Three game design lessons for strategic change

Last week, I rediscovered a video called ’20 years, 20 lessons’, in which Mark Rosewater (head designer for a game called Magic: the Gathering) shares important design lessons he learned over the past twenty years of designing the game. If you haven’t, I really recommend you watch it here.

By the way, there is more to learn from this game and playing it, for instance what I shared on the art of corporate meta gaming.

This video is worth watching for its entertainment value alone, but it gets really interesting when you translate it from game design to intervention design or strategy design for instance. That’s what this post is about……

The promise of gamification

More and more organizations are employing the mechanics of gamification to achieve goals in a different way. To most organizations gamification means that some of the more boring or tedious tasks will be executed better because it engages people in a competitive or reward driven mode of doing these tasks. This is fine. Actually, it is great because all parties benefit from it.

But, if you look at some definitions of gamification, this is merely scratching the surface. …

The art of corporate Metagaming

When I play Magic: the Gathering with my group of friends, we play this game by the rules that come with it: card interaction, turn sequences et cetera. The result of any game could be defined by the cards (assets) we bring into this context of rules and the way we are able to put these rules to our advantage.

However, as we are human beings playing this game, we bring a lot of other stuff into the game that is not related to or part of the game itself. For example, I could use my knowledge of the social dynamics of my playing group to my advantage. I know that I will push an emotional button of one of my fellow players by something simple as a remark on his playing style, triggering a series of effects that influences the game (preferrably to my advantage of course). In other words, by bringing in some outside information into the context of the game, I can influence the game. This phenomenon is called metagaming….

Accellerating a process without losing its power

Last week, while facilitating a group of people through a session on collaboration, something struck me. There was a huge difference between the group’s and my perception of how things were going. The group thought they were making fundamental steps towards a more succesful way of working together and all I was thinking about was how it should be more, better and faster. It turned out that I was projecting the “what could be” on the “what they can reasonably achieve” a bit too demanding. …

Man is the measure of all things

A thought struck me yesterday. What if Protagoras was right, and “man is the measure of all things”, what would that mean? From my professional perspective this is certainly true. I have seen lots and lots of organizations struggling to get “things” done and I found out that there is one key thing they needed to do. If you manage to boil that “thing” they want to get done down to a level at which individuals can make a true connection (both rationally AND emotionally) to it, the magic of succesful change is way more likely to happen….