One popular style of board game is tile-based. Classics like Scrabble, Dominoes, and Mahjong require strategy, quick analysis and deduction, as well as not being afraid to take risks. So what if there was a simple business strategy tile game that could help drive rich dialogue and assessment? Why not try this one?
Objective: Gain consensus around the table as to the current and desired state of your business culture looking at three major stakeholders – customers, financial supporters, and employees.
1. Each player has the same three tiles plus an addition and equals sign. Each player must use all the tiles in each round to create a simple equation (A+B=C) that describes their business culture. Round 1 is your current state. Consider the consistency or inconsistency in everyday behaviors you experience (culture). NOTE: when debating the word “happy” consider options like “raving” or “loyal” customers; “engaged” employees; and “strong, sustainable profitable growth”.
2. Common answers include:
- Similarities and differences?
- When considering the most often created equation by all of the players, does it differentiate your organization’s
- Competitive position?
- Ability to attract, engage, and retain talent?
- Attractiveness to invest in long-term?
- Currently, what might be being ignored or tolerated (performance and/or behavior) in the most often created equation?
- Is the most often created equation sustainable? Why or why not?
4. Round 2. REPEAT tile equation exercise individually but this time describe your ‘desired or future’ culture. Discuss:
- What, if anything, changed individually and/or collectively from Round 1?
- Are there subtle or dramatic changes needed from your current to desired culture?
- Can your organization afford to just keep the everyday behaviors it currently has?
Winning: Organizations that can build true consensus and then inform, teach, and reinforce everyday behaviors aligned with their desired cultural state will ultimately WIN. These organizations will not be afraid of allocating quality time, money, and talent to positively differentiate their business culture. And they will proactively address signs of people avoiding accountability at ALL levels.
WARNING: Joint research by Duke and Columbia University found “more than half of the senior executives surveyed said that corporate culture was one of the top three drivers of firm value. And 92% said that improving their culture would increase their company’s value.” Denying or skating by the importance of business culture could create a “choking hazard” that restricts the fuel for growth and sustainable performance. And, we are talking REAL not “monopoly money”.