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I have been an accredited creativity and brainstorming facilitator for 8 years now. I have taken part as facilitator to almost 100 official sessions.
I have be trained in France by my company to a 5 diamond method (5 phases of divergence and convergence) allowing to fully cover the theme and leverage the creativity possibilities of the group. See my other article to know how to gather the right people into your creativity group (in french).
In all the sessions I have facilitated I have used several tools but one that works good, especially as ice breaker is the Nicolas Piepoli cards… Don’t ask me who he was and why those cards took his name. All I know is that it is a perfect way to start a creativity/brainstorming session.
how can we use such cards?
Those card are real cards but they can be used in those sessions thanks to the drawing they have.
My favourite ice breaker consists to randomly distribute one card per participant and then ask them to use the drawing to present themselves to the others. That is a powerful way to start. First people are shy, don’t really see how to do it, think by themselves etc… At that point it is important to have an accredited facilitator because they know to handle such situation. I personally take the lead, and do the exercise myself. It is easy now after so much facilitation 😉 It definitely engages the group and prove to everybody that it is possible.
Are the cards really necessary?
Absolutely not!!! Gather some nice not representative drawings and use it. The cards are just an easy way to it 😉