I spoke at an HR conference last week about building BRAVE Cultures™. One of the points I talked about was the need for teams to actively embrace failure in order to innovate more. How do organizations embed the power of play in actively addressing culture change?
When we work with teams to facilitate greater innovation, we use games. We use games for three reasons:
- People learn ten times faster when they’re playing games,
- Games are highly effective for team building and increasing employee engagement, and
- People tend to say, “I already know that” when in reality it’s a huge blind spot.
We can fool ourselves with the words we say, but actions don’t lie. For example, when we see someone being hyper-competitive in a game, we know that’s how they act in the office. And when they see that their hyper-competitiveness actually made them lose the game, they’re more likely to change their behavior back in the office.
I decided to play a quick game with this group. It’s a game that helps illuminate power dynamics. It illustrates how a person can use their leadership skills to get someone to do something for them. The room was predominantly women- more than 90%.
This group finished the game in record time, with nearly all of them doing it successfully. That’s not typical, but it speaks to a major difference between masculine and feminine leadership styles. In this case, the feminine leadership style that includes creativity and collaboration was far more effective than the masculine, authoritarian and autonomous leadership style.
Why is it important to understand the power dynamics at play in your culture?
As Peter Drucker is credited with saying, “Culture eats strategy for lunch.” The culture of your organization will make or break your success. However, one of the dynamics of our culture in the U.S. is that we’re discouraged from being able to recognize it. We have a collective blind spot about our culture. Symptoms like perfectionism, defensiveness, an either/or thinking crush people’s incentive to take risks and innovate.
When symptoms like that are so deeply baked into a culture, it’s difficult to unwind them just by using mental practices. We have to get kinesthetic to get it into our bones, thus the games. We’ve found that games are great for team building, improving communication, innovation, and employee engagement, and they really are the best way to improve culture in a short amount of time.
NextGen Orgs uses the power of play while addressing culture dynamics and change in your organization.
Johanna Lyman is the Founder and CEO of NextGen Orgs. She is a Leadership Consultant and Executive Coach with fifteen years of experience in implementing organization wide change strategies for both Fortune 500 companies and Small Business Owners.
At NextGen Orgs, we use a combination of unique delivery methods and processes that crack the code on establishing lasting organizational behavior changes in a relatively short period of time. Our proprietary and the evolutionary system can eliminate months of frustration often associated with developing strong leadership and building a cohesive, collaborative team.
From strategic business design to culture development and leadership training, our methods can help your company become a truly great place to work. Johanna is a professional speaker, available to speak on a variety of topics related to culture, communication, innovation, and leadership skills. She is the Board President for the Bay Area Chapter of Conscious Capitalism and is deeply versed in how to help businesses be a force for good in the world. Learn more and Contact Johanna at email@example.com