One of the highlights of Mind Camp was the “paper airplane” exercise Thomas Schmitz used in his session on generating new ideas. Each person took letter-size sheet of paper, wrote down a product idea, turned the sheet into a paper airplane, and sailed the plane across the room. The person who retrieved the plane opened it, built on the idea (sometimes using methods Schmitz had covered earlier), and sent it flying across the room again. The exercise ended when the fourth person added his or her idea. Then we went around the room, with each person reading the four ideas they were holding, and then saying a few words about his or her own techniques for getting new ideas and inspiration.
One participant, who identified himself as an educational consultant, said he finds the best way to get inspired and creative is to attend conferences in fields unrelated to his own. This makes perfect sense to me, but I had to wonder how many employers, even those who give lip service to creativity and new ideas, would even consider paying for it.