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How Black Stories Invoke Creative Thinking


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Building upon my blogpost "How Black Stories Revive Scrum Meetings," this presentation was given during the Agile Testing Day NL 2016.
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How Black Stories Invoke Creative Thinking

  1. 1. @JordannGross   Agile  Coachsultant   #Xebia Thinking Invoke How Creative All artwork in this presentation is as it appears on the Black Stories cards and can be found on their Facebook page. The typical red and black drawings will be immediately recognised by those familiar with the game.
  2. 2. About  Black  Stories 50  black  stories,  31  crimes,  49   dead  bodies,  11  murderers,  12   suicides  and  one  deadly  meal.   How  could  all  this  happen?   Black  stories  are  tricky,   morbid,  sinister  riddle-­‐stories. Above is flavour text taken from the back of the box. Black Stories are riddles about how bizarre deaths could've happened which the players have to guess by asking closed questions. Gave the audience some background how it seems I'm no longer a lone nut who believes in this (Agile Coach Camp '15, Agile Testing Days '15, Play4Agile 2016).
  3. 3. Try  One!!1! During the presentation I moved this to the end because the time slot was quite short. Originally it was here, where it is much more powerful. Above you see the first Black Story I used as an example.
  4. 4. Where  I  Got  the  Idea • Summer  Camp  Coach   • Kids  13-­‐16   • Thinking  patterns   • Works  on  kids  >  also  on   grown-­‐ups Facilitated way over 100 Black Stories by now, about half of them on kids during summer camp. There I noticed how the kids who joined the game the most often, started thinking differently. This sparked my inner German Scientist to investigate further. As lots of psychologists would say: "If this works on ze kids, it will surely work on ze grown-ups!"
  5. 5. The  Effects Lateral  Thinking "using  reasoning  that  is   not  immediately  obvious   and  involving  ideas  that   may  not  be  obtainable  by   using  only  traditional   step-­‐by-­‐step  logic"   -­‐  Wikipedia Other  Effects • creativity   • ask  right  questions   • think  out  o/t  box   • collaboration   "No,  but  >  Yes,  and" Main mechanic at play here is the concept of lateral thinking. As I found out with [or on ;)] the kids, there are multiple beneficial effects noticeable. These effects made me decide this brainteaser would best be fit for meetings where creativity is key.
  6. 6. But  Wait...  There's  More • Energizer   • Clear  previous  context   • Change  mindset • On  time   • Make  meetings  fun Starting to bring it to work, I thought within Scrum the refinement and sprint planning would be the meetings gaining the most from this. By doing it, the team and I noticed some other side effects, some obvious if I would've given it some more thought, but the last ones were things I could only dream about. :D
  7. 7. Facilitips • Don't  overdo  it   • ANY  brainstorm   • Planning  &  Refinement   • Timebox   • Hints  when  needed   • Social/cultural  factors   • Introduce  as  energizer Some take-aways if you want to try this with your team. :)
  8. 8.­‐stories Read the whole story on my blog if interested. Feel free to contact me for more info. Also really interested in your experience if you start using it. Thanks and good luck!