First gamestorming retreat in our own training room

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In case I didn't talk to you before now: Happy new year. I hope 2014 may bring you much learning and collaboration. During our first gamestorming retreat of 2014 we experimented with several different gamestorming techniques:

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The one technique I want to elaborate on was the dot voting. I like the technique immensely and I use it very often to help prioritise items with a group in a very fast and good way. I did start to have doubts about it though. Because I feel it is too easy to influence and game the system even if you let the group do this in silence. If an authoritarian person in the group starts by putting his dots, this might "force" the rest of the group to follow him. I tend to game the system by waiting until the last moment to cast my votes so that I sometimes get to decide which topics are moved to the top. In most groups and situations this can be good enough and it will not matter that much, but sometimes I believe it can create suboptimal situations.

So Liesbeth came up with the experiment to let us note down our choices on sticky notes first (it was during the How-Now-Wow matrix game where we needed to choose our top 3 per category). After everyone had done this, we added our dot votes to the actual idea stickies. This way we didn't influence each other and there was no possibility to game the system. We now use the 1 vote per idea restraint, but I'm sure you could experiment with just having people note down their preferences on their personal sticky note first and afterwards casting their votes on the real stickies. If you have tried this before or will try this in the near future, please let us know if it worked out.

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We ended the day with a retrospective of course and I just wanted to give you a short summary of the improvement actions that we will take up for next edition:

  • Introduce the concept of the time-out (stop the workshop for a short period because the facilitator is stuck)
  • Reintroduce the AHA wall
  • Be more clear on the expected preparation (yeah, people should come prepared)
  • Start the communication about the preparation 3 weeks before the event
  • Co-create the scenario(s) for the day with the registered participants upfront
  • Create and share the booklet
  • Make the different books / apps available during the gamestorming retreat
  • Ask people to share their learning objectives during the preparation and at the start of the day
  • Start with a more elaborate introduction of the participants (e.g. through job or joy)
  • Make the schedule of the day a bit less stuffed (it's a Saturday after all)

I hope to see you at our next edition of the gamestorming retreat on 6 September. And if you would like to know more about innovation games® and become a certified collaboration architect, you can join us for our certified innovation games® for customer understanding training

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