Spark creativity with the Insights Cards
Our Insight Cards have been used around the world in participative workshops and meetings. They explore topics such as leadership, innovation, learning and sustainability with powerful questions.
They have been designed to be easy to use in multiple settings to replace unstructured discussions with structured dialogue and participation. Thousands of people have played with these cards in face to face settings, including several multinational companies, creative agencies, and individual facilitators.
This tutorial is designed to help you get the most out of them in an online setting. Let’s dive in!
Insights Cards in a remote meeting or workshop
There may be several ways to use the cards, but here is one simple way to use them online. Depending on the size and scope of your session, you can put aside 30-40 min for this activity. It works well as an energiser for a longer workshop, or as a standalone learning session to explore ideas and get to know each other.
The ideal group size is 3 to 6 people. If you have more than 6 players, divide them into teams, and use online breakout rooms. You don’t need to have a deck of cards for each participant, just one person from each team should have a copy.
So if you are a single group, you need just one copy of the Insight cards for the session facilitator, and if you have a larger group then you will need as many copies as you have teams.
Here are the steps of the process:
1. The person who has the deck of cards plays the role of the facilitator for the team and will guide the participants through these steps.
2. Give a number for each participant, so they remember whose turn it is to answer. (On Zoom you can change their screen names by putting a number in front of their first name, eg 1 – John, 2 – Mary, etc)
3. Explain the goal of the session. For example: “We are going to play an Insights card game on Leadership. The idea is to explore different questions and views on leadership so that we can together develop an understanding of what leadership means for us individually and collectively. There are no wrong or right answers, only everyone has an equal voice and the goal is for everyone to create their own insights on the topic.”
4. ROUND 1 – INDIVIDUAL: Pick one card at a time from the deck, read it aloud and show it on the camera, if possible. The participant who has 1 in front of their name answers the first question. An answer should not take more than two minutes maximum so that the rhythm stays dynamic. After the player is done, the next player picks a card and answers. Continue so that every participant has answered 2 or 3 questions.
5. ROUND 2 – DIALOGUE: Same as round 1, but everyone answers each question together. Make sure everyone has space to talk.
6. ROUND 3 – HARVESTING: Time to harvest the insights. Put the cards aside and ask a question, for example, “What are your key insights and takeaways? Which idea could you/we take into action?” Give a few minutes to think in silence then ask people to write down their answers.
7. To conclude the session, share the ideas briefly so that everyone can share one thought. This last step can be done in a plenary if you have been using breakout sessions for the game.
Tips and tricks
Digital whiteboards and recording ideas
It is good practice to record at least some key ideas from your session and the simplest way is probably to use the built-in chat and recording functions of your video meeting technology. Zoom has a digital whiteboard and the chat history can be saved. You don’t always need to write every detail down, but start by recording the key insights and actions from the harvesting round. Here are a couple of alternative technologies that we have found useful:
- Google Jamboard has a simple post-it note function for recording ideas. Write the question in the centre of the board and ask participants to write a single idea per post-it.
- For collaborative note-taking, there are multiple options so go with the one people are most comfortable with – a dedicated Slack channel, a shared Google doc or Microsoft OneNote.
- Those of you using Miro or Mural also have digital post-it notes so you could use them in the same way as a Jamboard, or use some of the more advanced features available.
Camera and sound
This is hopefully a standard habit for most participants in collaborative online meetings, but do ask everyone to use their video to maximise human interaction (we can express so much more beyond the spoken word). And mute your microphones when not speaking to avoid echooooo… 🙂
If you are running a session for a larger group, we recommend dividing people into breakout rooms, with 3-6 participants per group. On Zoom, for example, you can create the rooms in advance and name them as you like. For a detailed description of how to do it, read more here.
You can also set the possibility for participants to move from one room to another by themselves to keep them active and in control.
There are obviously a variety of use cases, so if this post didn’t answer your needs on how to use our Insight cards online, please get in touch with your question at firstname.lastname@example.org Game on folks!