Mental Models Game

Hi All!

Sorry for the silence of the blog. Let’s see if we can pump some life in here. I want to share with you about a game, a mental models game. We have been using it quite a bit lately, and want to play more in the future because it seems to work rather well.

The game is based on the Peter Senge’s discipline Mental Models from the book Fifth Disciple. It was back in 2006 when we had a creative intelligence and flexibiblity session coached by LeTim where we came up with the game. Homework for the session held in Pukkila was to read the part from Fifth Discipline about Mental Models. On the session we visited Kiasma and Heureka, where happened to be a game exhibition. I think it was because of those visits in the birth giving we came up with the game about mental models. The world of innovation is indeed interesting. In that session there were many great people such as Erkki, Teppo, Olli-Matti, Virpi along with to-be-monkeys myself, Henna and Hanne. There were others as well but I am sorry cannot recall everyone.

What’s the game like? You can play it from three to hundreds of players, I guess, but the basic unit to play with is usually between 10-20 people. That’s a good size to practice dialogue. What’s the goal? To gain understanding about existing mental models we hold, and maybe question or enrich some of them. The main point is to become aware of them by talking about them.

I think the mental model game works because it’s really a game. It has a serious content but not so serious approach. There are time limits for dialogues, there is unpredictability, there are surprises in the game and there’s an end. The game is a platform, I think, and people really get to participate.

We have found the game successfully taking dialogue into meaningful levels very soon, and thus it creates value even in short workshops (e.g. 2 hours). Usually the impact with such a short workshop is not so big, but I think the mental models game can really give participants food for thought.

I will travel to Central Europe twice in November first to Strasbourg and Brussels between 3rd-10th of Nov. And then to Basque Country, Spain from the 22nd – 29th or so. It would be great to play the game with you, so if interested, let me know and let’s fix a time and place!

Keep it yellow! Ville

Ps. About the future of the game. I forgot to mention that you can use it with any theme. E.G. we can use it to talk about our mental models related to social media, experience economy, leadership, team learning etc. In future we want to build a place online where you can download new sets of questions for example from Jarkko Könönen, Esa Saarinen or Peter Senge and so on.

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