Written by Stephen Hobbs

The metaphor of "games at work and work as games" is important reminder of the use of game theory, recreation, and gamification in your organization of work. 

Game Theory Recreation Gamification 

Game theory - from Wikipedia is "the study of mathematical models of conflict and cooperation between intelligent rational decision-makers" ... and so, in the workplace persons make decisions and the possibility exists to use math (numbers, formulas, graphs) to review - evaluate - discern the conflict and cooperation among persons making decisions when rationality is present. However, alter a variable - shift happens. Emotions replace rationality. Competition replaces cooperation. No actionable decisions replaces actionable decisions.  

Fun and play via games is a way for you to learn how to learn to know what to know. Through recreation and/or re: creation new insights are possible as laughter and freedom are woven into the fabric of work. The recent addition of the concepts and practices of gamification are available to guide your managing and leading.

customer employee executive experiences

According to An Coppens of Gamification Nation, "Gamification (pronounced game-i-fi-ka-tion) is the application of game dynamics, game psychology and game mechanics to non-game situations, such as HR, learning and development, sales and marketing and other business processes. 

To be clear ... every day you are involved in games of your design (you lead and manage) and those of others (you follow and participate). It's your response to the games - your gamesmanship that is important here. Just as important, is your gaming mastery and competence. 

For the fun of it ... in your workplace you experience the high jump and the marathon, the 110 meter hurdles, and long jump. There are the 100 meter crawl and shot put, a game of chess, and rounds of Monopoly. There are badges and credits, and likes-shares-comments. (I'll leave it to you to connect the games with your workplace experience - enjoy)

Moving forward ... 

  • Recognize the game you are playing and will play
  • Adopt a prevention mindset
  • Follow your preparation approach
  • Text instructions 

    In other words = Stay Found while Doing Something!

5 Ways to Play the Games and Gamify the Play

Gather insight into your staffs’ unmet values

Connect with each person’s hierarchy of values. And do the same for yourself.

You and your staff each have a unique set of values guiding decision making about work and life. What ways do you reward and recognize your employees' decisions about their work. How do you do the same for yourself?

The more you know the hierarchy of values of each primary person with whom you connect, the more likely you'll collectively accomplish your results.

The more you know your own values, the more likely you'll personally achieve your intentions.

Comprehend "your STEEP" – what is going on around you = internal and external

A simple meta model to gather insight is STEEP = Social-Cultural, Technological, Economical, Ecological and Political. Each area is important from the outside in (the marketplace) and the inside out (the organization).

As you enjoy what you do, determine your STEEP and the degree to which each letter and in combinations affect you. For example externally it maybe sTEep and internally it may be STeep. What is the connection? So what, now what?

What can you learn from the STEEP interactions and integrations ​that foster and fashion collaboration? How can you encourage more of what works while having fun?

business team

Know your approach – how do you manage (your managing) and lead (your leading)

As you gain insight into why and how you manage and lead, the more you can Help Your Staff Help You Manage-Lead. Instead of flying by the seat of your pants, learn and develop your management excellence, leadership excellence, and organization mapping in the words of your staff on your terms. 

Become the best for your workplace culture AND challenge the value you add everyday. Remain alert to the signs and symbols, and words shared each day as you continue to startegically (yes, a play on strategically) think each day. See it for the game it is!

Know your strengths for engagement – what do you do to engage each person/people?

Each person you lead and the group you manage draws strengths from their strengths. Obviously, know what aspects of your managing approach help (strength and potential) and hinder (weakness and vulnerable) your involvement and the engagement of your staff.

As you gain deeper insight, use your strengths (and potentials) wisely. And, be aware of how your strength may become a weakness (Icarus Paradox). Keep you strength a strength as you enjoy the strengths of your staff! Together, fill in the weakness gaps.   

Workplace Words

Determine how you allocate your resources – of what you got to give, how do you use and dispense it?

Finite resources - of time, effort, and money - are not available. However, wise use of available resources contributes positively to your staffs' perception of your awareness of the game you all are playing, your allocation of resources to meet their requirements, your clarity of situations for them to work, your coherent managing-leading approach, and your confidence to mange-lead from your strengths.

Do no let the game(s) overtake you. That is, do not let the games become the message. 

Check the words in your story-sharing – words matter, and no word is absolute

Written again – WORDS MATTER – each word has a direction and charge. Each word is a force! A simple yes or no, uttered appropriately or inappropriately has an enormous ripple affect. Therefore, playing with words can hinder and help. Not playing with your words can hinder and help. Remain vigilant to the words of the game(s). The words used in the games of Monopoly and shot put can illustrate our differences are our similarities. 

An Activity 

Select an 8 by 11.5 piece of paper and pen.
Draw a 2×2 table.
On the bottom (X) axis write Inappropriate and Appropriate.
On the vertical (Y) axis write No and Yes.
Fill in work examples:
Inappropriate No,
Inappropriate Yes,
Appropriate No, and
Appropriate Yes.

What can you learn from your responses? 
How could you use game theory for each quadrant?
How could you use gamification?
How could you play in each quadrant?

Game Theory Recreation Gamification

Draw three more 2x2 ables.
Label as before.
Fill the table from Health/Wellness, Leisure/Recreation, & Voluntarism/Philanthropy perspectives.
Ask - what is my learning for each table? Among tables? 

"You realize tomorrow's outcomes today."

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Yours for the wellth of it,

Legacy signature Stephen Hobbs

Keywords: Game Theory Recreation Gamification | Make a Movement | Extraordinary Experiences | Well-Living Workplace