Creativity News - Volume 7, Number 4 (11/26/2013)

Qualities of a Well Balanced Team

Whether it is a DI team or a group working on a specific project it is wise to make sure your team has the following attributes in order to build a creative culture.

  • Cheerleader: Your team needs member who will to help keep the energy and morale high.
  • Curiosity Seeker: This individual will help the team stay abreast of the latest trends regarding their project and help keep them from becoming isolated in their thinking.
  • Emotional Quarterback: This is the one who is sensitive to others feelings and serves as a mediator to help minimize conflicts.
  • Enforcer: This individual moves the team toward focusing their ideas into a workable solution. He helps the team to make tough decisions.
  • Navigator: It is important to maintain the groups creativity while making sure they are following rules, policies and goals of the project. The navigator is the one who checks to make sure that the goals and rules are being met and that the group has not gone astray.

Having individuals who fill these roles will help your team to have a healthy attitude toward solving their challenge, avoid bumps along the way, and make team meetings productive and enjoyable.

Where Do We Start?

If you are a novice Team Manager, you are beginning to understand how difficult it is to get results without telling your team members exactly how to solve the challenge. How do you turn on the creativity. Generating ideas and brainstorming is not as easy as it sounds! 

The first thing you need to remember about brainstorming is that it does have rules.  When considering ideas remember these guidelines:

  1. Withhold judgment. Don’t comment give negative or positive comments until all the ideas are on the table.
  2. Encourage your team to come up with a lot of ideas. 50 is good. 100 is better…
  3. Look for combinations. Pairing two ho-hum ideas to make something unconventional is really creative…and fun! 
  4. Seek novelty.  This is what creative problem solving is all about...a different character, a different story, a different vehicle, a different place, a different use for ______.

Ideas may be hard to find if you don’t have a reference point from which to start. It’s like reaching into a black hole. Asking your team to come up with 100 ideas for a story could become a very discouraging exercise unless you have some tricks up your sleeve. Getting to know some of your team’s favorite (or least favorite) subjects could save some valuable time.  Favorite TV show? If we asked your favorite cartoon character to be a on our team, what ideas would she have for a theme ?  Favorite  sport?  How would your favorite team solve this technical challenge? Least favorite food? What sorts of challenges does your least favorite food have to overcome to be included on your menu?

Avoid Interference penalties.  Keep your questions general and avoid asking questions that lead the team to your own solution. Remember that your team cannot use specific ideas that you bring forward.  The acid test for Interference: if the Team Challenge solution looks anything like you personally envisioned, you probably had too much influence.

MTDI Facebook Page

We have posted pictures of the Creativity Nights on our Facebook page. Please like the MTDI page at https://www.facebook.com/MontanaDI

College Scholarships

Montana DI Alumni who participated in Destination Imagination for two years or more qualify for three college Scholarships.  Check out the Montana DI Website to learn more about these scholarships and how to apply for them.  MTDI will award one scholarship to a high school senior and one to a Montana High School graduate who is currently pursuing a post High School degree. Make sure your alumni know about these scholarships.  Deadlines: February 1 and February 15.  Please let qualified students and your local high school guidance counselors know about these scholarships. The scholarships are funded by Student Assistance Foundation of Montana

Tournament Registration and Dates

The online tournament registration form is available on the Montana Destination ImagiNation Website.  Make sure you create a log-in before trying to register your team. 

Don’t forget to register your appraiser(s).

Regional tournaments will be at the end of February 22 and March 1 (locations to be determined).  The Affiliate Finals will be March 22, 2014 in Manhattan.

Team Manager Tip:

Teach your team good listening skills. These are important during times when they are working on generating and focusing ideas as well as when they do Instant Challenges.

  • Never assume anything
  • Don't jump to conclusions
  • Listen and understand all the information before deciding your approach
  • Work at listening. It doesn't just happen
  • Concentrate on the challenge
  • Be objective and think good, positive thoughts
  • If you have a mental block, listen to your teammates.

Team Building Activity: 

All in Activity:This is an effective activity that builds up creativity and cooperation among kids.Ropes of different lengths - five feet, ten feet, fifteen feet and twenty feet are required. Tie the ends of each rope forming a circle. Ask an entire group of kids to get inside the circle formed by the rope, without a single body part being outside the circle. Start the game with the twenty feet rope.Once they have achieved that successfully, ask them to get inside the circle formed by the fifteen foot long rope, and so on, until they get to the smallest circle. As the circles get smaller, it gets increasingly difficult for them to get inside, and they will need to get creative and cooperative to complete the task.http://www.buzzle.com/articles/team-building-activities-for-kids.html Instant Challenge: Ping Pong Raft:Challenge: Create an object that is able to move across a basin of water with air power.Problem: You must build an object using the provided materials. This object must move across the basin of water propelled by air. The object will receive bonus points for transporting ping-pong balls.Time: You have 5 minutes to design and build your object and 2 minutes to propel your object.Materials: Ping-pong balls, 15 straws, 10 toothpicks, Wallpaper trough or some basin filled with water, 12 inches of masking tape, 2 sheets 8-1/2 x 11 paper, scissors (may not be part of objects).The ping-pong balls may not be attached to the object.Score:

  • 10 points for each lap across the basin.
  • 7 points for each ping-pong ball that is on the object at the end of the time
  • up to 20 points for the creativity of the object
  • up to 20 points for how well your team works together