity are universal. We couldn’t make our way through a new shopping mall or say a new sentence without them. Creative expression is rare, but that has more to do with the way we’re socialized than it does with ability. In fact, we all probably have the creative potential of Mozart, Einstein, and Picasso. Want to know how to tap that potential? Keep reading! Myth: Only high IQs have creativity. Several studies reveal a correlation between intelligence and creativity, but correlational studies don’t shed light on causal relationships. In other words, no study has ever shown that any particular degree of 4 intelligence is necessary for creativity, and there are plenty of prominent artists, inventors, poets, and composers of average smarts. Myth: Creativity can’t be studied. The first psychology laboratory was established in the late 1800s. Before that, many people claimed that human thinking and behavior would forever be beyond the reach of scientific understanding. But learning, memory, development, and many other aspects of human behavior are now studied routinely in laboratories around the world, and enormous advances have been made on every front. Research on creativity began in the 1950s, with careful laboratory studies beginning in the 1970s. And, again, enormous advances have been made. Myth: It’s in your right brain. Studies of a small number of split-brain patients in the 1960s stimulated a Left-Brain-Right- Brain craze that has gotten completely out of hand. Keep in mind that there are only a few dozen people on the planet whose brains have been surgically split; the other five billion of us have intact brains, the two halves of which are joined by perhaps 100 million nerve fibers. No one has ever found a specific neural location for creativity, and people who claim to be able to train you to use a dormant side of your brain are deluding you, themselves, or both. Myth: Creativity is mysterious. Actually, some important aspects of the creative process in individuals are now well understood. The process will probably always feel mysterious because feelings of frustration and confusion often accompany the process. But some of the basic laws that govern the generation of new ideas have now been 5 discovered, and significant practical applications of the basic science are well underway. Myth: Creativity can’t be learned. In fact, virtually everyone can learn to express greater creativity. The key is to develop some simple skills or “competencies,” which are as easy to learn as, say, tying your shoes. Exercises in this book will help you master these skills, and the last chapter will even allow you to test your current skill levels. If you want to talk to a group about the myths that surround creativity, you might want to make a handout or overhead transparency from the figure on page 10. Figures suitable for copying are included throughout this book. Generativity Theory and Research The games in this volume are based on a body of scientific research called “generativity” research, which focuses on understanding the emergence of novel behavior continuously in time. In the early 1980s, this research yielded a formal scientific theory called Generativity Theory. Expressed as a series of equations and various computer models, the theory has shown that novel behavior in individuals–the kind of behavior that is sometimes labeled “creative”–is orderly and predictable. In the laboratory, novel behavior can even be predicted moment-to-moment in time. The basic idea behind Generativity Theory isn’t new (ironic, isn’t it?). People suggested long ago that new ideas come from combinations of old ones. Generativity Theory simply expresses that concept more precisely. Generativity research also demonstrates how certain types of experiences influence the creative process. For example, the research shows that there is an orderly relationship between what we have learned and the new 6 ideas we can express, and it also shows that failure (or “extinction”) helps spur the creative process in predictable ways. For a more detailed look at Generativity Theory and research, consult other books by the author, or read about the theory in the new Encyclopedia of Creativity, published by Academic Press. The figure on page 11 summarizes the basic features of Generativity Theory, and the figures on pages 12 and 13 summarize the practical implications of the theory. Again, you might find it helpful to make overheads of these figures for group activities. Just How Competent Are You? Generativity research pinpoints four “core competencies”–underlying skills and tendencies–that help people express their creativity. Remember that everyone has roughly equal creative potential. People who express creativity frequently have mastered certain core skills, and anyone can master these skills: Capturing. New ideas are often fleeting. They come, they go, they’re gone, like a rabbit scurrying through the woods. “Creative” people have learned to preserve new ideas as they occur–to preserve first and evaluate later. Fortunately, it’s easy to learn ways to capture new ideas, and strengthening skills in this competency area alone will often boost creative “output” by a factor of 10 or more. Challenging. Failure sets in motion a behavioral process called “resurgence”–the reappearance of old behaviors that used to work in situations like the current one. If you have trouble turning a door knob, for example, you’ll quickly resort to methods that used to work on other doors: turning harder, 7 kicking the door, shouting for help, even shouting for your mom. The good thing about this process is that it gets multiple behaviors competing with each other, and when behaviors compete, new behaviors are often born. In other words, failure spurs creativity. The bad thing about this process is the way it feels: Behavioral competition feels confusing or frustrating. This competency area involves a variety of techniques for managing failure–for eliminating the fear of failure, for seeking and limiting failure, and for managing the emotions that accompany failure. Broadening. If you’re writing your first symphony, and you’ve never heard any music other than symphonies by Beethoven, your style will probably be limited. The more diverse your existing “repertoires of behavior,” the more interesting and diverse the interconnections. Therefore, one of the simplest ways to boost creativity is to broaden your knowledge base. In other words, instead of taking another course on Windows architecture, try one on Medieval architecture. Surrounding. Multiple behaviors are also set in motion by multiple or unusual stimuli in the environment. Imagine approaching a stop light, for example, on which both the red and green lights are illuminated. How would this very unusual (and very broken) stimulus make you feel and behave? Your right foot will probably tap dance between the accelerator pedal and the brake pedal, during which time you’ll feel somewhat confused or uncertain (great emotions when it comes to creativity). The point is that we can accelerate and direct the creative process by managing our environment systematically–both the physical environment (the decorations in our office, for example) and the social 8 environment (the people with whom we work and play). A variety of research also suggests that managers, teachers, parents, and other supervisors need some special competencies–eight in all–in order to elicit creativity in other people. This book contains games that teach and strengthen all of the four core competencies–the main focus of the book–as well as all of the eight managerial competencies. The figures on pages 14, 15, and 16 summarize the individual and managerial competencies. In addition to the basic competency areas, it’s often important to provide people with some basic creativity training. This is helpful because the misconceptions about creativity are so strong. Most people believe they’re not creative, for one thing; some simple games will quickly convince them otherwise. The next chapter will show you how to use the 48 games in this book for basic creativity training, for strengthening specific competencies, and for common organizational purposes. A competencies approach has been enormously helpful in improving leadership, sales, and other abilities. Generally speaking, training people produces far greater economic benefits–and far fewer lawsuits–than “selecting” people. It also avoids the hazards of labeling. Nothing in this book should lead you to label someone “creative” or “dull.” Since research shows that generative processes are universal, all of the games in this book focus on building skills and knowledge–all of which lead to greater creative expression. No labels, please. Okay, Let’s Fool Around Just as the competencies approach has been helpful for managing human resources, the games approach has been a breath of fresh air for training. Games are as engaging for adults as they are for kids, and that’s the point: 9 Properly constructed games make learning fun. Many of the games in this book were developed for college students–and then revised and refined with business executives–with two purposes in mind: to teach about the creative process, and to boost and direct creative expression. Their dual purpose makes them fairly unique in the world of creativity training. The idea is not just to boost creativity but also to teach basic principles that will help people boost their own creativity throughout their lives. Want More? Some of the games in this book are described in more detail in Epstein’s Creativity Games for Trainers, published by McGraw-Hill in 1996. For further information about Generativity Theory, check Cognition, Creativity, and Behavior, published by Praeger in 1996, or, as noted above, consult the new Encyclopedia of Creativity. For more information about creativity training and testing, contact InnoGen International at or 1-877-INNOGEN. To contact the author directly–preferably with praise and money–write [email protected]

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