The Board Game for the Boardroom

Organizations know that innovation is important but lack the systems to do it. Through years of creative work in media, research, technology and music, we have worked out the core mechanisms of group creativity and developed them into a board game that systematically makes innovation happen.

We believe anyone can innovate, and our vision is to unleash the innate creativity of every person, regardless of age, position or background. Whether in a startup, classroom, lab or boardroom, we are looking for leaders who believe in the creative potential of the people in their industry or organization. Join our exclusive beta-testing to solve real-world problems, generate valuable IP and empower your executives, customers, employees and/or students.

What is Polynize?

Polynize is a board game played with hexagonal cardboard 'polys' and tokens. Starting with a problem statement, the game builds a tree of 'polys' that are systematically refined by your group using our unique 'polynization' token system. The game removes blockers to creativity and gives all players a level playing field, while using an 'evolutionary' model to reward and refine the best ideas. The outcomes are highly refined solutions to the original problem and a team of people that is happy, energized and bonded by their shared creative experience.

Polynize combines the fun of a board game, the excitement of a hackathon and the outcomes of an accelerator. It is played by four to six players in short form in just an hour or two, or over a longer form in between other activities. It needs no special preparation or skills and can be played with any group of people, although it works best with diverse groups of people with different points of view.

What are the principles behind it?

Our development of Polynize is powered by our observation of the principles of group creativity -

  • Constraints - creativity thrives within structured constraints - e.g. we write music within a song tempo, key and genre.
  • Diversity - ideation must be free and unfiltered to create a diverse pool of potential solutions. This requires psychological safety and a group of minds with different biases and histories.
  • Iteration - innovation emerges from moving through adjacent possibles within solution space. This is often the repeated exchange of micro-innovations between collaborators.
  • Evolution - the "best" solutions are "hardened" and evolve under competitive pressures that mimic natural selection

There is a wide body of work in the business and academic literature that supports our work - Scott Nicholson's work on meaningful gamification; Google's seminal study of how to build perfect team; Stuart Kaufmann's concept of the adjacent possible and especially how it relates to group creativity as popularized by Steven Johnson; research from Michael Mumford on team cognitive processes; Nilofer Merchant's concept of the power of 'Onlyness'.

Ultimately, the proof is in the doing. Polynize alpha games have been a success with a wide variety of partners and players.

What are the outcomes?

For you the partner -

  • Solutions - novel and out-of-the-box solutions to real-world problems
  • Innovators - highly ranked players who have demonstrated creativity can be exited into other processes e.g. hiring
  • Advantage - get a first-mover competitive advantage in your industry

For your group of players -

  • Bonding - collaborative gameplay accelerates the building of relationships
  • Fairness - removes structural and unconscious biases
  • Empowerment - a chance to do innovation in an open forum free of top-down heirarchies

Who are we?

A couple of poly-entrepreneurs with world-class pedigrees as inventors, designers/engineers, musicians, writers and producers. We've been successfully doing innovation (not just talking about it) for decades, and we are committed to creativity as a way of life. Polynize started as a lunchtime conversation and is our way of sharing our passion with the world.



Interested in Polynize?

Polynize has been through alpha testing and we are now planning for beta testing with selected partners. If you are passionate about innovation and making a change in your organization or industry, or you want to know more about Polynize, we'd love to speak to you! Please contact us at contact@polynize.com - and let's play :)