Crazy 8's - A Fast-Paced Way to Explore Alternative Solutions

During a recent Innovation Box workshop during the early stages of solution developed we used a method called Crazy 8’s.  Crazy 8’s, developed by Jake Knapp and described in his book Sprint, is a fast sketching exercise that challenges innovators to sketch eight ideas in eight minutes (eight distinct ideas). The idea is that innovators will go beyond their first idea and generate a wide variety of solutions to their challenge. Sometimes we get stuck on our first idea and it helps to consider alternatives before investing a lot of time and energy.  Some participants who lack confidence in their drawing prowess may find this method intimidating, but they should be reminded that the goal is to just capture alternatives, not get perfect sketches.  The time constraint encourages the participants to just get new ideas down on paper and not worry about the sketches.  The ideas themselves don’t have to be perfect either.  They can be strange, crazy, or completely impractical.  Ideas that seem like long shots can inspire some of our best ideas.  As Jake Knapp wrote, “the exercise is about quieting the inner critic and giving space to our more creative impulses.”  This exercise worked great in my session to get the innovators to think about other ways their problem might be solved.  Even if they stayed with their original idea, it helped them think more clearly about what the solution had to be able to achieve.  The steps are below or download here:

Step #1 - Take a piece of letter-sized paper and fold it into eight sections (three times in half).. Set the timer for eight minutes.

Step #2 - Each participant sketches one idea in each rectangle. One minute per rectangle. Facilitator should be announcing time.

Step #3 - When the timer goes off, put your pens down.

Step #4 - Share ideas with team/partner.