Want to generate more ideas? Use these tools…
In the Shoes of…
Purpose: To help participants step out-of-the-box by visioning solutions through the eyes of
a well-known character.
1. For each person assign a different well-known character, real or fictional (see
2. Generate ideas based on the assigned character
Have the problems and list of leadership figures ready in advance.
There are two ways to use this technique:
As a Visioning technique – pick a figure that you believe embodies the qualities that you
wish to emulate. For example, if you want to increase the effectiveness of meetings, you
might want to choose someone who is an expert at communication. (e.g. Oprah, Dr. Ruth,
your old boss)
As an Exploring technique – pick a figure at random, or one that seems the antithesis of
whom you would first think of for the task. For example, how would Arnold
Schwarzenegger or Marcel Marceau make meetings more effective?
Your Customers, Your CEO, Your Supervisor, Queen Elizabeth I or II, Bill Gates, Arnold Schwarzenegger, George Jetson, Albert Einstein, Gloria Steinem, Madonna, Mickey Mouse, Your favorite teacher, Your relative, Napoleon, Sigmund Freud
Forced Connections or Random Stimulation
Purpose: To generate ideas using random triggers
1. Describe the problem statement and answer any clarification questions.
2. Randomly pick an object or word (toys, any dictionary or encyclopedia), and
tell the team what the object is (show it, if you can). You can even randomly
point to something.
3. Non-judgmentally, generates ideas regarding how the characteristics of that
object can solve the given problem. You can phrase the question in one of
1) “What does this object or word tell you about the problem or
2) “What ideas do you get from this object or word that might help solve
this problem?,” or
3) “How is this object like the problem?”
Keep an open mind and look at all possible aspects of the object (symbolic,
metaphoric and literal). These ideas are to be written down.
Use some type of random stimulus such as a bowl full of small “toys”,
dictionary or encyclopedia.