Resource for Team Leaders

Summary of Major Points

You may want to reference Kathryn’s main points. 

Here is a summary of what Kathryn shared with your team:


Expertise Can Compromise Creativity

Most teams are comprised of talented with deep expertise. They have rigorous understanding and first-principles thinking. However, creativity often requires we make new and unexpected connections between things. Expertise – which is ‘familiarity’ with existing connections – can get in the way.


You May Be Far From Your Creative Cliff

Research shows teams arrive at practical solutions quite quickly – but their most creative solutions may not arrive until well after they feel ‘done’. Research also shows up to 2,000 ideas may be needed to arrive at genuine innovation. Be sure to persist to ensure you do not shortchange the creative process.


Apply Associative Thinking

Three techniques – constraints, analogous problem framing, and ‘wonder wanders’ – can help teams connect with innate creative potential. By practicing these techniques episodically – and right before you need creative flow –  you can improve performance and help teams build off of each others’ connections.

An Exercise For Your Next Staff Meeting

You may want to lead off a future meeting with an ‘exercise’ or ‘game’ to extend the learnings from your experience. Here is an exercise Kathryn developed for your team:

Perp excercise

Have a “YES” Session With Your Team

In your experience, you discussed the effects of expertise on creativity and you learned that even the most talented teams suffer low creativity ruts.

A “YES” session is a meeting that has only one purpose: To gather ideas with abandon. And everyone must say yes to everything. 

Set a timer for 5, 10, or even 15 minutes depending on your team’s size and the nature of the work.  Introduce one of the tools you learned from Kathryn (constraints, analogous problem framing, and ‘wonder wanders’). Prioritize quantity and create a list of ideas on a format visible to everyone attending.

To keep the rapid-fire pace of the “YES” session, assign two team members to record ideas. The goal is to prevent overthinking by encouraging speed and removing any inhibitions.

An Email to Share with Your Team

Teamraderie has been asked by some managers for a ‘post-experience summary email’ that they can share with the team members after the 45-minute Teamraderie experience. We drafted a memo for you to customize:

Perp excercise
Principles Behind the Experience

Teamraderie experiences are designed in collaboration with management professors at Stanford University and Harvard Business School. Here are the principles incorporated into your experience:

You Probably Misjudge Your ‘Creative Cliff’

A Cornell University (2020) study found people expect their creativity to decline across an ideation session – when it, in fact, it tends to improve – and suggests teams may undervalue ideation. This Teamraderie experience sought to give you tools to stoke creativity in individuals and ensure teams persist beyond their perceived ‘creative cliff’.

‘Analogical Thinking’ for Idea Generation

A UC Berkeley (2008) study showed elevated effectiveness for early-concept idea generation sessions that are structured using ‘analogy’ as a tool for concept generation. This method leads to both higher volume and elevated quality of early-stage ideas. This Teamraderie experience included a use of analogy to stimulate your creative processes.

‘Analogical Thinking’ for Product Development Ideas

A University of British Columbia (2002) study compared problem solving frameworks for efficacy in identifying new solutions – and concluded analogical thinking was most effective for for new product development. This Teamraderie experience practiced analogic thinking to practice solving a problem for your team.

Additional Expert Resources for the Experience

Interested in learning more about creativity for your team?


Teamraderie recommends the documents and publications below for additional perspective:

Author: Aithan Shapira, MIT

Highlight: “The problem is not that professionals lack creative impulses but that they are too focused on getting the creative process right.”

Author: Angus Fletcher, Ohio State

Highlight: “Stop relying on the overrated power of randomness in fostering creativity, and instead to adopt a more method-driven approach.”

Thank you for being a Teamraderie customer.
We appreciate the opportunity to work with modern managers
who are embracing new forms of leadership.