Innovation games are a great way of engaging stakeholders, getting them to collaborate and think creatively around solutions to problems. Here are a few I’ve recently used. Introducing a persona helps focus the attention.
What happens if?
Ask participants to construct a back story for the persona. What have they done in the last year. Describe each touch point they have had with your brand or product. Now introduce a crisis moment. Lost a job, got a terminal illness, won the lottery. What happens? How does the experience with each touch point change?
Build a widget
Again, give the group a persona to help focus their attention. Now give them half an hour to build a widget that would solve a problem the persona has. Give them paper, post-its sharpies, coloured pencils. This is agile right. Now present back – They get two minutes to provide the context, pitch the product. Then one minute to demonstrate how the widget works. Open the widget to questions. How will it work….
You’re all crooks
<Insert your industry> are crooks. What new laws would you introduce to clean up their act? (OK, this feels uncomfortable but it may help get people thinking about how consumers perceive the industry and how the customer experience could be improved. For example you are crooks because you hide details in small print, introduce a new law on transparency. What would that mean you would change?)
Kill the sacred cows
Every business has sacred cows or elephants in the room; things that are done because they’ve always been done, not to be challenged, considered immune from criticism or are too risky or dangerous to change. Ask participants to identify these, putting them on post-it notes. Now imagine that they no-longer exist. What could you do now that you couldn’t do when the sacred cows were in place?