Card game makes collaboration easy

09 Aug, 2019
Initiate.Collaborate is a card game designed by AUT's Good Health Design lab to help teams collaborate better.
Initiate.Collaborate is a card game designed by AUT's Good Health Design lab to help teams collaborate better.

AUT’s Good Health Design lab have designed a card game to help make teamwork fun.

Initiate.Collaborate is a toolkit to help teams collaborate better.

Through a series of 107 cards, Initiate.Collaborate guides a project team through structured activities based on three focus areas: context, relationships and capability, that are critical to successful collaboration.

At the end of the game, project teams will walk away with a better understanding of their individual and collective values, the skills and strengths needed for success, a plan to deal with challenging situations and a shared understanding of their project and collaboration goals.

The idea for Initiate.Collaborate was born after Good Health Design Director, Associate Professor Stephen Reay realised that projects do not go well largely because of misalignment of goals and expectations.

He says, “The same goals can mean different things to different individuals. Initiate.Collaborate helps enable everyone to be on the same page by removing hierarchy and supporting discussion around different perspectives. Understanding the different perspectives can be especially useful if team members come from different backgrounds” he says.

“For example, imagine trying to bring a diverse group of people together to work on a project to introduce a new technology into an organisation.  You may have IT specialists, managers, users and perhaps customers coming together with different ideas about what they might need from the outcome.  These differences have the potential to create tension when expectations are not well aligned.”

Dr Reay suggests that playing Initiate.Collaborate at the start of every project is a worthy and essential investment for every project team.

“Initiate.Collaborate makes sensitive topics enjoyable to discuss. The physicality of the game also brings people together and helps the team to reflect on and define what the project is really about,” he says.

Initiate.Collaborate was designed and developed by AUT’s Good Health Design, Sheffield-Hallam University’s Lab4Living and AUT’s Centre for Person Centred Research Director, Associate Professor Nicola Kayes.

The Initiate.Collaborate toolkit comes with a deck of cards and two manifesto posters. It is available for $185 at

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