How a Simple Card Game Can Help You Brainstorm Better

Brainstorm Deck: A game to unleash your most creative ideas

August 26, 2016 9:00 am

Strange things happen in brainstorming sessions.

You sit in a room. There’s a whiteboard. Some guy named Dave inevitably hijacks the discussion. Everyone else stops paying attention. Another team kicks you out of the room.

And then you’re back where you started. Ideas lost, time wasted.

Here’s a better way: the Brainstorm Deck, a simple card game that helps you maximize the good ideas no matter what you’re creating, now funding on Kickstarter. Developed by Chicago’s Simple Honest Work — the design team who assisted on Obama’s 2008 “Hope” campaign — the Brainstorm Deck is essentially a tool for facilitating brilliance.

To play, you’ll round up your mates. Once the group has a clear objective, each player gets a sketch pad where they’ll be able to express their ideas freely, independent from the group. After the cards are filled, they’re collected and shared with the group, rationally discussed and debated.

The cards that pass the first phase are put through a final round where each person can vote for their favorites, leaving you with the group’s top ideas. It may seem simple, but this technique — an alternative form of brainstorming known as brainwriting — is perhaps the most effective and efficient way to take in all the viewpoints, not just the loudest.

And it’s a proven method. As Fast Company points out, brainwriting has shown to generate 20% more ideas and 42% more original ideas than traditional brainstorming.

Give it a try sometime. You never know what you might come up with.

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