About this Publication

Used by teams and in business settings of all kinds, this book describes creative exercises that foster team-building and warm up the right side of your brain – the creative side. Grab a pencil, a marker, or a pen, and get started. Share these exercises with your team, and enjoy the creative energy. We call this the “Spark”.

This book brings together many ideas from all the icebreaker/creative drawing experiments I have conducted over the years, in a simple format. I ask that everyone draws something related to a story about them or some aspect of their lives, so that through the drawing the artist is sharing a personal element with the team. Sometimes, there is a true Picasso in the group, but most people are not talented artists. The value of the exercise lies in the process, not the quality of the product.

The act of drawing engages the right side of the brain, and it mixes visual, verbal, and kinesthetic experiences, so it works for various types of learning styles. The drawing process can be unnerving, and will undoubtedly push many beyond their comfort zone. This process in itself creates a bond amongst the participants, as they all confront a common challenge. Once the drawing is complete, a great deal of the psychological pressure has passed. Presenting the drawing is then relatively easy because the drawing is already complete and cannot be changed. It is therefore easier to listen fully to others. The final step is to post all the drawings on the wall so that they remain visible throughout the session and people can remember what another team member drew and why.

About the Author

A product innovator and digital leader, Valerio Zanini is passionate about creating products that customers love and developing the teams that make them a reality. With two decades of product development experience in a variety of organizations including Capital One, Cisco, Goozex.com and others, he excels at building new products in the early stages of product innovation, where uncertainty and lack of a clear solution are the biggest challenges. He works with organizations worldwide to spark a culture of innovation and drive agile transformation. He is the author of Deliver Great Products That Customers Love, published in 2018. He is a Certified Scrum Professional and Scrum Master, SAFe Program Consultant, and Certified Product Owner. He holds an MBA from the University of Maryland, and a MS/BS degree in Electronic and Computer Engineering from the University of Rome, Italy.