Once a year, GenCon comes to Indianapolis, and the NextPoint IT team enjoys 4-days of fun and engaging game play with 70,000 other gamers. While board games aren’t technically books, they often come with rule manuals that could qualify as one.
You may be wondering what use board games have in the business world?
Well, board games can offer great tools for team building and development exercises. Just look at the rise of the gamification movement for why games can be great learning tools. So in honor of GenCon this month, this quarter’s book club is actually a board game.
Mental Blocks is a cooperative game that requires a fair amount of coordination, communication, and collaboration among players. The goal is straightforward…your team needs to build a specific 3D object out of multi-colored blocks of different shapes and colors. BUT each team member has a single perspective of the object and must communicate their view.
Bob only sees a single 2-dimensional perspective of the object. His view doesn’t show him any depth, so he doesn’t have any idea what shapes to use, and he doesn’t know what the other sides look like. Mary, Tom, and Sam will have the other 2-dimensional sides, but they have the same problem as Bob. And Heather has a single 3D angle of the object, but she has no idea what the colors are. The team must build the object in 10 minutes or else everyone loses.
The game forces players to communicate together to build the object since no single player has enough information to do so on their own. You can quickly see how applicable this can be for team building. The business is the object, and each player represents different perspectives (or functions) of the business. Each perspective is valid, but it lacks other critical information to form the business.
Sales may see one side of the business while Ops views the opposing side. Accounting & Finance may have a 3D perspective but they may be missing some of the on-the-ground specifics. So each business function must rely on others to help build the business.
If you’re looking for a unique activity for your next team building exercise, it’s worth picking up Mental Blocks. But it won’t be released until the end of September 2019.