54 methods
Gamestorming methods

How-Now-Wow Matrix

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When people want to develop new ideas, they most often think out of the box in the brainstorming or divergent phase. However, when it comes to convergence, people often end up picking ideas that are most familiar to them. This is called a ‘creative paradox’ or a ‘creadox’.

The How-Now-Wow matrix is an idea selection tool that breaks the creadox by forcing people to weigh each idea on 2 parameters.

Gamestorming methods

Impact and Effort Matrix

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In this decision-making exercise, possible actions are mapped based on two factors: effort required to implement and potential impact. Categorizing ideas along these lines is a useful technique in decision making, as it obliges contributors to balance and evaluate suggested actions before committing to them.

Gamestorming methods

Affinity Map

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Most of us are familiar with brainstorming—a method by which a group generates as many ideas around a topic as possible in a limited amount of time. Brainstorming works to get a high quantity of information on the table. But it begs the follow-up question of how to gather meaning from all the data. Using a simple Affinity Diagram technique can help us discover embedded patterns (and sometimes break old patterns) of thinking by sorting and clustering language-based information into relationships. It can also give us a sense of where most people’s thinking is focused

Gamestorming methods

Cover Story

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Cover Story is a game about pure imagination. The purpose is to think expansively around an ideal future state for the organization; it’s an exercise in visioning. The object of the game is to suspend all disbelief and envision a future state that is so stellar that it landed your organization on the cover of a well-known magazine

Gamestorming methods

20/20 Vision

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The 20/20 Vision game is about getting group clarity around which projects or initiatives should be more of a priority than others. Because employees’ attention is so often divided among multiple projects, it can be refreshing to refocus and realign more intently with the projects that have the biggest bang for the buck. And defining the “bang” together helps ensure that the process of prioritization is quality.

Gamestorming methods


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Part of the reason we end up with under-developed ideas is that we stick with the first good idea we have — rather than taking the time to explore complementary approaches. 6-8-5 is designed to combat this pattern by forcing us to generate lots of ideas in a short period of time. The activity can then be repeated to hone & flesh out a few of the best ideas.

Gamestorming methods

Flip It!

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Often, a change in a problem or situation comes simply from a change in our perspectives. Flip It! is a quick game designed to show players that perspectives are made, not born.

Gamestorming methods

Context Map

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We don’t truly have a good grasp of a situation until we see it in a fuller context. The Context Map is designed to show us the external factors, trends, and forces at work surrounding an organization. Because once we have a systemic view of the external environment we’re in, we are better equipped to respond proactively to that landscape.