Best wishes for the new year to all my readers! Last year, I received a lot of enthusiastic responses to the free Cards Against Creativity game I shared with you. So, I’ll start 2018 with another free game from the archives, and a much simpler one to play. It’s a warming up game and takes about 60-90 minutes to play.
Potatoes* – The Exhibition
A game of collective storytelling to discover the diversity of stories, ideas, and perspectives in any organisation. Play it with your colleagues as a warming up exercise for the new year or at the start of a new project to get the creative juices flowing.
Sufficient paper, pens, 6-40 colleagues, empty space (e.g., the floor or a huge whiteboard).
You also need a topic (in the example: potatoes, but (*) it can be anything).
How to play?
- Collectively, decide on the topic. It should be a topic everyone has an opinion or ideas about. For instance, potatoes.
- Ask everyone individually to write down on a sheet of paper one or a few things they know about the topic. This can be a story, a fact, an opinion, a surprising insight. One idea per sheet of paper. (5 minutes)
- Collectively, place together ideas that are related and label these groups of ideas. For instance, “historical facts,” “personal anecdotes,” “applications.” This is called affinity mapping.
- Divide all participants into groups. Each group selects one group of ideas (a topic), ideally something they care or know something about.
- Each group will briefly interview the other groups with the question, “what would you like to know about this topic?” (5 minutes)
- Each group designs a story about their topic, bringing in their ideas and opinions while trying to answer some of the questions in the room. (10 minutes)
- Each group tells their story (in 2 minutes) to the other participants.
- Individually, as a wrap-up, each participant writes down responses to two prompts: 1) Something I did not know before, and 2) Something I’d like to learn more about. Collect these answers, for instance on a flip chart, and reflect on them. What are surprising new insights? To what extent does the collective know more than the individual? How can this experience be turned into better stories for your organisation?