How to use or facilitate:
- Hand everyone participating a post-it pad.
- Have everyone participating pick a partner, preferably someone they don’t know well.
- Ask them to introduce themselves.
- Deliver the challenge: “Using only post-it notes, you are going to silently make them something they’ll love. You have 2 minutes. When you finish, await further instructions. Go!”
- Have them silently exchange their creations. One a time, have each partner examine their gift, and say out loud, “Wow, I’ve always wanted this ____ because _____!”
- Poll the for group what they felt what the most fun about the exercise? What was the most challenging? Why?
- Reveal the takeaway!
Whether you’re kicking off a new project or looking to introduce design thinking to a group, this exercise can touch on a bit of everything. Underscoring ‘empathy’ is key. In this context, we don’t know everything other than what we can assume on face value both in what we create, and what our users receive/assume. It also forces us to come up with an idea and rapidly prototype it, no matter how good we think it is.
Want a little more variety in your building materials? Try adding different types of cardstock, stickers, tape, pipe cleaners, whatever you have lying around to liven up your supply stash.