How-Now-Wow Matrix

Goal: Form Original Ideas to Implement

While creative ideas often form during the brainstorming process of a project, originality can be lost as time goes on. Complicated plans, difficult decisions, and limited resources often force you to resort to used, familiar ideas. This unfortunate phenomenon limits your boundaries, shoving you into the corner of mere potential. To surpass the stagnant stream of stale strategies, you must think outside of the box to generate new, feasible ideas. Ironically, with Gamestorming’s productive game, you will think inside of a box to do so. Use this activity’s visual organization to create original ideas that can be implemented efficiently.

The Game

To collaborate online, click on the How-Now-Wow image.

On a large poster or whiteboard, draw a 2×2 matrix with “originality” on the x-axis and “feasibility” on the y-axis. Label and color the cells to identify the category of each idea, as seen in the image above.

How (yellow): original, difficult to implement

This represents ideas that are innovative, but not feasible. This area is good for setting future goals.

Now (blue): unoriginal, easy to implement

This is for used ideas that are familiar and known to work well.

Wow (green): original, easy to implement

This category is for creative ideas that can be executed. Aim to form as many ideas in this category as you can.

Next, put large posters around the room and have your players write their ideas on them. Give 9 colored dot stickers (3 yellow, 3 blue, 3 green) to each person. Throughout the game, players will place the respective colored stickers next to the three ideas that they believe are best for each category. After all the dots have been used, determine which ideas have the most stickers of each color to identify if it is a “How,” “Now,” or “Wow” idea. If one idea has an equal amount of blue and green stickers, it is considered blue. If green = yellow, the idea is green.


Why It Works

Just like how authors suffer from “writer’s block,” it is common for workers to experience creative deficits. Fortunately, by collaborating and graphically arranging ideas, participants can expand their boundaries to let their innovative thoughts flow. Also, the extensive input from the players provides multiple perspectives to alter ideas and to ensure the feasibility of the suggestions. Resist the temptation to resort to overused ideas; play How-Now-Wow Matrix to identify what you can do to make your project a success.

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