How to escape the stuckness


You know sometimes when you have a problem to solve, and you can’t find a way forward no matter how much you turn it over in your mind? You need a creative solution, but it’s just not happening? You might like to try this.

I came across an elegantly simple online game which you can trial for free. Called ‘Free the Genie’ (, it resembles a pack of cards. You think about the solution you need, frame it as a ‘How to …’ question and pick a card. The card you choose from any of the five suits (Intend, Suspend, Connect, Attend, Extend) poses a question. That question will act as a catalyst to set your mind thinking in a playful, creative way about how you might move forward on solving your challenge. There’s a space to make notes on your ideas, which you could forward to colleagues in advance, so paving the way for a more productive meeting.

I tried it with coaching my clients in mind (either individuals or groups) but it could also be used by those starting up or running their own business, within organisational teams or by creative individuals who have reached an impasse with their work. I find the idea of a game sets up the right frame of mind for this kind of exploration of an issue: a game is for playing, right? And playing is an enjoyable, light, fun process. Having taken the pressure and worry off, playing frees up the imagination in a way that furrowed brows will never do.


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