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Seeing the Point (online version)

Learning Focus

  • Collaboration
  • Icebreaker
  • Improving Performance
  • Innovation
  • Problem Solving
  • Resource Management

Group Size

4 - 8
2 - 16


20-40 Minutes
More information
Next day delivery available


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This is an online version of a popular two-stage activity to improve problem solving, collaborative working & creative thinking skills. It's ideal to use as an introductory or ice-breaker activity to develop innovation skills, or to reinforce key learning points about the power of collaborative working and diverse teams.

It is easily set-up and delivered via the experientiallearningtools.com platform, where participants can be allocated into each of four teams, and a non-working observer can also be assigned with each team. Last minute changes to participants can easily be managed within the platform.

In Stage 1 the initial small-team problem posed is challenging to solve in its own right - but then a further challenge presented typically requires different thinking skills to develop a successful solution.

Finally in Stage 2 all the working teams are brought together with the progress they have made in Stage 1, to further build on results achieved through larger group collaborative working.

It brings to life a common problem facing many teams: ‘I’m repeatedly being asked to do more with less, and it can’t be done!'

This activity will bring a common language around this type of challenge, and a method for exploring how it might be overcome.



  • Improving problem solving skills
  • Developing creativity and innovation skills
  • Exploring & rehearsing thinking skills that enable learners to break old patterns and establish new ones
  • Experiencing the differences between incremental, sequential problem solving, and ‘breakthrough thinking’ approaches
  • Exploring the nature of ‘limiting beliefs’ and their potential to reduce the effectiveness of creative and innovative thinking processes
  • A practical demonstration and explanation ‘synergy’ - doing more with less
  • Change management by thinking 'outside the box'

Seeing The Point is an excellent short duration or icebreaker activity focused on developing creative and innovative thinking skills that can be applied to individual and collaborative problem solving. It is ideal as an introduction to training in creative and innovative thinking, and an interesting and engaging way of introducing the concepts of ‘alignment’ and synergy'.
The solution to the puzzle is a visual representation of ‘doing more with less’ and specifically looks at the difference between a sequential, step by step problem solving approach and a 'breakthrough' or 'blue-sky' thinking approach. This activity encourages learners to look at things in a different way: seeing beyond the obvious problem and the solutions they expect to work.
In Stage 1, the group breaks into up to four sub-teams, each working with a different set of digital components. They are set an initial challenge to use these parts to make a set of shapes, and then an increasingly difficult challenge with no more resources to use! In Stage 2 they join the other teams, and can see but not manipulate the other team's components. Can the larger group deliver a better performance than the sum of the individual teams in Stage 1?

This online activity can be facilitated using only a simple group meeting technology such as Google Meet or Zoom, and allowing participants to access a simple html/internet browser link. Ideally the use of virtual break-out rooms allows four sub-groups to work simultaneously but separately, before coming together to explore the merits of collaboration.

The activity can also be used to highlight the value and positive aspects of diversity - should all colours be mixed together they can create more than when the colours are separated!

A single annual user licence for delivery via the online platform at experientiallearningtools.com with access to all product-based video and written Articles relating to setting up, administering and reviewing the online activity.  

Unlimited use of the two-stage activity within the 12 month licence term from the date of purchase, and use of all materials included for any individual single learner group of up to 20 learners (included with each user licence). 

Free access and use of all the facilitator support Articles within the platform during the licence term.

Multiple learner groups using the activity at the same time will require multiple user licences.

The physical version of Seeing the Point is an activity originally created by Dr. Jim Cain, and we are grateful for his inspiration and support in using that idea in this online version!

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