Group ZIG ZAG. This works best if the group is facing a specific creative challenge, and you have an hour together. Shuffle the deck and deal two cards to each person, face down. Keep the cards face down until it’s your turn. The person to the left of the dealer selects one of the cards and flips it over. If the group agrees it’s a useful technique to pursue, take the time to apply the technique to your challenge. If you decide not to use the technique right now, then have the person quickly describe how he would apply the technique to the challenge. Either way, once the group is finished with a card, move to the next person to the left, have her turn over one of her cards, and start on that technique.
Wild card meeting. At the beginning of a meeting where the group faces a creative challenge, deal out three cards to each person. Proceed with the meeting agenda as usual. However, at any point, a person can play one of the cards—if she feels that the technique will help the meeting at that point. The group shouldn’t just dismiss the card and continue with the meeting. Even if the group decides not to apply the technique right at that point, you should take a minute or two to talk about how the card might be applied to your meeting. Often, what then happens is that once the meeting ends, a smaller group stays and stands around to talk about the technique.
Five card filter. Deal five cards to each player. Each player discards three cards, face down, and passes two cards to the left. Each should choose the two cards that are most relevant to your problem. Then, each player reads their two new cards, discards one, and passes the remaining card to their left. Finally, have each player play their one card, face up. Go around the table and discuss each of the final remaining cards.
Play to your strengths. Each person names which of the eight steps they’re strongest at. (It helps if everyone’s done the creativity profile first.) The dealer deals one card to each person, chosen at random from the six cards belonging to their strongest step. Then, each player reads his or her card, and says how they would apply it to the situation. Most people are happy to talk, because they’ve already announced that it’s their strong suit.
Combining cards. The dealer deals three cards to each player, face down. Then, the dealer deals out three cards, face up, in the center of the table. All players then try to match one of their three cards with one of the three cards in the center, by trying to identify the core essence that underlies both of these cards. (This is similar to the Combine Cards solo game.) Whoever identifies a connection first should place the card in their hand next to the face-up center card that it connects to, and describe the connection they’ve identified.