Your ETR (Estimated Time to Read): 5 minutes
Your ETII (Estimated Time to Implement Ideas):
5 weeks

December 2010

In this Issue:

Say It Quick
a thoughtful message in exactly 99 words

bits of serendipity to inspire and motivate
fuel for your own continuous learning
tips and tricks you can try today
Room to Wiggle "Tell Me a Story" Randomness Rules What's Your Story?

Say It Quick

This month, randomness enhances creativity beginning with this 99-Word Story.

Room to Wiggle
The steam room at the "Y" has just one switch: on or off. Flip the switch and wait. Is it really on? Something must be happening deep inside the plumbing guts of the health club but you don't know what until a spray of steam shoots into the small room. That's when you know it's "on."

A binary system is OK for computers, but in real life there is wiggle room. A lot can happen between on and off, left and right, liberal and conservative.

How often do we needlessly confine ourselves to only two options?



"Tell me a story!"
If you've ever heard this request and been stumped after, "Once upon a time," you already have a reason to try out Rory's Story Cubes: nine dice featuring 54 iconographic pictures that are sure to evoke a tale. Roll them across the table and string them together to weave a one-of-a-kind story.

Story Cubes come in a pocket-sized box convenient to bring to any social event, team meeting, or just to keep handy whenever you need some extra inspiration or fun. Roll all nine cubes and make a story or deal the dice and let people roll one on their turn to advance the story. If you are teaching, announce a theme related to the training topic and challenge people to tell a story that fits. Roll the cubes and create a story about how your team solved a problem or marketed a particular product. Take them to your next coaching session and ask your protégé to tell a story about how to address a burning issue. Keep a few cubes in your pocket and roll a story to inspire your next project.

The uses for these cubes and the stories they evoke are endless - especially when you realize the tiny pictures can be used both at face value and metaphorically. The images are flexible enough to be enjoyed by a variety of ages, abilities, and cultural backgrounds. Once you hold them in your hand, you'll want to tell a story too!

Rory's Story Cubes by Gamewright,



When Randomness Rules
Stories can be an economical way to share information, convey an idea, enhance memory, rehearse new concepts, and have fun. Several other issues of this newsletter have been devoted to the value stories can add to learning and creativity. In addition, the 99-Word story that begins each month's entry is an example of how stories can set the stage by providing a grounded context.

Rory's Story Cubes offer an interesting twist to the value of stories. By introducing a random roll of the dice, players have an added challenge for their creative muscles. They've got to somehow make connections between improbable concepts. The result can be more inventive, surprising, relevant.

The effect of chance is a key ingredient for any creative process because it allows for the introduction of new ideas. It's a detour around the rut we usually travel; an antidote for the quotidian. As this month's 99-Word Story suggests, a lot more can happen when there is room to wiggle than we might suspect. And where there's room to wiggle, there's space for random activity as well.

If you're ever stuck with a problem, figure out a way to inject some randomness. Let it rule, at least for a short while, then see what new opportunities develop. And when you hit upon the novel, please your discovery!



What's Your Story?
Now I'll pass Rory's Story Cubes to you! I've already rolled the dice. You simply choose one of the photos below for your turn. Put the dice in any order you wish for your tale then write it up and send me an . Want an added challenge? Connect your story to a current problem or issue in your workplace. I'll post it on the sample page.

I hope to read your story soon! Have fun!

Story Cubes, Roll Number One!

Read a sample story.










Story Cubes, Roll Number Two!

Read a sample story.










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