Book Review: Gamestorming, an Amazing Collection of Practical and Useful Games to Generate Ideas, Solutions, and Strategies

In my search to learn more about visual thinking, visual note taking, and better idea facilitation, I came across Gamestorming (Amazon Affiliate Link). It’s written by Dave Gray, Sunni Brown, and James Macanufo. They even have a great blog and forum for all kinds of user experiences and examples.

Gamestorming is about an innovation method to creating new ideas and strategies for success. The standard business process isn’t designed to accomplish this no matter how much resources you put into the beginning of the process and how many measures you put to track the outputs. Pumping more and more through the Henry Ford conveyor belt isn’t going to help your company come up with new ideas. Instead, Gamestorming is about getting people to get up, move around, and design.

Traditional business meetings has the three basic roles:

  1. Facilitator
  2. Scribe/Notetaker
  3. Time Keeper

People sit around the table, a facilitator hopelessly tries to engage the group of executives around the table to answer questions while the notetaker scribbles the babble. After the designated time, the time keeper calls time and everyone, with a sigh of relief, gets up and leaves.

Using the book’s tagline, Gamestorming is a playbook for innovators, rulebreakers, and changemakers. There’s no reason to follow the traditional model of group facilitation. In the modern information era, the traditional chain of command approach to management no longer applies. As a result, there is a need for a modern playbook, a set of strategies for the modern workforce. Gamestorming realized that the here’s a list of commands tasks approach doesn’t work. Modern workers need a new way of working.

What are some of my favorite games?

Dot Voting – In many occassions, there are just too many good ideas running around. As in everything we do, there’s only so much time and resources going around. I like to use sticky tabs for voting. Each participants gets a set amount of sticky tabs, as agreed upon by the group. We then determine if an idea could have more than one vote.

Forced Ranking – I also use forced ranking to get a group to agree on one prioritized list. I like to run through the process several times, each with discussion, to make sure that the group really agrees.

There are so many more games in the book I look forward to using.

Published by Daniel Hoang

Daniel Hoang is a visual leader, storyteller, and creative thinker. As an experienced management consultant, he believes in a big picture approach that includes strong project leadership, creative methods, change management, and strategic visioning. He uses a range of visual tools to communicate business challenges, solutions, and goals. His change strategy is to build "tribes" of supporters and evangelists to drive change in culture and organization. Daniel is an avid technologist and futurist and early adopter.

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