It’s about learning about thinking…

Part of my reaction to the past two weeks came together for me as I listened to my own voice talking about the power of building awareness and insight by creating experiences for people outside of their usual context.  ropes“The ropes exercise” is one of my favorite – not only because there’s no better way to break the ice than by showing up in a group of adults with an armful of ropes – but mostly because it creates a low-risk experience in a safe environment through which we learn immensely valuable things about how we think and work, which we then can apply better in the day-to-day context of our roles and lives.

This is also what gaming  is about for me – and what I really walked away from Sherri Turkle’s article with.  I have long been attracted to games of strategy – whether puzzles, fantasy exploration, simulations – and the attraction is in the challenge, being compelled to strategize and experiment with different approaches in order to be successful.  The link between all of these things is that they help us learn how to think – and if we’re active in a variety of pursuits, they help us figure out how to think about things differently.  This is where great opportunity still exists…  Gaming isn’t just about the time spent in the game…  It’s about how we strategize about the game when we’re not playing it – how we might investigate possible solutions by connecting with other players, searching resources, even figuring out how to access easter eggs and cheats.  How can viewing things from different angles change your approach?  Sometimes you have to backtrack to find the path that goes forward.  Sometimes you have to use a tool in a way different than its usual intended purpose.  Games involving strategy challenge our mind in ways different than our day-to-day experiences… AND those challenges, ways of thinking, and exploration can then be utilized in our day-to-day experiences, in our learning, in our leading – to make us more effective.


I wish we had time enough yesterday to hear from everyone about the artifacts they brought. I wish I could have stayed longer to hear others share. I’m glad Amy blogged about hers…  What struck me about those who did share is that we were all talking about how the artifacts represented experiences that caused/allowed us to think about things differently. And that different-thinking changes you as a person.  It’s not possible to go back to the way of not-different-thinking, it’s not possible to keep from applying that new lens in different places.  I love that.