How a deck of playing cards can improve your creativity!

We all want to think creatively, but what does that mean exactly?

Let's take a step back to make some objective observations.


Unique to creativity is the ability to observe the same information, within the same parameters and draw out a unique outcome.


This creative trait, when applied to data, strategy and other complex conditions, is of exponential value as it allows you to find what others can’t, solve what others couldn’t and design what others didn’t.


This is where original ideas come from; they are, by definition, atypical to the standard.


In short, creativity is how you lead.


So how can you develop this creative trait and apply it within your industry?



Let’s play a game… pick up any deck of cards.

Take a look at the sequence, the order they are arranged in.

Shuffle it once, any way you like.


You’ve now composed an entirely original sequence never created before.

This is your introduction to the mathematical equation of the 52 factorial.


Your standard deck of playing cards is thirteen denominations of four suits = 52 cards.

The 52 factorial calculates the probability of any card in any particular order, the math looks something like this: 52 x 51 x 50 x 49 ….. x 3 x 2 x 1 = 8.06582e+67 (that’s 67 zeros).


Basically, you could have the entire population of the planet shuffle a deck of cards for a million years and you would never create the same sequence twice.


Within a standard deck of cards,

there is unlimited potential to create something new.


By shuffling the cards you’ve composed an original sequence… however, you’ve done so in a random, unfocused manner for no specific purpose.


Now imagine, within this chaos of unlimited possibility, you were able to adapt, innovate and solve to compose effective, specific, original outcomes at will?


This ethic begins to lean into the world of card magic, where for hundreds of years the challenge for magicians has been the same: within a standard deck of 52 playing cards, can you create a unique trick?


And for hundreds of years the answer has been... yes.


With the most basic of tools and employing nothing but craft, intelligence and imagination, magicians continue to develop unique card effects to delight and astound.


Within impossible odds - 8.06582e+67 - a competent magician can summon any card, or multiple cards, on command.


What we observe with magicians and a single standard deck of 52 playing cards is the application of the top six creative skill sets: innovation, problem solving, adaptability, composition, originality and emotional intelligence.


It also demonstrates that it is not the latest tool, app or toy that delivers the promise of revolutionary change… it is the creative potential, thinking, skills and process of the individual.


The moral here has less to do with the subject matter of cards and magicians, rather...


How can you apply the top Six CREATIVE Skill Sets

to draw unique outcomes from standardised information... to solve, design and lead?


If you’d like to learn how you can apply the Six CREATIVE Skill Sets to develop optimal thinking, process and outcomes... you can download the creative model here...


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Christopher. S. Sellers is Australia's Leading Expert on Creativity + Creative Skill Sets


Founder + Lead Creative of Black Bulb Creative