If you lead meetings and need to be more innovative…you’re going to want to pick up a copy of Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers.  Wow!  What a great resource!

I caught co-author Sunni Brown on a presentation she gave for Duarte Designs and knew I needed to check this book out.  I was not disappointed.

At the outset, Gamestorming points out that while in “industrial work, we want to manage work for consistent, repeatable, and predictable results,” that won’t produce breakthrough ideas.  Since the goal isn’t “to incrementally improve on the past but to generate something new,” you’re going to have to do things to make it possible for your team to “imagine a world that we can’t really fully conceive yet.”

You’ve probably heard of the way the military uses game playing to develop and teach strategy.  That’s the concept here.  At over 250 pages, this book is really a toolbox full of some of the best practice concepts used by many of the most creative companies.

After establishing a basic pattern (gamestorming involves opening exercises that are divergent, exploring exercises that are emergent, and closing exercises that are convergent), the rest of the book is made up of tools that you can learn to use as you put together your own opportunities to gamestorm.

Each of the included exercises features the object of play, the number of players that can play, the duration of play, a brief explanation of how to play, and the strategy for its use.

Gamestorming is one of those books (kind of like Dan Roam’s Back of the Napkin or Doug Hall’s Jump Start Your Business Brain) that you’re going to want figure out a way to use right away.  While you’re going to recognize a few of the games, unless you’re really a visual and experience guru, there are going to be plenty that you’ll react like I did when you see them.  I want to try Campfire!  I want to try The 4Cs!  I want to try the Pain Gain Map!  And so will you.

Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers