Games? I’ll try not to get angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry. Not that I turn green or anything. I’m just a lot more sociable when I’m calm. And, trust me, I mean a lot more…
Games? Why do so many people call all team activities games? Even ours? We put a lot of effort into ensuring that all of our options deliver real learning and development as well as participant enjoyment. The learning side isn’t my department, but I see the care that goes into that side of things and I know that, as a company, we are very good at that. I see how we make sure that the parallels back into the workplace are there to be seen so that our participants can really see the relevance and take real improvements back to their workplaces. So why do some people insist on calling them games?
Thinking about it, I suppose I’m part of the problem. I might not be the one to focus on the learning side of things, but my department is making sure people have fun at the same time. Whether we’re gunslinging in Wild West, throwing bottles around in Romanbar, creating massive bubbles in Memory Lane or learning circus tricks in Cube, when people visit my department, they leave with massive smiles on their faces and an ache from all the belly laughter. So maybe it is the fun side of things that make people refer to them as games.
Whatever people are doing on one of our events, there is always a point to it. In Wild West, for example, people learning gunslinging skills to help them keep law and order in the towns they are running. In Romanbar, they are learning bar flair skills to attract new customers to their bars. It’s like in real life. Making good decisions isn’t enough – you also have to put the plan into action at a practical level and make it all work. We reflect that in our activities by adding many and varied fun tasks that need to be tackled successfully in order to help supplement some good decisions the teams are (hopefully!) making throughout the session. That’s a key parallel my learning and development oriented colleagues help our client teams pick up on in the debrief, along with many others of course.
I’m calming down now. I guess so long as people come to our sessions, have a good time and leave as better teams we should all be happy. Whether they call what we’ve delivered a comprehensive, professional and effective team building activity or a game.