Playing games at work may not seem that productive, but FreshBiz is a game-based simulation designed specifically for businesses as a tool to increase collaboration, creativity and proactivity.
“We liked this particular simulation and format because it’s focused on entrepreneurial thinking skills with the premise that you don’t have to be an ‘entrepreneur’ per se to have this mindset, but can utilize it regardless of your role,” says Jean Cantey Segal, Chief Learning Officer of Learning and Consulting Services for FCCS. “It addresses things like communication, problem solving, collaboration, innovation and critical thinking, skills are that becoming increasingly vital to business success.”
The goal of the game is to successfully retire to an island. Each player on a team has their own business and needs to amass land and rent income by buying spots on the board, similar to Monopoly. Whether one person or an entire team makes it there depends on the strategies employed. Lisa Parrinello, FCCS Director of Risk Management & Insurance Programs, says her team made the decision that either their entire team would retire or none of them would. They combined their resources and bought assets together, so they all benefited each time a player landed on an owned space. Their team won the game when FCCS played it in January.
“The biggest takeaway from the game was recognizing that collaboration is the key to success, and we need to figure out how to work together so we all win,” says Lisa. “Another valuable aspect of the game was learning more about my colleagues’ different perspectives, how they think and the different strategies they use, which I think will help us work even better together in our jobs moving forward.”
FreshBiz is about underscoring the value of collaboration in the real world, understanding and employing creative thinking, and adapting to get better results. “In order to do well in this game, teams need to turn their ideas into reality, and recognize that when they hit a roadblock, the solution is to collaborate and explore new options,” says Jean. “This mindset happens in the game, but people can take this and translate it into their business lives. When you have more employees thinking this way, the organization benefits.”
Game-based learning does more than build rapport during the experience itself: “It’s kind of a mind trick because players’ brains react as though the situation is real. When a team is collaborating and solving problems, it really rewires the brain so those skills become embedded and ready for use in real-life situations,” says Jean.
FreshBiz is effective both within a team and across functions, though FCCS suggests that the optimal audience size is 25-30.
For more information about FreshBiz, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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