This is a reference to card deck strategies that can be used to spark creativity during project work or when running workshops.

Oblique Strategies

Oblique Strategies, by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt, are great. They’re deliberately opaque – oblique, even – but they do a great job of introducing unusual and thoughtful provocations.

I love them.

I have the physical boxed set, which are a very nice object. I also an iOS app version of them called Oblique. I just tapped the screen to reveal a strategy and here’s what I was given:

Emphasise the flaws.

Workshop Tactics

Workshop Tactics, by Charles Burdett, are also lovely.

These are more focused on workshop facilitation than creativity, per se, but I use them on occasion to mix things up.

What’s nice about the Tactics is that they can be used – if you draw a card at random – as a way to stop you from over-relying on the same tools over and over (a phenomenon known as Maslow’s Hammer).

The cards are organised into sub-categories – understand, frame, evaluate – so you can also select a card that meets your current requirements, framing a problem, for example.

Burdett has meticulously researched different workshop tactics and collected them in a beautifully realised deck, with highly idiosyncratic illustrations (which I’ll admit aren’t 100% my cup of tea, but which are, slowly, growing on me!).

I have the beta version of the cards, but I’ve ordered two decks of the final cards, one for myself and one for a friend.


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