What are CCS Cards?

CCS Cards: picture cards for workshops, facilitation and coaching

From its unique beginnings as a clever board game called Compatibility, the Compatibility Communication System, CCS, became a unique system of picture cards and stickers for improving communication in workshops, facilitation and coaching.

Using a unique combination of pictures, illustrations and words, the CCS was the first picture card facilitation system designed specifically for use with small to very large groups in learning, business and social settings — a key principle is that everyone has the same pack of image cards. And after 20 years, and use in more than 70 countries, we believe CCS Cards are the premiere choice for image card facilitation in these settings.

CCS Cards are easy to use, and produce rapid and reliable communication within and across small groups to groups of many hundreds of participants.

CCS Cards have proven to cross all manner of language and cultural boundaries in programs for education and training, organisational and human resource development, team management, coaching, counselling, relationship development, conflict resolution and self-discovery.

Image card set: shuffle through the current CCS vision pack

Here’s how it works ...

Imagine you are sitting with 20 other participants in a team meeting.

Each of you is holding an identical image card pack of CCS Cards, known as a CCS Vision Pack. Each pack contains the same carefully selected set of photographs, illustrations and words.

A facilitator announces a topic such as ...

“Go through your pack and find 5 cards that, for you, describe what you believe are the elements of the ideal team”.

The facilitator has already told you that it doesn’t matter what cards you and your colleagues choose — as there are no set meanings for the images — so any card can mean anything to anyone at any time.

What is important, is why you say you chose what you chose.

After a few moments of thumbing through your pack and choosing some cards, you compare and discuss your choices with the rest of the team and quickly and honestly identify common and unique views.

Some people even share things they might normally not have shared or perhaps not even thought of.

During this, usually enjoyable and often emotional process, you will likely be surprised by the depth and clarity of your understanding, your ability to articulate your thoughts and emotions, and the way the CCS image cards seem to help everyone to connect and cut through to what matters most.

You and your colleagues now work together to isolate and record a small set of images and associated words that best represent the key elements of the topic — in this example: ‘the ideal team’.

Dr Stephanie Burns, learning and behaviour change expert, talks about CCS image cards

"If you depend on verbal communication, the connection to the power of this simple and elegant image card tool is so apparent it's like being hit between the eyes. It just wakes up some part of you that sees an aid to all of the communication pitfalls that exist in your work."

Dr Stephanie Burns
Learning and Behaviour Change Expert

CCS Components

The CCS has the following image card components:

CCS Vision Packs

CCS vision packs, expertly chosen image cards, are the foundation of the CCS. Each high quality playing-card-sized pack consists of a set of carefully selected photographs, illustrations and words. The current set (2017 edition) includes 53 cards.

For most CCS sessions, and for best results, each participant is given a full vision pack to use throughout the process and often to take away for ‘transfer activities’.

Different editions

Since it’s inception, we have used our common image communication concept to create vision packs for many editions of the Compatibility board game and three public editions of the CCS: original, Express fans and the current 2017 edition vision pack (shown here).

CCS single pack of image cards

CCS Jumbo Vision Packs

An A4–sized version of the playing-card-sized CCS vision pack, CCS jumbo vision packs are a must-have component in all CCS group processes and an impactful addition to CCS opener and stimulator activities.

Each pack contains the same set of 53 image cards included in the playing-card-sized vision packs.

Jumbo sized pack of CCS image cards

CCS Vision Sticker Sheets

CCS vision stickers are used to give participants an easy, effective and permanent way to record their CCS choices in any CCS enhanced session.

Each sheet of stickers has a full colour image about the size of a large postage stamp for each of the 53 CCS vision pack image cards.

Sheets can be placed on tables during group processes or given to individuals to use in self‑management activities. Stickers are often used in conjunction with vision sticker templates available from the CCS website.

[note: image is shown in low resolution and watermarked for copyright]

Image card sticker set - CCS Vision Stickers (low resolution and watermarked)