Yes, BUT vs. Yes, AND

Have the room pair up and assign the group a task (e.g., to plan a party). For round one, have everyone start each sentence of their conversation with “Yes, BUT”. After the first round, ask your participants how the conversation went? How was the party they planned? For round two have participants start their conversation with “Yes, AND”. After the second round, ask the group how the round went and compare the two conversations. The differences between the two will be striking!

Purpose: Collaboration, showing the difference between an open and closed mindset


Draw a Vase

For the first round of this exercise have everyone take out a piece of paper and ask them to draw a vase. Once they are finished have them post what they drew on the board. For the second round have everyone design a way for people to enjoy flowers in their homes and post it on the board. Compare the two drawings and discuss how reframing the question affected the proposed solutions.

Purpose: Learning how to reframe brainstorming triggers, thinking outside the box



1000 Uses

Divide participants out into equal sized groups, pick a random object (i.e. a paperclip), and challenge each group to come up with 1,000 uses for the object. No repeats! In each group, each participant will take turns in a circle coming up with new ideas. Make sure that each group has a volunteer note taker to capture how many ideas their group comes up with. Time the challenge for 4 minutes. When time is up, have each group share how many ideas they generated. The group with the most ideas wins!

Purpose: Thinking outside the box, encouraging wild ideas

3 Warm-Ups to Ignite Your Design Thinking Workshop