Team Creativity Exercise: Inspirational Quotes

Whether they’re framed above the mantle, spelled out in magnetic poetry on the fridge, or scribbled on the inside of your office’s bathroom stall, quotes can have a huge impact on the way we think.

Quotes are the ultimate short-form prose, as they cut away the unnecessary (but tasty) fat and leave us with just the meat of an argument or idea. Easily digested and easily shared, quotes are a low-barrier-to-entry way of spreading knowledge.

Creativity Exercise: Inspirational Quotes

  • Put the quotes face-down on the table and have each participant pick one.
  • Go around the horn (participants read their quotes aloud).
  • Lead discussion by asking questions – e.g.
    • What was your favorite quote?
    • What was your least favorite quote?
    • Which quotes had similar messages?
    • Which quotes were most at odds with each other?
    • What does the ___ quote mean?

    (Tip: Encourage participants to re-read their quotes as needed.)

What’s the point?

Think Different: Tackling the tasks required of you each day (while obviously a necessity) can get your brain stuck in a certain way of thinking. Discussing ideas from some of history’s most creative minds will encourage your brain to think in different ways and can help spark creativity.

Get Talking: Running this exercise is a great way to generate a good – dare I say, “academic” – discussion. (When I ran the exercise, the discussion in the room came to revolve around whether or not the term “creativity” implied something entirely unique/invented or the connecting of ideas/components in novel ways.)