Congratulations are due on the launch of a new Gamestorming User Group in France! If you’re nearby, check it out!
Object of Play
Ideal activity for flex points in a gathering (the beginning, when coming back from lunch, at the end of the day). Give everyone at a gathering an opportunity to “get there” mentally by engaging with the purpose/subject. Give everyone a significant amount of “air time” so that everyone’s voice is in the conversation (no matter how many participants, everyone 5-10 minutes). Energize participants and get oxygen to the brain by standing and moving physically).
Number of Players
Unlimited. This activity “scales” really well from a minimum of around 12 to thousands.
Duration of Play
How to Play
1. Invite everyone to leave their “stuff” and move to an open space in the room where everyone can stand and there’s room to move around.
2. Pose a juicy question that is directly related to the purpose of the gathering.
3. Ask everyone to reflect on the question silently for a full minute
4. Explain the simple rules;
- When you hear the chimes, find a partner (someone you know less well than others is more interesting). If you’re looking for a partner put your hand in the air so someone else who needs a partner can find you easily.
- Have a 5 minute conversation about the question.
- When the chimes ring again, find a new partner (remember the hand up trick) and have another conversation.
- When the chimes ring continuously, stop and find out what happens next.
5. Three ‘rounds’ of the process are usually good.
6. At this point, there are many possible variations for a next move. Two possibilities: (1) Invite everyone to sit back down and start the next part of the gathering. (2) Invite partners to hook up with one or two other pairs and sit down in a knee-to-knee circle and talk about what struck them about the conversations.
Debrief this process in addition to harvesting the content from the discussions Invite participants to reflect on what it was like to have the conversation using this process. Things they might notice include: How starting a meeting standing up builds rather than drains energy, how having several iterations of the same conversation with different partners changes understanding, and how questions open up more space for creative thinking than presentations. The goal is to introduce participants to the pattern language of these generative processes.
Source: Shared by Lisa Kimball of Group Jazz.
As part of the kickoff for the Global Service Jam, I was asked to offer some tips on how service designers could use gamestorming. So I put together a few thoughts in this short video.
“a great composition of a number of games and techniques out there to reach collaborative and innovative outcomes; well worthy of a read for all Agile coaches… It wasn’t that every page for me was a gem, in fact there were probably only a handful of things that I felt I didn’t already know that I could take away and apply on a situational basis. But a handful of things – is a handful more than I had and for me that is still saying something.”
If you live in or near Boston, you’ll have a great (and rare) chance to learn about gamestorming from a true master and co-author of the book. James Macanufo will be speaking March 1st at an Agile New England event.
Creating a culture of creativity and innovation can be a daunting challenge. How can you make it happen with your team and your customers? One tool to add to your kit: Gamestorming. Join Agile New England and author James Macanufo in learning Gamestorming concepts and visual thinking techniques that lead to better understanding, ideas, and experiences. See how these ideas are being applied in the real world to build stronger teams and more meaningful results… and have some fun trying them out! It doesn’t matter who you are – business strategist, designer, agile practitioner – everyone is welcome and will benefit.
This is an awesome opportunity, not to be missed.
Considering the actual “instruction” part of Gamestorming is only 52 pages, I took a crazy amount of notes as I read through it. Perhaps this speaks to the uniqueness of this book. Perhaps it’s a reflection of how many ideas it sparked for my own life and business. Regardless, I can comfortably say that it’s been a while since I so enjoyed reading a business book.
Actionable books distills business books down into core lessons for quick action.
This slide deck is a great inspiration and also gives you a good sense of what can be accomplished in a couple of hours.
Don’t miss slide 11!
“A clear, compelling vision for SharePoint is a must if want to have the best chances of success. However simply asking a bunch of stakeholders the question “So what is the vision for SharePoint?” is probably not going to get you the results that you are hoping for. An effective way to get users to describe their vision for SharePoint is the Cover Story game.”
Read all about it here.
Think about a game you really enjoy. Why do you play? What makes the game enjoyable? Why is it fun?
Now think about your last meeting. Who was there? What was the goal of the meeting? What was the process you used to get the people to move toward the goal?
Now think of the game again. Make a list of things that make your favorite game fun. The thing is, games and meetings have some things in common, Unfortunately, fun usually isn’t one of those things. But what they do have in common is that they involve people going through a shared process to try to achieve a goal.
See if you can find ideas from your favorite game that could make your meeting more fun and enjoyable. For example, could you design a game board that would help you track progress in the meeting? Could you pass a ball around from speaker to speaker to reduce the number of interruptions? Maybe you could write some questions on index cards and have people draw cards and answer the questions.
Studies have shown that people who are emotionally engaged learn and remember better. So if you make a meeting fun, you are also more likely to improve learning and people are more likely to remember what they learned.
Take a chance, try something new in your next meeting, and see if you can turn work into play!