This exercise is a whole ton of fun! It can be a great break exercise, but it also serves a purpose, quite a few actually:

+ Helps to take the mind of the current issue.
+ Introduces a little bit of fun.
+ Taps into the kid-like approach.

This exercise can be used at any moment if you want to introduce a short creative break or illustrate the idea of creativity.

Here is a simple walkthrough:

+ Each person receives a piece of paper (A4 works best, it really shouldn’t be smaller).
+ Holding the paper, ask the participants to put their hands behind their backs.
+ The task is to tear out an elephant from the paper, without looking.

This is not easy, and usually, what comes out are strange blobs with uneven edges, but that’s perfectly ok! It’s fun to try and do it best you can! We don’t normally look at things from the perspective of memory and the tactile sense (that we don’t really use that much either).

Explanation: when showing the results of the work, explain to your participants that it doesn’t really matter if the elephant looks like a tree. What’s important is to separate the thoughts from the current issue, change the senses used, and hopefully steer the ideation in a new direction.