INNOVATION

Yes, and...

During a brainstorming session, the goal is to generate as many ideas as possible. To keep the creativity flowing, encourage a positive, constructive, “Yes and...” mindset. This warm-up exercise shows you how.
Goals
  • Create a productive atmosphere
  • Prepare for an ideation phase
Tool themes
  • Mindset
  • Ideation
  • Teaming
Information
Group size 1-12 people
Time 10 minutes
Material Timer
Level Easy
Facilitation Beginner
Before you start
Maintaining an open mindset – easier said than done! That’s because “mindset” is a rather abstract concept.
This easy, fun warm-up exercise is designed to make that concept tangible and real to your group.

STEP 1

Get the group to stand in a circle. For the first round of this exercise, turn to the person on your left and say a hypothetical “I want” statement, such as, “I wanna fly to Mars.” That person should then respond with a “Yes, but...” statement. (e.g. “Yes, but it’s much too expensive.”) Next, they turn to the person to their left with an “I want” statement of their own. This continues around the circle until everyone has participated.At the end of this first round, ask the group what they noticed about these “Yes, but...” responses and the negative atmosphere they created. This is exactly what you want them to experience – how a counteractive response to an idea can destroy group morale and personal motivation.


STEP 2

Run a second round, but this time ask the person to your left to respond to your idea (e.g. “I wanna thow a party tonight”) with a “Yes, and...” statement. (“Yes, and who will you invite?”) At the end of the round, it’s time to reflect once more. Unlike the first round, this time the group will have experienced the power of encouraging others’ ideas and building on them. Your role as facilitator is to steer the discussion and guide them to these conclusions.
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