created by the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council
Activities for Transforming Teams
and Igniting Change
ATTIC is a collection of tools, games, and activities to inspire innovation, teamwork and engagement in health care settings.


Shifting your mindset around unexpected events and suggestions can be powerful. You can see
them as obstacles or you can see them as gifts. Seeing them as gifts can augment the opportunity for creativity and innovation.

Download Activity Worksheet

  • 15 minutes
  • Minimum of 2
  • None

  • Source: Adapted from Eye Openers

What to do

  1. Assign people into pairs.
  2. Describe the activity: Person A will tell a story and, after a few sentences, person B will start throwing in random words that A has to immediately incorporate into their story. For example:
    • Person A: There once was a dog named Bob who liked to chase balls.
    • Person B: Apple.
    • Person A: One time, Bob accidentally thought an apple was a ball and then developed a taste for apples.
  3. Before starting, demonstrate this process by asking someone to throw random words at you while you tell a story. Try to incorporate the words into the story as you tell it, to show them how the exercise works.
  4. Have the pairs work on their stories as outlined above with Person B continuing to throw random words into Person A’s story until the exercise is complete.


Ask participants a series of questions to get them to describe their experience with this activity:

  • What was it like to complete this exercise?
  • What made it confusing or difficult to do?
  • What effect did the unexpected words have on your story?
  • What was your initial mindset when the words started coming?
  • Did your mindset stay the same or change throughout the activity?
  • How does mindset affect your experience in this exercise?
  • How does it feel when you think of the new word as a nuisance versus an opportunity?

If you see different ideas as obstacles, they will indeed become obstacles for you and feel like negative elements that you cannot control. Instead, differing ideas – or thought diversity – results in better ideas, better solutions, and increased innovation.

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