(this exercise was co-created as part of a collaboration day between myself and Geoff Watts, credit to Paul Z Jackson from his book)


5-10 mins


2 people (standing up)


One person holds an imaginary box in front of them. This imaginary box is capable of holding any item imaginable. The partner’s job is to mime pulling items out of the box, whilst naming the item to the box holder.

The box holder is required simply to verbally confirm items to their partner, as they pull them out of the box.

Continue for 3 or 4 minutes until the flow of items increases. Call stop, and allow the box to switch over into the partner’s hands.

Learning Points:

This seems a scary exercise, but people are generally surprised at how creative they can be. The secret to this occurring is the role of the box holder. The verbal “yes, of course it’s a rabbit” response when an item is revealed acts as both confirmation and acceptance to their partner. This nicely demonstrates “yes, and” without necessarily using those exact words. Once a collaborative partnership has been formed using that response, the creator is much more comfortable and new ideas flow quicker. And as more ideas come, the collaboration grows further.

The take-away being “collaboration brings creativity brings collaboration”. You can quote me on that : o)