Creativity Warmups are a set of quick, creative thinking activities that act as a mental warmup to stretch the group's creative thinking.
Taking time to stretch the team's creative thinking is a fantastic way to get more creative ideas from an ideation session for your product, service, or project team. Completing any of these mini practices helps expand thinking and can lead to even more creative and innovative ideas.
Creativity Warmups are based on the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (TTCT). The TTCT assess how creatively a person's mind works and are often given to children to determine advanced placement or as part of an entrance examination. They are very different from intelligence and reasoning tests your child may have already taken. Instead of traditionally taught subjects such as reading or math, these tests assess creativity. Testers are scored on a number of aspects. This includes:
Pick one or a few exercises to run with your team and hand out sample questions for each exercise to all participating members.
If running remotely, have templates prepared on your favorite digital whiteboarding tool (Miro, Mural, Jamboard, etc).
Explain the exercise to the group. Be sure to mention that this is to stretch creative thinking, so big, wild, and unique ideas are most valuable. For each exercise, the point is for team members to come up with ideas they think no one else will come up with - this helps participants push past obvious answers and explore more creative ideas (see where this is going? 😉 )
For each exercise, put 5 minutes on the clock and have participants silently work on their ideas. If they run out of room, have extra templates printed out to hand to them so they can keep ideating. Don't worry about allocating points to each idea...this is just for warming up our brains!
After time is up, you can either close out the exercises and move right into an ideation session OR you can have team members share their ideas with the group. If you want you can even open a dot-voting round to have people vote on their favorite ideas and award the winner of the most votes some kind of creative trophy 🏆💡
Now that you have your team creatively warmed up, try rolling right into an ideation session for your product and see the creative ideas that emerge!
Check out these great links which can help you dive a little deeper into running the Creativity Warmups practice with your team, customers or stakeholders.