101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving.Copyright © 2005 by John Wiley &
Sons, Inc. Reproduced by permission of Pfeiffer, an Imprint of Wiley. http://www.pfeiffer.com
Materials, Supplies, and Equipment
- For each group: markers, two flip charts, and masking tape for posting flip-chart
- For each participant: one sheet each of three different colors of sticking dots
(^1 ⁄ 2 ” diameter) and one pad of 4 x 6 Post-it®Notes
- Law Breaker 
- Problem Reversals 
- Turn Around 
- Have a group recorder write down a problem challenge on a flip chart for all to
- Tell them to ask, “Why?” about their challenge, record the answer, and then use
the answer to think of a new challenge statement.
- Have them repeat Step 2 until they have generated a satisfactory challenge state-
- Tell them to use this statement and write down any ideas on Post-it®Notes (one
idea per note) and place them on flip charts for evaluation.
In the example involving the motivation of employees, it might have been better to
broaden the definition with a less restrictive, more positive label. For instance, the ques-
tion, “Why do we want to motivate employees to work harder?” might be answered by
noting, “To increase productivity.” Thus, the problem might be better defined as “How
can we improve employee productivity?” This switch from a motivation label to a pro-
ductivity label opens up more solution alternatives and shifts the emphasis away from
employees being a “problem.” The situation is transformed from a motivation problem to
a productivity problem.
Also consider having participants debrief using the following questions:
- What was most helpful about this exercise?
- What was most challenging?
- What can we apply?
- How would you rate the value of this exercise to helping us with this issue?
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