Breaking the Ice

How the Visual Icebreaker Kit came to be

The Visual Icebreaker Kit was borne out of our frustration of having done way too many icebreaker exercises that were boring, distancing instead of connecting, and basically were a complete waste of time. We wanted something that would help people get engaged, feel connected to one another, spark ideas and insights, and most important of all: contribute to the purpose of the group.

We even had the crazy idea that this new tool would be so engaging that people would beg to do it again. We really set our sights high.

What makes an icebreaker successful?

For a visual icebreaker to be successful, there were two parts to it that needed to be just right. The first had to do with the images we chose. They would have to be photographs that could stand alone. Each one of them would have to be engaging, able to spark insights, and inspire people to tell mini-stories. So we set about creating and testing for the perfect icebreaker images.

The other part we needed for a successful tool were examples of individual icebreaker exercises people could use in a wide range of situations with a wide range of participants. They needed to be able to be done quickly, yet still leave people feeling they had done something important. So we invited some of our most-trusted colleagues and customers to help us test these icebreaker exercises.

How many exercises are enough?

One of the things we struggled with when investigating other icebreaker products was that there were a number of them offering 50 or 100 or 50,000 icebreaker exercises with purchase. Shouldn’t we include hundreds of exercises to be competitive? After a lot of discussion, the answer became crystal clear: No. We would not compromise our product with fluff. It’s always the quality that counts, never the quantity.

But we did make a compromise of sorts. We structured the exercises so that once you understand how they work you can easily create variations more suited to your audience, thus making the Visual Icebreaker Kit flexible enough to yield potentially hundreds of icebreaker exercises.

And now the tool exists. Where it is being used, you can hear the fun, the laughter, and the wheels turning as people gain insights and form deeper connections to the other people in the room.

How can you use this in your groups?

Our icebreaker tool is offered in a variety of formats and packages. It all centers around the Visual Icebreaker Kit, which you can work with in print or online.  The Visual Icebreaker Kit also appears in our Workplace Bundle and the Complete Visual Toolkit.