GAMES We Play

Are you “stuck” playing games with your family during this crisis? Don’t lose heart or get too board [sic]. I grew up playing games of all sorts. There were board type games (Pick Up Sticks, CandyLand, Chutes & Ladders, LIFE, Monopoly, Scrabble, Chess, Checkers, Chinese Checkers, Clue . . .), card games (War, UNO, Concentration, Pinochle, Canasta, Samba . . .), dice games (Yahtzee, Poker, Liars Dice, . . .), sports (baseball, football, tennis, golf, track & field), fun stuff (Limbo, Twister . . .), and puzzles (Rubic’s Cube, Crosswords, Anagrams, Jigsaw . . .) I thought I was just having fun—except for those times when my mother and father corrected me for being a sore loser or otherwise being a bad sport. What I did not realize is I was preparing myself for life and work in so very many ways.

Recently I had a small story in a book just published by Scott Crabtree and Kristen Toohill called “All Work & Some Play: Future-Proof Your Career Through Games” available on Amazon. I spoke with the authors about the various games used in the corporate world to build teams, to encourage innovation, to improve performance. The story they included is how fleets encourage collaborative competition among drivers to improve fuel economy and their bottom line. Fleets share the monetary rewards with everyone, using a combination of shared rewards, individual rewards, and recognition. Games are good for your personal career, your family life, your time with friends (my wife’s Bunco nights are more about camaraderie and group therapy), and, yes, your business.

The authors segment games into 4 categories and I can easily remember ones that fall into each category:

      1. Critical Thinking
        • Chess, Stratego, BattleShip, Bridge
      1. Collaboration
        • Baseball, Football, Escape Rooms
      1. Communications
        • Password, Whisper Game, Tennis Doubles
      1. Creativity
        • Scattergories, Drawing Pictures, Building Things, Fixing Things

Some of the games and activities easily fall into more than one category. In every case, though, I had fun and learned so very much that has helped me throughout my entire life.

I like to talk about making and creating GAME plans because it sounds so much more fun than creating Business Plans, Career Plans, and Strategic Plans. I use GAME to represent an acronym for business and, more recently, for every aspect of our lives:

Grow And Make Earnings™ 

Guide to Achieve Major Expectations™