That’s guerrilla not gorilla, although I’m sure that apes are very creative in their own way. Have you ever been on a course, say project management, leadership or even assertiveness and then wondered why you had such a hard time dealing with colleagues or perhaps loved ones when you returned? What is your reaction when a colleague returns from a course? At a guess you say to yourself “don’t you try any of that stuff on me, I’m not going to succumb to your tricks or mind games”.

Despite the fact that most of us are responsible adults, we become childish when we think someone may be trying to influence us. The question is how to use our new found skills without anyone noticing. The answer is of course not to tell anyone that we are using our newly acquired skills! When introducing creative thinking techniques the problems are usually made worse by colleagues thinking that they will always be outside of their comfort zone and then battening down the hatches and resisting all your attempts to involve them.

Next time you wish to use reverse brainstorming, do not start your sentence with ‘I think that we will try and use reverse brainstorming on this one’. The words different, change, creativity and uncomfortable immediately flash before your colleagues’ eyes. Why not start your session with a pitch like that below:

“How many of you have encountered negative colleagues in the workplace? Would you like to be able to harness this negativity for the good of the company?”

First of all your colleagues only think that you are trying out a technique or showing them how to use it (which of course you are) and secondly they will jump in because they of course do not wish to be seen to be negative themselves. This type of approach can be used in all sorts of situations. This is guerrilla creativity, sneaking in by the back door, and it works.

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