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Griggs Role Storming Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.

The Problem

Rolest­orming originated as part of creativity challenge with brains­tor­ming. Griggs observed that during tradit­ional brains­torming sessions people would either run out of ideas or self-limit themselves for fear of appearing too eager or risking ridicule.

No fear

Many people are embarr­assed to volunteer creative ideas in a group. They are afraid that they will not be taken seriously. But it is these creative ideas that often make a fantastic contri­bution towards excellent solutions and with ‘out of the box thinking’ people bring about positive changes. It is therefore very important to stimulate employees to tap into their creative mental abilities and use these.

At a Distance

Griggs discovered that people are not so much ashamed of their creative expres­sions when they put forward ideas in the name of someone else. That is the reason why this has become the starting point of his role storming theory. By speaking for someone else, people are encouraged to partic­ipate actively during a brains­torming session and share their ideas with other people. In theory, they pose as someone else and they play another role. This is how they distance themselves from their own ideas and as a result they are able to discuss more freely.

Important Consid­era­tions Using Role Storming

Role storming is a simple way to have employees tap into their creativity and share this with a group without feeling embarr­assed. It is extremely importance that during the role storming sessions, the roles are played in a respectful manner. When it concerns someone in the organi­zation that people know well, this situation must be handled very carefully. There should not be any chance that certain character traits are used in a damaging manner and/or come to light in a damaging manner.

1. General brains­torming

By initiating regular, general brains­torming sessions, employees get used to thinking creati­vely. As a conseq­uence, obvious ideas will receive more attention.

2. Identi­fying roles

By deciding in advance who takes on which role, it is easier for employees to identify with one another. A choice can be made from individual roles or collective roles. It goes without saying that this happens in consul­tation with the group of employees. The role that has been chosen must not refer a member in the group. In order to arrive at a good identi­fic­ation, it is considered advisable to have some inform­ation on the character. The role does not necess­arily have to be associated with the problem that needs to be solved.

3. Putting oneself in someone else’s shoes

in order to relate to the role, it helps to focus on the chosen figure­/ch­aracter for a few minutes. The following questions could be helpful in this:
• What could this charac­ter’s person­ality be like?
• What is this charac­ter’s perspe­ctive of society?
• How would this character solve problems?
• What are this charac­ter’s strengths and weakne­sses?

4. Role Storming

At this stage, everybody starts brains­torming together from their respective roles. From their new roles, they will feel free to suggest ideas and look at proble­matic situations from new and different perspe­ctives. By speaking in the ‘I’ form they are encouraged to do so: “my character does not see a problem but an opport­unity”. It is important that each partic­ipant gets an opport­unity to speak during the role storming session.

5. Repetition

When the sessions have produced insuff­icient creative ideas, it is advisable to repeat the entire procedure with various ‘new’ roles. In addition, continuity is important. For employees to get used to role storming, it is recomm­ended to initiate such sessions at regular intervals.