To give a creative answer, you need an unusual question, the question that encourages you to think differently, answer the question that is not expected, or not framed the way you are used to. This is what my Creativity Game is all about: framing expected environment in an unexpected way. The principle is: "When you want the results you never had, you have to do something you've never done." (Thomas Jefferson) This is exactly what we do in this game: first, we co-create an unusual and unexpected environment using a crowd-sourcing technique, and then, we frame and resolve the challenges of this environment by coming up with unexpected and innovative solutions to the issues presented. In doing so, we exhibit creativity, innovative thinking, ability to resolve obstacles, and have a ton of fun. I've never heard so much laugh in a professional environment as with people who are playing this game. It's based on an old kids' game and promotes solution-based approach to problem solving, presenting it in a new and unexpected way.

The way the problem is crowd-sourced is fun, and the problems that it uncovers are unexpected and not trivial. Framing and solving them within this game is an unexpected process which always brings great advice that the participants can take back to their organizations and teams, as well as use the game itself in their organizations to bring out the creativity we all naturally have.



Outline/Structure of the Workshop

This original game is played in teams of 5-7 includes five phases:

1. The presenter explains the rules and sets up the environment (scaling Agile in a large enterprise, type of players, product challenges, dependencies, technical challenges, data-driven environment, multiple stakeholders, politics, skills issues, missed milestones - it can be specific or very general, depending on the level of Agile experience of participants)

1. Crowd-sourcing the problem to solve. The way the problems are sourced is itself a game when participants answer who? when? where? what? why? (with whom? what for?  - depending on number of attendees) questions without seeing a previous answer, thus co-creating a story with a challenge to solve.

The way it works is:

- every participants gets a sheet of Letter size paper and a marker

- facilitator describes the environment (e.g. Agile transformation in a large enterprise) and asks everyone imagine a topic that needs resolution in such an environment (e.g. business and technology need to learn how to collaborate effectively)

- on the top of the paper, each participant silently writes an answer to the question "Who" as related to their topic, e.g. "business stakeholder and technology leader" or "scrum master" or "scrum master and product owner", then they fold it so that their answer is not visible and pass it to the next person on the right

- the next person writes an answer to the "When" question, e.g. "in the beginning of the sprint", "at the retrospective", "in a meeting", "when fixing issues over the weekend", then everyone folds the paper again and passes it to the right

- this way, everyone answers the next question and folds, and then passes to the right, until the paper makes a full circle. Then, each player unfolds the paper and reads this whole story, one by one, e.g.

Two Scrum Masters with a Business Sponsor were fixing bugs at a retrospective because the product backlog was not approved by the DevOps Manager (actual stories are normally much more funny that this but each time they present a unique and unexpected combination of events). 

The next step is to frame each problem (some are unusual and yet a solution needs to be found).

2. Frame the problem in teams. This includes asking five "why's" to understand and uncover the real problem

3. Suggest solution(s) within each team for the most critical problem they were able to uncover

4. Then, the solutions are shared and discussed between the teams

5. The whole group retrospects about the game, unexpected outcomes, creative solutions, and the best ways to frame topics that promote out-of-the-box thinking


Learning Outcome

Discover new ways to promote creative thinking and learn a new game that you can take back to your organizations and teams

Target Audience

Anyone who wants to discover new ways to promote creative thinking

schedule Submitted 4 years ago

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