Unlikely Hero

One of the most liberating creative thinking exercises is to imagine what some inspirational or colourful character would do; how they would tackle the situation.



This is an excellent group exercise, which helps to bring out imagination and overcome people’s insecurities. It is based on simply asking: what would “X” do? With X being a well-known real or fictional character, with interesting personality traits, skills and even superpowers.


1. Cast your heroes

Pick up to three different characters, preferably ones which would be as far-fetch for the situation. You could even ask participants to nominate their greatest heroes and villains.


2. Set the scene

Set the scene by defining the problem or challenge at hand. Tell it as a story, painting a vivid picture of your protagonists and the impossible situation they find themselves in.


3. Action!

Bring your heroes in to save the day. Taking each hero in turn, ask the question “what would “X” do and concoct the story of how they would solve the issue. For example, ask:

  • What would “Wonderwoman do”?
  • What would “Hans Solo” do?
  • What would “Freddie Mercury” do?
  • What would “Marie Curie” do?
  • What would “Einstein” do?


4. Write the review

Spend no more than five minutes on each character’s story, then reflect on what possibilities or ideas the exercise has sparked.