Seth Priebatsch: The game layer on top of the world

This TED video about Seth Priebatsch was recommended to me by Jeremy Bushnell. He teaches (among other things) a writing class at Boston University in which he uses gaming principles. I’m going to talk to him on Tuesday, so please post your questions for him. 

I personally am interested in how we translate all these principles in real life and innovation processes. And, as I am an executive trainer, how can we use these principles in the development of the leaders of the future.

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Zohar Adner: Stop stressing out, start having fun!

“What is your advice for me when I’m in stress, and my head is full of thoughts?”
“What do you normally after you had such a stressful moment?”
“I normally take a beer and relax with some friends…”
“Well, skip the stress part, and just take a beer with your friends.”

That the solution for a problem can be simple becomes clear in the interesting and fun conversation  with Improvisation and Stress expert Zohar Adner in a coffee shop ‘The Bean’ in New York. It becomes painfully clear that deepening  what got you stuck, isn’t the logical way of starting to move again.


“Life is more fun when you stop stressing out”
Again a very simple sentence, so what’s the catch? If you say this sententence to somebody, this person might well say “He, my life isn’t that easy. You have no idea what I have to deal with. My manager… and the organization is… so I can’t… ”. This all can be very true, but do you have the inner drive to make a change? People who say “I don’t have a clue where to start, but let’s go!” can be regarded as naive but are open for new possibilities. Zohar’s advice: don’t put your energy in the first group. If a person doesn’t want to change, it will not happen before they really want to.  Painfully true I guess in the situations I worry about too much…  And the people in the second group can be positively influenced when they see the first group changing and want to be a part of that.

If innovation is about change, and therefor about taking risks: do you focus on the fun part or do you get stuck in all the potential problems? Can you see complexity, but keep it simple so you can play?  Iggy Gesell |(some blogs ago) connected me to a Risk Expert. I’m curious what his opition is about this all….

The Game about Stress
So it wasn’t a big suprise that Zohar already had invented a game about Stress a while ago. The concepts in this video are nevertheless made up no the spot. Put all your miseries in the hole of dispair, and you will end up with a mountain of good fortune. Let’s play!

National Institute for Play: Play state in Complexity

The National Institute for Play investigates Play. They have chosen a good name I would say. Why do people and animals play? And what would also the benefit be for professionals in organizations to play in certain situations? I think their approach is interesting to facilitate more scientific research on the topic, so we can support managers who have (most of the time) a focus on efficiency. 

“Demand for workers who understand complexity is increasing. Over 75% of the U.S. work force does information work which requires workers to collaborate with other information workers to make judgments and solve complex issues.

The practices that organizations need to be developing for their increasingly complex information work are those which infuse the state of play into their workers’ attitudes. They need to learn how to do the work of their organizations in a play state.

Our experiences indicate that executives require sufficient immersion in the science of play before they understand and value it. The intellectual and scientific basis of play can provide the understanding – and permission – to deploy new play-based practices in their organizations. But, they must also value the new practices; without a positive play ethic, the climate for innovation is spoken of as important, but is not acted upon.” (The National Institute for Play)

Founder Stuart Brown on Ted.com:

He doesn’t say it very playful, but most trainers train in subjects they have had some trouble with, because else they wouldn’t understand why it is so important:)