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:
- 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.