Creative Thinking Tool: Role Playing

May 1, 2007

 shadow-play.jpg      Imagine this scenario in your non profit organization:

Your proposal was accepted; money is pouring in; your program design is flawless; you are equipped with the most talented team members; you have all the resources to start moving, until a person asks: “But what would ZYX do if they were in our situation? Splash! Your enthusiasm is on the shore.

Face it, even if our system is working the best it can ever be, we have to know what others are doing – or may do – to be reassured we are optimizing our resources.

So then, why fight this urge to know? Let’s embrace it instead.

In playing a different role/profession, we can imagine how that person (role) would state the problem. It works best if each person in the team is assigned a random profession and requested to ask the question that this profession would ask if faced with the same problem. It works best if you choose roles from different fields and be creative in their job titles.

In a workshop I ran for my group “My Arabic Story”, the problem we faced was that our members are not all of the same skill level in telling stories. So we stated the challenge as: “How to create stories and shows that are alive and magical?”

I put random professions in a hat (my winter hat worked best), and asked each to pick up a piece of paper, read the vocation and ask the question. Here are some:

Nurse: how can we create small details in stories and shows? What should we pay attention to?

Diver: how can we breath enough when telling a magical story?

Teacher: how to break the story in small parts and make people relate to it?

Fortune 500 CEO: how to convince the audience that our decisions are magical?

Lawyer: how to generate debate and dialogue among audience?

Anthropologist: how to tell stories with exciting characters?

Truck driver: how to make stories travel, using speed, and move to tour and upload money and stories?

Now you can just imagine all the ideas that solved our dilemma. All what we did afterward is give few minutes to answer each question thoroughly and with as much detail as we can, compile the answers, and finally craft a plan.

Randah Taher

Note worth mentioning:

Questions are a vital tool in any thinking. I will continually refer to different questioning techniques in the future for you to use the one that works best for your style. If you have a problem that you wish to work it out using one of those tools, drop me a line at myarabicstory@yahoo.ca



  1. hello randah: discovering this blog just now, it is lovely. thanks for sharing your thoughts so clearly…

  2. you are welcome Kelli Ann,
    Because of Studies and Work, I am not able to update it weekly as I would like to, only monthly. but I’ll try to work on this better. maybe write shorter info :))

    let me know your thoughts or it, I’m open to suggestions.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: