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Book Review: Gamestorming

By CO Staff @canadaone |

Title: Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers
Authors: Dave Gray, Sunni Brown, James Macanufo
Publisher: O'Reilly
ISBN: 978-0-596-80417-6

Ready, Set, ... Play!

There is a lot of talk about innovation, but how can you harness new thinking and fuzzy goals if you continue to do things the way you have always done them?

Gamestorming has rewritten the script for traditional business processes. Its authors have provided a playbook with an extensive list of games designed to bring creativity, innovation and new ways of thinking into the boardroom.

While a traditional process takes you to a clear goal in a linear fashion, Gamestorming uses games to generate breakthrough ideas that are new, creative and not incremental. These “fuzzy goals” are an essential element of successful innovations and give team members a sense of direction while at the same time leaving them free to follow their intuition.

The games in this book harness improvisation, visual thinking and creativity when tackling important business activities.

For example, the game "Post-Up" generates ideas silently, using sticky notes, and can have one to 50 players. The group brainstorms answers to a question that is written on a whiteboard, such as "What are uses for Product X?"

Participants then silently write their ideas on separate sticky notes. After a set time (the authors recommend 10 minutes to an hour), participants stick their notes on the whiteboard and quickly present them. If anyone is inspired by something they hear, they can write new sticky notes and add them to the whiteboard after everyone has presented. The notes can first be organized randomly and then be sorted into meaningful categories.

An interesting part of Gamestorming is that it teaches how to use visual language to augment creativity, idea generation and innovation. The book is full of illustrations that bring its ideas to life and make the book easy to scan.

If you are a business owner or manager who wants to look at things in a new way and sharpen innovation in your company or on your team, Gamestorming is an excellent resource for you.

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