We developed the Evil 8’s exercise as a tool to reclaim the team’s creative confidence by reducing the pressure to perform.
When we want to run brainstorming sessions and ignite out-of-the-box thinking, not everyone is ready to “be creative on demand”. Many are more cautious, analytical, worried to be judged, and even biased in believing they are not the “creative” ones. A first step to help people rediscover their creative confidence is to try out strategies that overcome the fear of being judged, or the fear of negative consequences.
For that, we’ve created Evil 8’s – a fun warm-up exercise that plays on everyone’s intuition and defers self-judgment. We called it Evil 8’s because 8 people -the sprint team- build on each others ideas and generate an evil, broken, silly solution to the sprint challenge. The team goes from problem-solving into problem-creation.
We developed the Evil 8’s in the context of design sprints to help teams destress, have some fun and enjoy each other’s creativity.
We recommend running this warm-up exercise right before the Crazy 8’s exercise on Day 2 of your design sprint or before any brainstorming session, workshop.
👉 If you want to read more about facilitating this exercise during in-person workshops check out this article by Dana Vetan.
▸ Create your own board starting from our Mural or Miro template.
▸ Open the Outline or Frames and follow the sequence of the activities
▸ Replace the HMW sticky note with your team's design sprint challenge (as they will need to ideate around it.)
With energy and enthusiasm introduce this step to your sprint team as a warm-up exercise before the solution generation phase.
Share with your team how this exercise will help boost their creativity, push boundaries and reduce their performance anxiety.
The outcomes of the exercise are meant to fail. By failing intentionally people become more familiar with the term and manage to de-power it.
Give everyone a clear mission for this exercise: “You’ll need to come up with the most ridiculous, silly, stupid solution to make the user problem even graver than before. Generate the worse possible ideas you can think of and stop at nothing.”
▸ Have one person start by writing down their idea on the sticky note
▸ The second person builds upon the first one's idea
▸ Everyone takes turns until all team members got the chance to add their contribution