Gamestorming

A toolkit for running better meetings

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The exercises in this toolkit help you and your team run better meetings. This Coda doc makes it possible for remote team members to participate in these exercises, providing your team a "virtual supply closet" for running better meetings.

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Dave Mastronardi
Dave MastronardiMaker@vzrjvy
Gamestorming resonated with me on my first read. It changed the way I work alone, with teams and with clients - we got work done and had fun doing it. Gamestorming democratizes the creative process to anyone with access to the office supply closet and a whiteboard. Grab some sharpies and sticky notes and you're off. The rise of the remote colleague and satellite office often challenge the luxury of collaborating with your team in the same physical space. In getting to learn its features and functionality, we realized Coda offers a virtual supply closet for the reality of today's work environment. If you're new to Gamestorming, we hope this toolkit serves as a good introduction. For the experienced Gamestormer, we think these templates address a problem you've been dealing with for a while. Game on.
Shishir Mehrotra
Shishir MehrotraHiring@shishirmehrotra · Co-Founder and CEO, Coda
Thanks for shipping this @vzrjvy ! When one of our PMs first referred me to the Gamestorming book, it was a bit of a "eureka" moment for me. I found that I had practiced a number of these techniques regularly, but had never had the structure and language to describe why they worked so well. The book is heavily recommended, I was hooked. Then we decided to try using some of these techniques in our docs. The first one was something called a Question Moderator - where each person submits questions and then the group upvotes/downvotes them [for Gamestorming aficionados, it's a Q&A version of "Post Up"]. At Google, we had used this technique (nicknamed "Dory") for big all-hands meetings. But at Coda, we started putting a Q&A moderator in our meeting notes for any meeting with more than ~7 people. A few magical things happened. First, it evened out participation - remote employees, people who are just a bit less outspoken, etc all got a chance to participate. Second, it gave the meeting purpose and a sense of accomplishment. Instead of leaving a meeting feeling like "we just talked about 5 of 10 topics, and we're not even sure if they were the important ones", we would regularly leave meetings saying "we covered all the topics with more than 3 upvotes, that's awesome!" We then started using the other techniques as well. The Pulse Check template replaced "so what does everyone think" round-robin discussions that were time consuming and full of bias and groupthink. Post-ups became a great way to broaden ideas when we were stuck. And so on and so on. I'm very excited to see this template published. For me, it's a tab I always keep open - so that when I'm in the middle of taking meeting notes in a Coda doc, and the meeting turns sideways, I can reach over to my toolkit and quickly grab the most appropriate tool to get us on track again.
Al Chen
Al ChenMaker@alchen · Maker, Excel user, Coda evangelist
As a remote team member, I find it challenging sometimes to connect with my team during meetings. I participate in project kickoffs and brainstorming sessions via video conference, and sometimes it's hard to get my ideas across during these meetings. The exercises in Gamestorming changed all that. When I learned about Gamestorming, I realized that many of these games could be "played" virtually in Coda. Now, virtual team members like myself can actively participate in a brainstorming session where my ideas can be heard even though I am not in the same room as the rest of my team. I hope you get a chance to read the book Gamestorming in its entirety, and then bring the exercises to your team using this toolkit!