Sunday, August 10, 2008

No More Thinking Out of the Box: Games Can Get Your Further

I regularly read the Thiagi monthly Gameletter which promises "seriously fun activities for trainers, facilitators, performance consultants and managers". (Lizzie and I went to one of Thiagi's workshops in Switzerland last year and I am definitely a devotee of this unusual gamer and trainer.) This month's gameletter focuses on debriefing games, jolts (blinding flashes of insight from intense experiences), and links to other players in this field.

One of these players is Brian Remer and his Firefly group. I have just enjoyed a 60 minute clickthrough journey into Brian's world. His monthly newsletters, focused on performance improvements and games, are pared down sparks of inspiration (as he calls them). More than anything I notice that they aim to be immediately applicable, and short. This latter quality is critical in today's megamarket of words and ideas, and something I am coming to value (and need to work on myself). Maximum idea in a small space. He has a series called Say it Quick which always only consists of 99 words, and he gives the ETR (estimated time to read) his newsletter as 5 minutes (although he gives the ETII - estimated time to implement ideas at 5 weeks - I guess this is how long it takes you to forget something completely if you don't try it).

What sold me on this newsletter was the thoughtfulness of Brian's gentle diatribe in the July Newsletter about why he would not go to a conference workshop called "Creativity: Thinking Outside the Box". He worried about its novelty if it could not come up with a more inspiring analogy for breakthrough thinking. He added, "Besides, breaking out of a box is not very difficult. And when you're free, you're still in the same ...room!"

Look into the gamers, they are not just doing icebreakers anymore. Great games can get you out of that box, and out of the room, and into a whole new world of learning.

1 comment:

Jim Gritton said...

Thanks for the heads up on Thiagi's website and monthly newsletter. As a leadership and management development practitioner, I usually shy away from using games because so many are cringemakingly embarrassing. However, Thiagi manages to come up with some real gems that are not only fun but also manage to promote real learning.