How to Hack Your Team's Creativity with Crazy 8's

Simon Tratnik
  • 2
    min read
  • Simon Tratnik
    Sep 25, 2023

Here at Human1st, we are passionate about tools and exercises that fuel innovation, elevate team dynamics, and fast-track decision-making.

Among the arsenal of methods we recommend in our Design Sprints, one exercise stands out as my absolute favorite for its power to hack creativity: the Crazy 8's exercise.

Within a mere 8 minutes, this ingenious exercise has the ability to dramatically transform your team’s creative output.

It’s a game-changer, especially for those who might hesitate to label themselves as 'creative.' This simple yet effective technique opens the floodgates of imagination and ideation, setting your team on a course to generate innovative solutions like never before.

Participants actively participating in a Crazy 8's Design Sprint exercise, each displaying a sheet of paper divided into eight boxes filled with diverse sketches. This 8-minute creativity hack is designed to revitalize the ideation process, transform team dynamics, and foster innovation in workshops and meetings.

What Are Crazy 8's?

Crazy 8's is a brainstorming powerhouse exercise used in Design Sprints, but it's versatile enough to be implemented in virtually any meeting.

Imagine having a fast-paced, circular discussion with yourself or your team, driving you to let go of rigid ideas and opening doors to new possibilities. This is exactly what Crazy 8’s offers.

When to Use Crazy 8's

  • Exploring Concepts: When you want to delve deep into a concept from various angles or dimensions, Crazy 8's works wonders.
  • Energize Teams: During prolonged meetings or workshops, Crazy 8's can rejuvenate your team, preparing them for more complex tasks.
  • Pre-Sketch Warm-Up: Use Crazy 8's as a warm-up exercise before diving into more detailed sketches of your solutions.


What You'll Need

To get started, you need no more than 10 minutes, at least one participant, and some blank A4 sheets of paper and markers.

For remote sessions, MURAL or Miro board can be prepared in advance, and you'll also need a mobile camera, to take a final picture if you want to share your ideas with others.

How to Execute Crazy 8's

Image illustrating a participant folding a sheet of paper three times along the narrow side to create eight equal sections, a key step in preparing for the Crazy 8's Design Sprint exercise.
Step 1: Paper Folding

Ask each participant to take a sheet of paper and fold it three times—always in the middle along the narrow side. Unfold the paper, and you'll have eight equally sized boxes.

Step 2: Choosing a Concept

Depending on the workshop's scope, choose a core feature or idea that participants will focus on.

Step 3: Set the Clock:

Set a timer for 8 minutes.

Step 4: Sketch Away

Instruct everyone to start sketching variations of the chosen idea in the boxes. Shout out every minute to remind them to move on to the next box.

Step 5: Time’s Up!

At the end of 8 minutes, ask everyone to share their sheet of ideas.

What's Next?

The real beauty of Crazy 8's lies in what comes after the exercise. You have now a team eager and open to thinking outside the box. Capitalize on this newfound creativity:

  • Assign another 20 minutes for participants to expand on their top ideas.
  • Discuss how each participant's ideas evolved during the 8 minutes.
  • Have each person present their favorite sketches to the group.
Participants discovering their untapped creativity in a Crazy 8's Design Sprint exercise, showcasing their eight unique sketches on paper. This 8-minute exercise sparks innovation and proves that even those who didn't consider themselves creative can generate game-changing ideas for team collaboration and problem-solving.


Crazy 8's is more than just a time-bound sketching exercise; it’s a tool for opening up pathways to innovative solutions. As leaders, it's crucial to equip your teams with the right methods to navigate group dynamics effectively.

At Human1st, we believe that structured collaboration is the key to innovation. And Crazy 8's embodies this philosophy perfectly.

So, the next time you find your team in a creativity rut, remember the power of 8. Eight minutes is all it takes to transform your ideas and your team’s dynamic for the better.

Ready to inject this proven method into your innovation process? Download our ready-to-use Crazy 8's template and get started today.

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