Gamification is one of the growing trends of today, and AWiB members had an unique opportunity to experience one implication of it in "The Organisation Workshop", a leadership simulation game hosted by World of Insights. Their serious business games are not digital but are based on learning via co-discovery, designed with over 15 years of experience in executive development.
At the beginning of the simulation, our excellent coach Eliza Hochman gave every participant a role to fulfill: a top executive, a middle manager, a worker or a customer. Each of us had a mission to accomplish, and we were interacting in a fast-paced environment and experiencing situations that regularly occur in these positions. The game was not about role play; we were asked to operate as we would in similar situation.
After a 30-minute experiment, the game was stopped and everyone was asked about the feelings they had regarding their role and other roles. The comments shared during the briefing were eye-opening: almost all people in same role had similar feelings, and most of them were negative: insecurity, feeling uninformed, stress, feeling disrespected. Many started to explain what had happen (which is called “the stuff”: everything that happens in everyday life), taking it personally and feeling as victims of others. This was called the Door A approach.
The key lesson from the first round was that much that we think that’s personal, is not. Context impacts behavior, which is why the negative feelings and demeanors are natural, almost inevitable. However, we can also choose to act differently under the circumstances. We were given concrete examples of how to change our behavior in the game and end up in building partnerships in the organization, which is the ultimate recipe for success of the company. This is called the Door B approach.
To illustrate the learnings in more detail, we gathered some experiences and thoughts that emerged during the game:
Top executive: Door A approach for tops is feeling burdened by the overload of issues from all directions and the reaction to suck it all to yourself. Instead, taking door B approach to build responsibility throughout the company by actively informing, involving and coaching lower levels, builds partnership. Furthermore, giving lower levels important challenges increases the organization capacity as well as is offering an arena for people to develop.
Middle manager: Door A approach is feeling overwhelmed by the pressure coming from both top and below. Sliding in between workers/tops to fix their problems causes the feeling of being torn. Door B approach means strongly securing that you have independence of thought (taking time to think) despite the pressure, and sharing information between the layers to ensure issues are being addressed, to drive system to work optimally.
Worker: Door A approach is seeing yourself as unimportant, disrespected part of organization, without power to impact on anything. That causes oppression. Instead, Door B approach means taking responsibility of your condition, taking an active initiative to communicate problems that are seen, and elaborating a vision on what actions could be taken to improve.
Customer: Door A approach is customer ordering a project from the company and insecurely waiting whether it will be delivered on time, and with high-quality. Door B approach would be to be closely involved in the delivery process, make suggestions for improvement and ensuring the feedback reaches the right people.
Experiencing the concrete mindset shift in the “organization” of the game between the natural reaction of Door A mindset to the Door B approach was very insightful! Worth of trying in real world as well, right?