Practicing innovation with a smile

50 illustrations for your innovation journey

Game of Conflicts is the perfect game for a team of innovators.
The game supports you and your team in structuring and sharing your thoughts in a playful conversation.
Its 50 “parameter cards” enable you to scan the field in which you want to innovate, helping you to translate it with the purpose of selecting the main conflicts. Smart illustrations help you to understand and remember the parameter and relate it to reality.

Well, you get it.

But I want to share with you some thoughts behind the development of the Game of Conflicts illustrations.

When Eckhard and Moritz involved me in the Game of Conflicts adventure, they were already at a good point of development with the game-play, but the visual part was missing. When we started to work on that, a lot of new questions came to the surface.

The game’s communications needed to be brought to a level that would make sense to all kinds of people from a range of professional contexts, not just those in the niche of TRIZ and design thinking.

We wanted it to look simple and approachable, to show it is applicable to every kind of problem.

To develop the design of the cards and the illustrations. I began by looking at other cards made for teamwork,  games for children, boardgames for adults... and the more examples I collected, the more I wanted to take inspiration from everyday experiences, starting with my own relationship with reality. This was informed by my longtime habits of music and drawing, practices that taught me to look for the ESSENCE of things as movements, emotions, archetypes.

When you study music intervals, for example, it’s easier to remember them if you have a song in mind. The same learning principle applies to other situations too; if you connect a concept to a memory (or a scientific parameter) it’s much easier to understand and remember it.

So we decided to go through shared brainstorming sessions to see how each of us were  interpreting the parameters. We always chose the easiest or “funnest” representation.

And here is the outcome: simple illustrations that tell a strong story about life’s little accidents …

... or abstract concepts, relationships between opposites, everyday objects and habits.

Why daily life?

It helps the process of identifying, memorizing, and laughing.
Thanks to the images, if you don’t understand the parameter application from the written description, you will still get the feel for it immediately from the illustration.

The 50 cards are colorful and big on purpose: they bring you back to that phase of childhood where PLAYING was a way to simulate a reality created by grownups, to understand it and absorb it. Games for grownups, as for children, are a stress-release simulation, and a simulation helps you to test even impossible conditions.

And all of that brings you... FUN.

That - from my perspective - is the main key of every good result, together of course with knowledge, dedication and trust.

When a team has a good human connection and every member has the capability to be helpful and complementary to the others, the quality as well as the quantity of the production grows. along with the group’s creativity. We usually connect this last word to artists, but “creativity” is the capability of solving problems with what you have. 

Great teamwork happens when trust, skills, balance and fun coexist. Game of Conflicts allows people to work together even when they have opposite points of view on reality, and teaches them to consider other points of view as precious elements for the creation of a new path.

As Conflict Thinking creators, we had the same experience. Coming from very different lives, studies and cultural environments, when we played the game to test it we discovered the complementary shades of our characters and how powerful it is to be so different and work together, sometimes distributing the tasks, other times sharing them.

I am aware that a good team is often a matter of luck, but since work takes a large amount of people's time, there’s also an opportunity to put in some effort  and give your best to make things work. And we always have the possibility of taking things seriously with a smile. We just don't do it because it's not common.

Innovation is not related to what is common. What surprises me is that - still - many companies declare their interest in innovation without adopting meaningful cultural change themselves.  Their offices look the same. The relational dynamics are the same - often based on aggressiveness and competition. The workflow is the same. Their presentations all look  the same.

From my point of view, these cards will not only put a smile on your face,  they will also give you the opportunity to discover different sides of your teammates that will allow you to appreciate them more. And vice versa. This game will give the whole team a moment of lightheartedness that will open the door to solutions.