Serious Gaming. Everyone wins.

We hear it so often. Serious games are mostly fun, but certainly not suitable for the c-suite and don’t lead to real, substantial change. We think this is nonsense. In fact, if you want to get straight to the heart of a challenge and offer people an experience they’ll never forget, then there’s no tool as powerful as a serious game. But why do serious games have such an impact? That’s what this blog will clarify for you.

What are serious games?

Let’s start with the basics: serious games are games that aim to achieve much more than simple entertainment. Serious games combine gaming elements with both learning and organizational change objectives. This combination encourages participants to act and react naturally, and ultimately gain deep insights into the consequences of their own behavior and choices. This makes an indelible impression. Or as one HR manager recently summed it up nicely, “Now I’ve seen how it all works with my own eyes, it’s changed my perspective forever”.

Serious gaming is a powerful tool for bringing about crucial change in an innovative and inspiring way. It is a form of learning that generates unforgettable experiences. Players are continuously experimenting and have a fundamental dialogue about the team, the organization, what’s going on and what to do about it. Serious gaming is learning and development in optima forma.

“Time flew by. It felt like we’d only just started when the hour was up!”

As a tool, serious gaming is broadly applicable, suitable for all teams, and well-tuned to a wide range of topics. From team development to leadership, from culture to core values and from agile working to diversity and inclusion.

Serious gaming

Making the impossible possible

Serious games are fun to play, provide a relaxed setting and generate energy. This automatically creates an active and spontaneous atmosphere with everyone acting and reacting naturally, taking part as they normally would, during the game and with each other.

“All my teams got super fanatical super-fast, and behaviors surfaced that I see all the time at work. This gave us all great insights, making each of us look in the mirror and see how effective we were ourselves. This was a real tipping point for my business unit towards better mutual collaboration.”

Based on their own behavior and choices, serious gaming enables participants to look in the mirror in a safe way and to receive continuous feedback from the group. Participants are completely immersed in the moment, without immediately realizing that they are exploring their own limitations and learning at the same time. This ensures that, as a team, you quickly – and without resistance – get to the heart of things, that everyone experiences the effects of decisions and that previously off-limits topics, and issues are discussed. There is no other way you’d be able to achieve (in such a short time) the breakthroughs that you make with serious games.

 

Serious Gaming

Sustainable happiness at work

Making structural use of serious gaming in your organization contributes to a higher degree of job satisfaction, employee happiness and positive relationships with colleagues and support for the ambitions of the organization. This results in better communication, cooperation, in co-creation and therefore more innovation across the organization.

The reason why this becomes possible with serious gaming is because participants are required to continuously connect their personal values and ambition with those of the team and the wider organization in an energetic and interactive manner. Balancing these elements is the key to happiness at work, connectedness, and sustainable employability in all organizations.

“I never realized how (not) acting on these core values could affect the overall performance of an organization. My eyes have really been opened.”

Everyone wins

With serious gaming, everyone wins. Participants win because they make a giant leap forward in a short period of time. Teams win because they become more effective and productive, experience more energy, flow and cohesion. Because they work better together and tackle difficult issues – together and with greater ease.

The HR department wins on all fronts. Participants are grateful for the experience they’ve had and the impact it has created within the team. In addition, you have facilitated the organization in discussing and addressing complex challenges. And in doing so, you have achieved goals with unprecedented effectiveness that the leadership within your organization had never thought possible.

Ultimately, the organization as a whole wins. With happier teams, more co-creation, more cohesion, improved collaboration, better results, and more innovation.

“I got to know my colleagues in a different way and experienced where their talents lie. As a result, I’ll be seeking them out often at work so we can collaborate more.”

 

We-Learning

So, the impact of serious gaming is enormous. But not by definition. Serious games are only truly effective when they are not the goal but a means to achieve breakthrough change and when they are applied in a team context.
And that is precisely what makes InContext’s serious games so compelling, impressive, effective, and unique. Simply because all our interventions are based on our We-Learning concept: learning together, experiencing together and growing together. With We-learning you conduct a fundamental conversation as a team about what is going on, what the core of the problem is and how you can make a change in this together. This is a fundamentally different experience from interventions in which every team member – literally and figuratively – plays his or her own game.

So, our serious games are always played in groups or teams. Because only when you learn, experience and experiment with each other do you receive feedback, push your limits, connect people and goals, and ensure interaction and fun.

 “Feeling and experiencing a strategy has so much more impact than reading or hearing about it.”

 

Essential breakthroughs

InContext is a consultancy firm whose raison d’etre is to help people in organizations who want to create positive change, breakthroughs and to achieve their organizational goals. We started developing serious games 30 years ago to increase our impact and contribute to substantial and sustainable change for clients.

This means that we’ve had the time and the unique opportunity to learn what works well, but also what doesn’t. We create the most absorbing educational and impactful experiences with our superb creativity and technical ingenuity. Every day again. All over the world. TeamUP, for example, was developed to enable organizations to (further) develop their own learning culture and LinkXs has been on the bestseller list for years as a means of raising collaboration and leadership within organizations to a higher level.

Precisely because we are a consultancy firm, for us, serious gaming is not an end in itself, but a means of helping people and organizations realizing sustainable change. Our experience and expertise make us one of the market leaders in serious gaming worldwide. That is why our serious games are played in organizations such as:

PostNL
ABN AMRO
Eli Lilly
KLM
Rabobank

But it doesn’t stop there. We are also passionate about developing customized business simulations, the perfect tool to give everyone in an organization the opportunity to see the familiar through new eyes. In a safe learning environment, participants become ‘players’ in a fictional but very realistic story and, as the simulation progresses, experience the difference in thinking and acting that is asked of them.

We believe serious gaming has the power to change the world. Game by game. Because today’s challenges demand creative, smart and sustainable solutions. Making the impossible possible, that’s what we stand for. Our motto is, not for nothing, everyone wins with serious gaming!

Would you like to know more about serious gaming, its possibilities and impact? Let us know or book a demo, we’d be happy to brainstorm with you about how serious games could help your organization take the next curve.

 

Learn more about serious gaming?

The most effective and enjoyable way of learning is by doing and experiencing. Team members don’t change to a new dynamic just by telling them what is going to change or why change is needed. Do you want them to (virtually) experience new ways of working? Do you want new employees to feel at home quickly or could your team use a boost? Then choose the proven value of our serious games.

 

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