Team creativity exercise
Brief description of creativity technique
LOESJE is a technique that originated in the Netherlands in 1983. The basis of the technique is to write short thematic slogans that invite constructive discussion. The slogans can also be presented as posters. It is a technique based on playing with words, which allows one to go beyond the usual language patterns and effectively activate creative thinking.
The effect of using this technique is to stimulate the audience to reflect, as well as creative and imaginative thinking, and to make them aware of the possibility of influencing their immediate environment.
The texts that are placed on printed materials (posters, postcards, stickers) are usually created in the framework of creative writing workshops, and they aim to share ideas and concepts, to express one’s own opinions using short slogans. Loesje workshops are an opportunity to express one’s views and inspire action, especially in the immediate environment.
Loesje is a great tool to use in stimulating creativity among employees/teams by using words as a tool for synthetic thinking as an element of goal orientation. LOESJE Enhances creativity by writing short subject slogans that invite constructive discussion. It eliminates established patterns and activates creative thinking. The evaluation of the use of this creativity technique is case-dependent, qualitative, and linked to the ability to achieve a goal.
The Loesje development process contributes to the development of various soft skills that are highly needed on the labour market, including problem-solving skills, analytical skills, openness, the ability to concentrate, and creative thinking skills.
Exercise for skills at the level of:
Learning objectives of the exercise
The rationale for using Loesje technique is to develop the necessary skills and openness to go beyond the usual language patterns and effectively activate creative thinking.
Developing these soft skills in students is very important for their professional future and is expected in business and increasingly desirable from the point of view of the changes observed and forecasted in the labour market. The Loesje technique requires having a rich vocabulary in one’s native language. The technique is a kind of word game in which words are used creatively to represent synthetically in a given word or slogan e.g. a certain idea. It is mental gymnastics, so students should be motivated to expand their vocabulary. In addition,, it does not require any special conditions and adaptations considering the stage of teaching in which it is to be implemented.
Skills developed/enhanced by the exercise
In person: up to 30 minutes
Online: up to 30 minutes
How many people are needed?
Teams of 5–10 students each.
In person: a sheet of paper to write ideas or a collaborative diagramming tool (Mural, Realtime board, …) to fill the following templates:
1. Problem Template
2. Template – selected problem and its description
3. Template – My idea
4. Template for a selected keyword
5. Template – development of slogan visualisation
Online: a collaborative diagramming tool (Mural, Realtime board, …) to fill the above templates.
Instructions for conducting the exercise
Step 1. Facilitator divides students into teams
Step 2. Facilitator introduces the students to Loesje’s idea definition together with practical examples of its use. This is an important part of helping students understand the method. Inspire students to discover patterns and strategies used by nature and emulate them when designing their own solutions to problems.
Step 3. Facilitator sets objectives, discusses tasks and exercises, and specifies how the result obtained will be used.
Step 4. The students get their own paper, and the papers are circled between the participants. Everyone can write words, poems, short texts, questions, make drawings, and associate on each paper, before passing it on to the next participant. Everyone can react to what others have written, improve on their texts, create variations, ask questions, and tell anecdotes and much more.
Step 5. After an hour or more the papers again circulate, but this time the students circle their favourite text proposals to create the finished posters. This is the final editing of a good poster (it should be positive and progressive, tickles the mind, makes people smile, criticises without judging, makes people think, and shows people a new way of looking at something they’d taken for granted).
Case study from desk research
Supporters of the Loesje technique are active in several nations.Good practices can be found, among others, in “Why not exchange prejudices for experiences” a report of the study session held by Loesje International and Loesje Armenia in co-operation with the European Youth Centre Budapest of the Council of Europe (https://rm.coe.int/16806fd5a9)
A method developed in the Loesje network is ‘The School of Freedom’ that helps to organize team activities in a way that enables exchange of knowledge and skills. The purpose of this exercise is to turn passive students of a discussion or activity into acting facilitators, teaching them how to translate their inner capabilities, knowledge and creativity into a meaningful content of a discussion or other exchanging activity. Here everyone is a participant and everyone is a giver!