“Games are the most elevated form of investigation.” ~ Albert Einstein
I invite you to take the opportunity to be the architect of your future. Our game technology leads you to design a game for your life, an invented future, constructed with rules, principles, and a designed scoring system in which the stated purpose is to reach your designated possible future.
This really speaks to why gaming has become such an important part of futures thinking because the future really is like a game in a lot of key ways.
For one thing, every move that you make changes what the future could be. Just like there are more versions of chess and ways it could play out than there are atoms in the universe, there are infinitely many futures, but every decision we make today, every move we make just slightly changes that realm of possibility and moves the game or moves the future in a different direction.
The future is like a game because people are playing with different goals. Sometimes, they are on the same team as you and you’re moving towards the same objective, sometimes they have a different objective and they’re going to use strategies that work against your own, and you have to be able to really look at the entire space of people playing their own games and understand what their goals are and what their motivations are so that you can better anticipate their strategies and protect your own resources and your own goals while at least understanding
what’s motivating everybody else.
The most important reason that the future is like a game is that, if we investigate it together, if we all bring our creativity to it collaboratively, we can really come out massively more of those possibilities.
If I were to sit here and try to imagine all of the different ways the future of a particular technology might play out, I might have a few ideas, but if you come into the conversation and another player comes in and another player, we can get thousands, or tens of thousands, or millions of people gaming out consequences together, then we’re really going to fill in that potential game board of possibilities where we can discover things that would be impossible to discover alone.
Based upon our design, this game will shape your choices and actions while life is turning out the way it does, the game will redesign you as a leader. The Game is not a trivial affair but a vehicle for ongoing re invention as a leader who makes the impossible happen. If you are the player in such a game you are completely committed to it, and willing to shift your way of being to match what the play requires.
Results and scores are kept and you pay careful attention to them, but your attention is focused not on attaining the best score, but making sure that the game produces the right results. Instead your attention is creative.
Remember even though your game will not turn out the way it should, you will wholeheartedly play to win. The only way you can play any game authentically is to win, but you know in advance it will turn out the way it does. Your survival will not depend on winning. A championship tennis player doesn’t know if he or she will win each major tournament.
The Rules of The Game
- You don’t need anyone’s permission to begin
- Everything is possible
- Everything is likely
- Every situation is transformable
- There is always a path forward
- Something in the game has to be more important than something else
- The bold promises you make should have challenging time-frames
- The Game must be large enough in scope to hold all of your other responsibilities inside of it.
Creating a Stand
This stand becomes your impossible game in life. What’s the relationship between stand and the game? Once you take this stand, you will have embarked on the game, indeed, designing the stand you take is the key part to designing the game.
- What are your highest goals or aspirations?
- In what area of life do you imagine you would be most fulfilled?
- What frustrated or infuriates you?
- What is the impossible future?
- What would change everything, if only it were possible?
- Create a plan of action to get there.
Choose an Impossible Game
- The game you design must be currently impossible, and you must be passionate about engaging in it. Why have you chosen this particular game? Why have you designed it in this particular way?
- What is the game you want to play and win?
- What is the context of the game you want to play?
- What is the desired future you are creating?
- What would you love to accomplish?
The main criteria are your passion. Since you are the reason for this game, it depends on your full commitment to it. It doesn’t have to be significant or noble, but it must be worth the whole of your life. You do not enter the game when you go to the centre, and you do not leave it when you go home. Nor do you sacrifice your private life to it. You design it in such a way that it encompasses your work and your private life and makes both into aspects worth playing.
Apply Relational Intelligence
- Do you have contingency plans?
- What are your contingency plans?
- What is the context for different perspectives, and alternative points of view from the stakeholders around you?
- What are your stakeholders important concerns or issues that you can contribute to or satisfy by playing the game?
- What are the questions that you could create to provoke different perspectives to the ones currently held by your stakeholders?
- Where are you saying your plan is stuck?
- Could this really be just stuck in a particular perspective?
- What future are you anticipating if you achieve growth?
- What future are you anticipating if you become constrained?
- What future are you anticipating if your plan collapses
Declare an Impossible Future
- Ask your team if they feel they are pursuing a future that is inspiring, empowering, and energizing.
- Distinguish your organisations current and past winning strategies.
- Define an impossible future based on exciting new possibilities, not just goals.
- Set some high goals that raise the bar for your entire organisation and stretch people’s minds and skills.
- Bring various people together to create a strategic architecture for achieving the goals.
The “What is So” process: What are the facts/accomplishments of your business so far?
- What is working/has worked?
- What isn’t working/hasn’t worked?
- What’s missing which would produce breakthroughs?
- What opportunities are presented by the “what’s so process?”
- Will it produce a breakthrough in results?
- Will it produce a breakthrough for people?
- By when are you predicting this will happen in the future?
Strategic Goals– these may look impossible but would change everything.
- Set some breakthrough goals
- Look at where you are now with respect to them
- Identify what’s missing, if provided, will produce a breakthrough
- With what’s missing distinguished, create a route map
Strategic Architecture – what’s missing translated into 4-5 strategic objectives, key change initiatives, or breakthrough projects?
Individual Business Challenges – Establish a line of sight to the strategic goal. Be aware and expect anxiety and excitement. If you don’t have these, the game isn’t big enough.
Aspects of a Source Document
A Source Document is a Statement that engages people. Create a source document that gets people to stand in the future and guides them to act in the present to make it a reality. This will give everyone a place to stand. Your Source Document tells people what really needs to be done and how to achieve it:
- It declares an unwanted condition
- It creates a vision
- It is based on empowering values
- It includes a strategic intent
- It has clear goals
- It includes major milestones
- It includes key initiatives to achieve the major milestones
- It comes from a teachable point-of-view
- It has a clear methodology
Spend 10% of your time formulating your plan, and the rest taking action based on your plan. Create a source document that gets people to stand in the future and guides them to act in the present to make it a reality. This will give everyone a place to stand. Your Source Document tells people what really needs to be done and how to achieve it.
Your Winning Strategy
From what actions do you expect power? What type of action when you experience yourself doing it, makes you think you are handling life correctly?
The way you act is second nature. Your actions are shaped by what has worked in the past, developed over the years to demonstrate your skill and expertise. You don’t consciously dwell on your actions, they are automatic responses to the context created through your listening.
Here are some techniques to determine your winning strategy: Describe four or five examples of what you look like in action. Are you designing, confronting, persisting, helping, persuading, or taking responsibility?
You will recognize a particular pattern of acting when you realize that if you don’t act that way, you don’t get results. And you cannot imagine yourself operating without acting in this manner.
What is the desired outcome of your life? This component “The in order to “ component of your winning strategy” is the grand component of the Grand Strategy of Your Life. Your desired outcome is the way of being that you believe in your heart, would make you feel fulfilled. It may be your most cherished dream, (To be the Best, or To be Carefree”) or it may be the Nightmare that you want to avoid at all costs. (To avoid being trapped or poor)
You direct your efforts towards the desired outcome because you think that if you can be this particular way, (If I can be the best, be right, be in charge, be of value, be at peace, be secure, your life will turn out the way it should) Desired way of being also include our efforts to avoid that which would have our life turn out the way it shouldn’t (being humiliated, criticized, betrayed, alone, confused or ordinary)
- How do others perceive you?
- What do they perceive your strengths, weaknesses, limitations?
- Define and commit yourself to new areas of growth and skills that require stepping outside your winning strategy.
- What’s next?
- What roles do you aspire to?
Creating Your Challenge
Create a challenge stepping outside your winning strategy that will pull you towards leadership transformation. What is something you are passionate about, that will make a critical difference, that requires a new level of leadership, that forces you beyond your winning strategy.
Declare who you are as a leader. Declare who you will need to be to win the game. Write a commitment statement that summarizes your leadership transformation.
- Include a list of specific behaviors and new practices.
- Create an environment of support and commitment.
- Invite others to relate to you as the new possibility.
- Share your insights into your winning strategy and its limitations, and your commitment to grow as a leader.
- Seek regular feedback.
Keep your boss and your reports informed. They can support you around ensuring you are not stuck in an old perspective, keep shining a light in the direction of a new set of possibilities you are creating for yourself.
Conditions of Satisfaction
- A Commitment Statement: What difference will your breakthrough make for your community?
- Conditions that will satisfy: What will success look like? How will you measure it?
- What’s Missing: What are the key things you will do to be successful?
- Your Team: Who are the people who will be critical to your success?
- Your Actions: What actions will make the most difference in starting out with a bang?
- A Transformational Goal: Is the goal a transformation opportunity for you and your community?
- Fun: Does the journey look like it will be fun?
- Do something different rather than do something better- work on something radical! Balance passionate advocacy with inquiry – it pays to listen more than to talk. Leadership is the ability to empathize with others, and empower leaders around you
Leadership arises in discovering yourself as the stand you take. You must execute your Source Document until it exists independently of you: “If it is to be, it is up to me”
- Declare publicly what your stand is
- Find internal resources/structures to cause your stand
- Expect gaps to arrive
- Leadership is the ability to empathize with others, and empower leaders around you.
- Are you creating a powerful agenda and identify partnerships needed to achieve it?
- Are you building coalitions based on interests, not positions?
- Are you making deals effectively, back and forth, day in, day out?
- Are you creating a high vision with high principles that mobilize followers to bring about the introduction of a new order of things?
- Are you bringing about a lasting transformational change that makes a difference in their world?
- Are you creating a climate or environment that brings out the best in those around them?
- Get it 80% right, and then go back to it after a rest
Declare who you are as a leader
- Declare who you will need to be to win the game.
- Write a commitment statement that summarizes your leadership transformation.
- Include a list of specific behaviors and new practices
Create an environment of support and commitment
- Invite others to relate to you as the new possibility,
- Share your insights into your winning strategy and its limitations, and your commitment to grow as a leader.
- Seek regular feedback.
Keep your boss and your reports informed.
- They can support you around ensuring you are not stuck in an old perspective, keep shining a light in the direction of a new set of possibilities you are creating for yourself.
- Leadership arises in discovering yourself as the stand you take. You must execute your Source Document until it exists independently of you: “If it is to be, it is up to me”
- Declare publicly what your stand is.
- Find internal resources/structures to cause your stand.
- Expect gaps to arrive
Who can you start on today?
- Leading when you are not in charge. Who can you start on today?
- Learning to enroll. Who can you start on today?
- You cannot bring about transformation all by yourself, it takes sharing yourself. Who can you start on today?
- Enroll: present your ideas in moving, touching and inspirational way so people can see the opportunity that is there for them. Who can you start on today?
- Plan of Action
- Learn to stop commanding and threatening and begin enrolling. Who can you start on today? Make a rousing speech/manifesto/declaration intended to infect people with your idea. Who can you start on today?
- Pick your target and begin building coalitions to help it grow stronger. Who can you start on today?
- Transform your grass roots movement into a mandate by choosing your moments. Who can you start on today?
Be A Master Politician
A “master politician” is someone who successfully gains power and influence, and who successfully accomplishes something that brings about a profound irreversible change.
- Learn to speak to people’s issues and concerns, successfully gaining power and influence, and bring about a profound, irreversible transformation. (The Platinum Rule)
- Key Attributes: Who you are being supersedes what you say!
- What can you stand for that has broad appeal and addresses real human needs and wants?
- Create a campaign that captures hearts and minds.
- Before you map your strategy, map the political chessboard
- Who are the people you most need to influence?
- How can you speak to their listening?
- Do whatever it takes (be unstoppable)
- When your support is tenuous and opposition is strong, negotiate to move your agenda forward one piece at a time.
- What people or groups do you need to give something to, to gain something from now?
- Build a coalition of unlikely stakeholders to increase support, diminish opposition, drive your political and business agenda through.
- Learn to be charming and disarming- someone people can do business with.
- Study the history of power in your company.
- Take a stand through a rousing speech or manifesto.
- Create mini speeches of 30 seconds, 3 minutes and 10 minutes to share as necessary.
- Transform power wielders into power allies by offering solutions.
- Start building coalitions by creating relationship maps with three columns.
- Goals, intentions, milestones.
- People to enrol, to help who can help you.
- Opposers- see opposers as human beings, not enemies
- Deal with confrontation by declaring a shared commitment.
- Negotiate for 80% today, come back for 20% tomorrow.
- Publicise, acknowledge and celebrate all victories
- A’s- extraordinary leaders who consistently deliver results.
- B’s- good leaders who deliver what is expected
- C’s- some leadership qualities, but are full of reasons and excuses when it comes to producing results.
- Keep A’s, coach the B’s, and deploy the C’s
- Relate to everyone like A’s, or A’s in waiting- they can never win if you treat them like C’s.
- Put talent at the top of your agenda and keep it there.
- How much time do you put into people, strategy, and operations?
- Increase time on people.
- Create a rating system for ranking people.
- Define characteristics of A’s.
- Get job specific in your rating.
- Once rated, decide on an action plan.
- Develop coaching plan for all A’s and B’s.
- Set up powerful coaching relationships with each of them.
Question everything on your calendar. Is this the best way to fulfill the legacy you are passionate about? Prioritize the things that if ‘you’ don’t do them, they wont get done.
- Assess rigorously how you spend your time.
- Determine the ideal time for each area.
- Ask yourself about the payoff and the cost of how you are spending your time now.
- Ask what new actions will allow you to make a greater difference.
- Commit to the deliberate implementation of your ideas.
Identify your derailers: Are they:
- Arrogance: You being right and making others wrong.
- People pleasing: You are out to look good at the expense of your integrity.
- Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde: You are prone to mood swings.
- Excessive Caution: You are reluctant to make decisions.
- Chronic Distrust: You are always suspicious.
- Aloofness: You don’t show your human side.
- Mischievousness: The rules are meant for others, not you.
- Malicious Obedience: You say one thing, do another, and undermine authority.
- Perfectionism: You spend so much time getting things perfect you don’t complete anything.
- Melodrama: You always have a dramatic story about what happened to you are how ‘they are doing it’
Get some 360 degree feedback on derailing behaviors. Take 100% responsibility for anything you did that resulted in negative conversations around you. Consciously and intentionally decide to transform your behaviors and generate a new conversation about yourself. Learn to recognize the stressful situations that trigger derailing behaviors and to keep the dark side from taking over. Write a list of derailers, and what triggers them.
Career Wrecking Conversations About You
What is the career threatening conversation out there about you? Publicly acknowledge it and take responsibility for it. Transform the listening that there is about you. What is the conversation that exists about you as a leader? Shift peoples perceptions of you one conversation at a time, through the quality of your speaking, listening and actions. Your plan of action could include:
- Identify the conversation about you.
- How do I come across to you as a leader?
- What is the story about me?
- Is there an event or behavior that is at the heart of peoples perceptions?
- Consider having someone else interview people around you to get feedback.
- Decide how you want the conversation to transform.
- Communicate to people that you heard the feedback and that you are committed to transforming.
- Share your transformation with others such that they get it.
- “It is not only what you do, but who you be”
Your Extraordinary Career Challenge
- Declare a career path where you can shine.
- Gain career momentum. Get in line and stay in line.
- Reap the rewards.
- Make sure your career path is a fit.
- Look at your strengths and limitations, passions, and the types of people you want to work with, and work best with. Your plan of action could include:
- Think about your highest career aspirations, and then network with the intention of realizing them.
- The past has the influence to shape our future experiences.
- Its how you listen and relate to people that create how they are.
- Indulging in old conversations and old ways of relating to people keeps you in the same vicious circle.
- Align yourself to stand for your bosses success.
- How can I make my boss successful?
- What does he need right now?
- What is their intention?
- Stand for your bosses contributing to your success by setting up a coaching relationship.
- Be aware of what triggers the bosses reactions and act accordingly.
- Be a good thinking partner.
Play for Mastery not Competence
Mastery involves an exquisite level of attention, consequently this analysis. Set sky-high standards for yourself and others.Mastery involves an exquisite level of attention, consequently this analysis. Your plan of action could include:
- Stop taking any old job just because it’s a step up the ladder.
- Decide the area you want to achieve mastery based on: distinct or extinct- “become distinct, or become extinct”
- Set sky-high standards for yourself and others.
- Figure out where you are on the learning curve
- Are you a:
- Competent worker
- Advanced beginne
- Find a thinking partner
- Do everything with a commitment to excellence, paying 100% attention to detail.
- Drive for completion in the face of obstacles, hurdles and road blocks.
- Acid test of mastery – producing extraordinary results, no matter what, and doing it with aesthetics.
- Create a strategy of personal resilience for yourself.
- To source an organisation, you have to source yourself first.
- “Superman/Superwoman does not live here anymore.Design your job so a mere mortal can do it”.
- Find sources of inspiration. What are things that inspire you? Do them!
- Read your Source Document once per week to keep focused on the future you are creating.
Dealing with exhaustion: Draw your identity from somewhere other than an action hero. Get the right people in the right jobs.
Dealing with frustration: things that may set you off:
- Company ethics you are not aligned with- speak up or clear out.
- Difficult boss- Face to face, say you want a better relationship. Acknowledge them, complete the past, take responsibility for your role in any breakdown, look at what you can create together.
- A job or career that doesn’t feel right for you- bring zest or find a new job.
- Pre-occupation with upsets and anxiety- take 10 year view instead! Never take others behaviors personally.
- Sparse rewards and recognition- give what you want to get.
- Ask five people to give you a list of books, movies, plays that inspire them.
- Everyday, say “superman/superwoman doesn’t live here anymore”.
- Take three months in your schedule and label everything- makes a difference; is important or is trivial.
- Find out how much vacation time you have, and take it all without guilt.
- Eat till you are 70% full, do exercise with iron discipline, and take power naps.
- Sit with your boss and have an honest talk.
- One thing I admire about you is.
- One thing I have difficulty with is.
- One thing I’d like to create with you is
- Don’t take stuff personally.
- Balance work and family
- Have fun! Make a list of ten things you really enjoy and commit to doing several of them each week.
- Robert Hargrove Your Coach (in a Book) Mastering the Trickiest Leadership, Business, and Career Challenges You Will Ever Face co-written with Michael Renaud.
- Tracy Goss author of Re-Invention: For People Who Want to Change the World, and The last Word on Power (Doubleday 1996)
- Werner Erhard. Being a Leader Program 2012-2018.