Same board, different game

Having kids, I tend to play a lot of board games. A lot.

And not different board games, mind you. The same board game over and over and over and over and, well, you get the picture. Kids like repetition. I get it.

Add to that the lovely damp weather of the Pacific Northwest, and you can easily guess where a great deal of my time is spent.

But here’s the thing: there are time when–even for the kids–the board game becomes a bored game. And what happens then is very interesting indeed.

They begin to improvise. They take the same components and recombine them in different ways. They add new rules that govern the movement of the characters. They introduce new characters. They let some of the old characters go. They change management techniques to ensure favorable outcomes. They recombine and reassess and create entirely new offerings.

All with the same pieces. All with the same board. Kids do this. Kids.

Let’s take a classic, Chutes & Ladders, and some of the “modes” in which we play:

  • Traditional
  • Chutes up, ladders down
  • Start at the top
  • Start at the top, chutes up, ladders down
  • Using other toys as the game pieces

Now, that is not exhaustive, by any means. But I think you see where I’m going.

Thinking along those lines, why can’t we do this with work? Why can’t we use this concept as a management technique?

Why can’t we think creatively about how we apply the (seemingly) same-old same-old in new ways that not only bring a breath of fresh air to a stagnant environment but also introduce some new ways of getting the job done?

For example, did you know that if you play chutes-up-ladders-down, that you are assured of winning at a much earlier time? (Top row is no longer fraught with the peril of multiple chutes.)

Using that same old board that has been around forever, an entirely new path is created.


About Rick Turoczy

More than mildly obsessed with the Portland startup community. Founder and editor at Silicon Florist. Cofounder and general manager at PIE. Follow me on Twitter: @turoczy
This entry was posted in Creativity, Experience, Skill. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Same board, different game

  1. Pingback: Video Games Hideout » Blog Archive » Same board, different game

  2. Harrison says:

    Hi, I enjoyed reading this… very timely too. I’ve recently set up a Wiki-website dedicated to offering information about games, gaming and ‘winning’ strategies. We are looking for people with expert knowledge to help us boost the content of the site. Having read your postings I wondered if you would be able to help us. Please take a look at our site (still very much in its infancy), and if you would like to edit or add a section (even an extract from one of your blog-entries) we would be delighted. Of course, you are welcome to add links back to your blog. You can also create an “Author’s” page with further links if you like.


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  4. Rick Turoczy says:

    @Scertneotheve: That is, without a doubt, the most eloquent and long-winded piece of spam I have ever received in my nearly 20 years on “teh Internets.”

    You win, my friend. You win.

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