I used Gamestorming to:
- Inject fun and energy
- Encourage participation from all attendees
- Minimize the possibility of strong personalities dominating discussions
The core game that we “played” was “Post-Up” where players generated ideas on sticky notes (3M Post-It Notes™) and shared them later by sticking them on the wall or flip charts.
- 1 - 50 people.
- I like teams of 2 people – individuals may feel pressure working alone and pairs tend to feed off of each other.
- Sticky Note Pads - recommend different colors for different teams, e.g. 3M Post-It Notes™
- Stattys Notes™ are a nice alternative if you can find them - they stick on anything via static friction
- No idea is too crazy! It would be perfectly acceptable if someone mentioned “Sharks with Frickin Laser Beams Attached to their Heads” ala Dr. Evil. Ideas spawn off of each other.
- Think of what was seen at customer site since users modify products and services to meet their unique application – the concept of User innovation from Dr. Eric Von Hippel.
How to Play:
“Fire Starting” is the 1st step in Gamestorming – create a spark or light a fire to get the ideas flowing and spreading.
Fire starting can be an open question: “How would you make Product X easier to use?”, “What would you change in Product Y?”
I went with fill-in the blank sentences since I wanted to focus on specific topics, e.g., “For Reports…I want ____.”, “For Indicators…I want______.”
Each fill-in sentence was projected on a screen (you can also write them on a board) one at a time. Each team of 2 people brainstormed together, writing each idea or thought onto a separate sticky note. Each team had their own colored sticky notes. Everyone was given a set amount of time before I moved onto the next topic via the related fill-in sentence.
After all topics were revealed, each team went up to stick their notes to individual walls for each topic and also quickly present their ideas to the entire group.
Teams often had new ideas based on what they were hearing from other presenters and were encouraged to post up new sticky notes.
At the end of the exercise, you can see patterns: sticky notes with the same or similar idea, categories and subcategories. The next step may be to create an affinity map which is to sort topics and categories (I did not since I already started with topics), prioritization of ideas, further discussion of value/effort for each idea, etc.
The Post-Up game generated literally walls of ideas, sparked some real creativity, and participants had a fun time. So try injecting play into your ideas exploration and gathering – a colleague coined my ideas on games at work as “funication” (catchy but possibly career limiting name)!
"Post-Up" is one of the core games described in the book “Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers" – by Gray, Brown, Macanufo.