Icebreaker. Before the meeting begins, shuffle the 52 cards and put one random card on each chair. (For larger meetings, use two or more card decks.) As people arrive, they’ll probably look at a couple of cards, and choose the one that resonates best with them. When you start the meeting, tell everyone to think about their card, and how they could apply it to their group or their organization. As an icebreaker, it works great to start the meeting by taking five minutes, and asking everyone to pair up and share their two cards with each other. Let each person keep their card and take it home.
Enter the zone. As each person arrives at the meeting—whether at the registration desk or while walking through the door—fan out the card deck, and tell them to pick a card. It’s a fun activity that lets everyone know this meeting will be a bit different. (For larger meetings, use two or more card decks.) Of course, they’ll read the card right away. At some point during the meeting, ask for volunteers to read out their card, and how they’d use it. It works best just before a break; it pumps up the energy and gets everyone thinking creatively during the break.
Take it home. Once the session ends for the day, as everyone’s leaving the room, stand at the exit and fan out the 52 cards and ask each person to take one at random, and take it home with them. This works best if, just before the meeting breaks up, you announce that they should take a card on their way out, and then ask them to think about the card’s technique for the next day or two.
Creativity intervention. If your session includes breakout groups, you’ll often notice that one group is less engaged than the others. If you see a group with low energy, walk over, fan out the deck, and ask one of them to pick a random card. Then, ask them to work on the technique, or talk about how the advice can help their group.