Role-Playing as a Creative Tool

Looking for a new way to generate ideas? Sometimes the key to unlocking creativity lies in stepping into someone else’s shoes.

While it is common to involve a customer to understand their needs, there is a unique twist that makes this method a creative method – role play.

Instead of focusing only on the needs of existing customers, you can explore new perspectives by taking on completely different roles, such as a celebrity, an unconventional profession or even a fictional character like Superman.

This technique can breathe new life into your ideation process, it is especially useful for service development and organizational improvement.

What is the essence of the role switching method?

The Role Switching technique involves generating ideas by immersing yourself in someone else’s role. It is a powerful antidote to the tunnel vision that often comes with problem solving and the method leads you to new ideas from a completely different starting point.

Step into an unexpected person’s shoes and imagine how they would approach the problem.

When should you use it?

Role switching is a great tool for idea generation, especially in scenarios involving people, such as collaboration or teamwork. It is also an energy booster and can be used when creativity starts to wane.

How to do the Role Exchange method?

1. Start with your question: Always start by articulating your challenge or the problem you want to address creatively.

2. Choose roles: Choose role to step into. You can create a list of unexpected people for the challenge with people/professions that everyone knows. You can reinforce this by using props such as hats or clothing associated with people in that role.

3. List key characteristics: Create a list of what is typical of individuals in that role and what their perspective might be.

4. Ask Challenging Questions: Now, put yourself in the mindset of one of the roles and ask questions like, “If I were in this role, how would I approach this problem?” or “How would [character/profession] solve this problem?” Delve into what this role might prioritize or focus on.

Examples to get you started

Here are some role ideas to jumpstart your creativity:

– If I were a police officer, how would I handle this situation?

– How would a photographer do?

– Other professions: nurse, clown, cook, poker player, thief

– Fictional characters: Robin Hood, Superman, a king, Smurf, Hulk


As you explore different roles and perspectives, it’s important to take this exercise seriously, even if the connections initially seem far-fetched and jokey. Sometimes these seemingly unrelated impulses can spark innovative ideas that you might not have thought of otherwise. Create a more serious reflection after the laughs the new role created.

Incorporate the Rollbyte technique into your creative toolbox and watch your ideation process flourish with fresh, different ideas. This approach can break down mental barriers, boost your team’s creativity, and lead to solutions you might never have discovered using traditional brainstorming methods.

Embrace the power of role-playing and open new doors to innovation.