Gather the group together and paint a little story for them along the lines of... ‘A friendly billionaire just walked by’ OR ‘the leadership team just received a WHOLE bunch of funding'.
They saw you gathered here and decided you’re the perfect creative group for the job. They’re giving you 500 BILLION EUR to throw the best party the world has ever seen. OK?’
1. Go to a flip-chart board (or share your screen with a Mural Board open if you’re working online). Invite the group to start sharing ideas for the party, and capture them on the board.
Trigger them with questions, where will the party take place? What will the entertainment be? What will they eat drink? Are their party gifts? What's the theme? Who will they invite and how?
Don’t let them play it safe! Remind them they have 500 Billion say things like ‘You’ve barely spent 1 million yet’ invite them to think even bigger. If you want it on the beach, why not buy a couple of private islands? How about having it in Space…
Build upon their inputs, role model saying ‘yes and’. If all the michelin star chefs are cooking the food, who’s serving it? All the celebrities they most dislike? If there is a champaign pool, what will they do to help the hangovers the next day? Etc..
Build momentum, use speed and pace to your favour. Encourage quick fire answers, remind them there is nothing too crazy here, fill silences with playful comments
Unfortunately, they can not give the money away to charity. This is magic money which can only be spent on making the party happen (though there's nothing stopping them doing good while at the party)
2. Once you have a board full of wild, wonderful, expensive and out there ideas for the party up on the board - make a summary. Read out the party as if you’re happily pitching it to the investors. Ask for a show of hands from the group if they would like to come to this party (All being well, this should be everyone)
3. Make another announcement; the investors have run into hard times. They LOVE the party and 100% want it to happen. However… they need to make a small cut to the budget. Instead of 500 Billion EUR it’s 500 EUR. So the group now needs to make the exact same party… on the smaller budget.
4. Make sure the first flipchart or section on your Mural Board full of ideas is still visible, while moving to a new piece of paper or section, where you will capture ideas for the 500 EUR party. Ask them to start sharing ideas, guide them through this, by calling out ideas from the first party; “It was going to be on the moon, how can we make that happen now?” “What about the chefs?” etc.
At first they may be a bit shell shocked, with comments like “it’s not possible.” Nudge them into the growth mindset with phrases like “what could a possible version look like...” “how can we still bring part of this look / feel / element to life?”
If they’re really struggling, kick them off with a few examples. E.g. instead of michelin star chefs from around the world, everyone has to bring their favorite dish from their home country. Make it feel like the moon with projectors, music, spacey backgrounds and space themed slides etc.
They can’t raise money or sell tickets, they only have exactly 500 (+ the resources and skills they already own)
5. Once you’ve translated most of the first ideas into new smaller budget alternatives, give a summary, again as if you are happily pitching this creative party to the investors. Ask the group if they would like to attend this party with a show of hands (All being well, you still have a lot of hands in the air)
6. Ask the group if they would have come up with the second party, without the first. Reflect, discuss and land the exercise by asking why we played this game, what learnings are you trying to draw their attention to?