Creativity tool focus: identity theft

Creativity tool: Identity Theft

Overview: Brainstorming participants take on another identity in order to see the problem point of view. This technique requires little warm up and has many possible variations.

How it works:

  •  Isolate the challenge or subject you want to think about
  • Introduce your panel of advisors, (dead or alive, fantasy or real) to the group one by one. This can be done many times for different advisors.
How to use it
  1. You can create the list of people, dead or alive, fantasy or real in the session by asking attendees for their fantasy dinner party guests, most inspiring business person or even superheroes.
  2. Or prepare your team of fantasy advisors in advance – there’s a great resource here – someone has done all the hard work for you by choosing people from every imaginable field and asking great questions.
  3. Take your chosen advisor and consider how they would deal with your challenge
  4. First write down everything you know about them (list their attributes)
  5. Then look at their attributes and how you think they would approach your challenge and try to generate ideas against your problem
  6. If you use quotes as stimulus, give the group time to consider the quotation. Write down everything that comes to mind about it (don’t worry whether or not it seems directly relevant at this stage) and try to use your own or the group’s thoughts to generate more ideas and considerations. The quotes are also a type of random stimulus (another creativity tool).
  7. Choose the thought or idea that seems to have the most promise then brainstorm ideas about your subject for 5-10 minutes.
  8. You can ask the group to break into smaller teams or pairs to each take an advisor and work through the challenge for 10 minutes, reporting back to the group.
  9. This is a great tool for getting out of your own head fast and into a new way of thinking. It’s not great where highly strategic thinking is required!

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