Gamestorming
A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Released: July 2010
Pages: 290

Great things don't happen in a vacuum. But creating an environment for creative thinking and innovation can be a daunting challenge. How can you make it happen at your company? The answer may surprise you: gamestorming.

This book includes more than 80 games to help you break down barriers, communicate better, and generate new ideas, insights, and strategies. The authors have identified tools and techniques from some of the world's most innovative professionals, whose teams collaborate and make great things happen. This book is the result: a unique collection of games that encourage engagement and creativity while bringing more structure and clarity to the workplace. Find out why -- and how -- with Gamestorming.

  • Overcome conflict and increase engagement with team-oriented games
  • Improve collaboration and communication in cross-disciplinary teams with visual-thinking techniques
  • Improve understanding by role-playing customer and user experiences
  • Generate better ideas and more of them, faster than ever before
  • Shorten meetings and make them more productive
  • Simulate and explore complex systems, interactions, and dynamics
  • Identify a problem's root cause, and find the paths that point toward a solution
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O'Reilly MediaGamestorming
 
4.3

(based on 3 reviews)

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5.0

Serious Games for Breakthrough Group Dym

By shawnday

from Dublin, Ireland

About Me Educator, Manager

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Helpful examples
  • Innovative
  • Well-written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate

    Comments about O'Reilly Media Gamestorming:

    Gamestorming by Gray, Brown and Macanufo has the slugline 'A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers and Changemakers' and it lives up to its rather lofty ambitions by providing solid and systemised routines that can be implemented to create an environment for innovation. The book provides a recipe-like guide to a wide (100 or so) variety of exercises and scripts for groups of individuals to employ to open up the flood gates for the free flow of ideas, breaking through impasses and generally making great things happen.

    The books starts with many of the standards - affinity diagrams implemented with stickynotes, to imagineering exercises such as forced rankings and storyboarding. The introduction discusses the general theory of how making play is how we can effectively accomplish serious business objectives. The process of moving from A (and identifying where one wants to go) is presented in a number of different ways so as to find the appropriate ways in which people can perceive a process for themselves. The techniques inherent in working with groups effectively in in presenting innovative of quirky exercises are treated thoroughly in order to provide the foundation for effective delivery and execution.

    The treatment is as one might imagine light - there are a lot of exercises contained and the authors can only go into a limited amount of detail on each. The variety is quite diverse. The detail is sufficient to get you started and then letting leaders play them out as might suit the occassion. Diagrams are sprinkled throughout that enhance and certainly lighten the presentation. Having used many of these in the past I would wish for more discsussion and possible variations on some to really explore how particular exercises might be most effectively played and what issues might arise and how best to deal with these. The cases presented towards the end of the volume are good on-the ground examples of how games can be chained and combined and give some example of how gamestorming fits into the business environment.

    Despite my personal desires for more discussion, I would heartily recommend this book. It is not a linear read, but is it very easily approachable and a very useful tool to add to the manager's bookshelf.

     
    4.0

    A Great Resource

    By Richard from itslife.ca

    from Cayman Islands

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • A wealth of information

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Comments about O'Reilly Media Gamestorming:

        Gamestorming provides a great collection of games to assist a group in approaching and resolving challenges.

        The book is setup into three major areas:

        1. Explanation of Gamestorming – For those that would like to understand gamestorming and how it can assist your organization, the first three chapters provide you with all the details that you will want to know (and then some) about games, the essentials for gamestorming and the core gamestorming skills. I also think these chapters are essential reading for anyone who will be overseeing a gamestorming session;

        2. The Games – The following four chapters provide you with approximately 90 games that you could jump right into. Each game stands on its own and you are therefore free to pick and choose the games for your particular situation. I was very impressed with the amount of information and explanation that the authors provided. For example, for each game they discussed: Object of Play; Number of Players; Duration of Play; How to Play; and Strategy; and

        3. Putting Gamestorm to Work – This was my favorite chapter. They discussed a real-life example of how a group used gamestorming to consider solutions to a specific problem, including the games played, the outcomes and the benefits to the group.

        I recommend Gamestorming to everyone who is looking for alternatives to help their organization "solve complex problems through collaborative play".

        Disclosure: A copy of this book was provided to me as part of the O'Reilly's Blogger Review Program on the understanding that I would read it and provide an honest review. If you are looking to join a review program, I highly recommend that you consider O'Reilly's.

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        good, but only for open minded

        By Michal Konrad Owsiak

        from Poland

        About Me Developer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Easy to understand
        • Helpful examples
        • Well-written

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Intermediate
          • Novice

          Comments about O'Reilly Media Gamestorming:

          If you want to came up with something you usually have two options. Either you go with some kind of process (this way is usually good one if you want to have your back covered) or you go with unconventional methods (if you have enough money to cover your expenses in case of failure). The second approach is what Gamestorming is all about. First of all, you get the explanation of what playing game is all about. This is very important part, because it will give you arguments when it comes to convince other people to play a little bit instead of just "inventing" things through regular process of "thinking". It might be hard work to convince your co-workers to use this way of solving issues. Many people find "playing games" a perfect example of wasting the time. That's why it is very good idea to show how playing games makes your brain work different way. After explaining the concept of gamestorming authors go through various examples of games that might help you solve your problems. The collection of games is really impressive. There are almost 100 different games presented within the book. Games are divided into sections that help you solve particular issues. Opening games help you produce ideas quickly, exploring games help you go through the ideas you came up with, closing games help you to get into the end of the innovation process. Reading the book really is fun, however, mind one thing. Not everybody likes to play. If your colleagues do not like to play RPGs, they don't know what RTS is, and board games are just a mean of wasting time, gamestorming is probably not good for you. I agree that pushing people into "another worlds", with different rules might be good way of finding what hasn't been found yet, however – not everybody is ready for that. Not everybody likes to play. People simply feel very uncomfortable in this kind of situations. I think that book should be read by people who either have their own company or have team of really open minded co-workers – people who like to explore alternative ways of finding solutions. I find this book very inspiring, but, you know, I have graduated from philosophy (among the others) and studying philosophy is by itself similar to playing with ideas and exploring new worlds :)

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