Saturday, April 23, 2011

Play It Forward

"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

Fighting kittens-1340
It's always very entertaining watching kittens wrestle and pounce. Although this rough-handling looks like all fun and games, these little rascals are learning something very important. The game is developing critical skills that will turn them into proficient future hunters.

In the same way, games have had a prominent role in our family. We all enjoy the thrill of a strategic board game, such as "Settlers of Catan". The combination of using critical thinking skills, intense social interaction, and strategic forethought is deeply engaging. And it's no surprise that these skills have proven to be directly transferable for success in a variety of educational contexts and business accomplishments.

Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and ChangemakersRecognizing these principles, I was thrilled to read the new book by the folks at Xplane.  This resource, titled "Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers" is a comprehensive collection of "games" that you can use for a variety of teams and situations. In the pages, I found some familiar processes and techniques that have served me well, along with many additional brilliant ideas.

More than just a helpful reference, this book also contained confirming insights about how to maximize productivity and results in complex work environments.  Here are some of the main points:

  • Complex knowledge-based environments don't have convenient single point outcomes, but rather a desireable range of worthwhile outcome possibilities.
  • Getting from where you are to one of these possible outcomes requires a creative and focussed approach, far better served by the principles of a "game" than traditional change-management methods
  • Understanding the principles and concepts of setting up and facilitating "games" in the business environment, is a very effective way to help teams move forward towards productive outcomes. 

The following video explains this in more detail:

There's lot's more information on the Game Storming website:
Just another reminder that leadership in innovative environments is challenging.  Try using some fun to move your teams forward.  Get in the game!


Graham said...

Thanks for sharing! Just started Seth Godin's Linchpin book ... seems to have a lot of related ideas :)

Cheers and keep posting!

HTL said...

Thanks Graham, appreciate the Seth Godin reference. Will have to pick up a copy soon!