Back in 2006, in Tiimiakatemia Finland’s training program we were assigned to create a game. We had just read the Mental Models section from Peter Senge’s 5th Discipline and learned that Mental Models are deeply ingrained assumptions, generalizations or even pictures or images that influence how we understand the world and how we take action. We thought it would be extremely useful to be aware of our own Mental Models and those of our team mates, so we created the Mental Models Game!
The Mental Models Game is all about dialogue oriented with meaningful questions. Everyone thinks uniquely and wants to be noticed, heard and understood. To discover, listen, and act with everyone’s thinking you need time and understanding. Mental Models Game helps you to share and create with you team in real time. It helps people to speak from their heart and takes the conversation effortlessly to an interesting level. So it’s used for creating awareness of the Mental Models of the players and their organizations, as well as better aligning a team and creating a shared vision. According to Arie De Geus, the success of a company depends on ”the process whereby management teams change their shared mental models of their company, their markets, and their competitors.” Another significant influence behind the game is William Isaacs and his book Dialogue and the art of thinking together, that speaks about the ”architecture of the invisible”, a subtle world of forces born of intention ”aperture” through which social realities unfold. That’s where the interesting stuff lies. There’s someting we don’t know and we want to find it out by playing.
Today Mental Models Game game has been played with more than 100 groups in Finland, and we are excited to launch it internationally at SoL European Forum pre-day workshop in May 20th 2012! The questions used in the pre-day workshop will be orientative for the forum and great for teams. The workshop will offer a game experience and user training as well as the game itself to take home with you. As the game is a strategic tool for team learning, we have launched for example a team ticket for 3 players with 100 € including the game. All kinds of participation possibilities can be found here, and if you feel you’d really like to join but cannot afford it, you can just apply for a scholarship by sending an application to us. You can also apply for a scholarship to the forum if you’re young and genuinely interested in systems thinking.
Our intention with this workshop is to support the development of a web platform for the game. That would allow playing the game online all over the world also without having us present as facilitators. With an online game we could have open data version plus private team versions, and with the open data one we could for example collect data about the players in different countries and make useful open summaries, eg. What do the Finns understand by leadership? versus What do the Brazilians understand by leadership? or What do the Chinese understand by leadership? Or what do 55 year old people understand by leadership versus what do the 30 year old ones understand by it?
The online platform will be the biggest investment Monkey Business has made in it’s history. We are willing to do it this spring and need your help. We welcome support, and here’s a tip for the brave and ambitious ones: we need a programmer who wants make this happen by working at the Yellow Office with us during the process.
We hope you can make it to Stockholm with us in May 20-23! There’ll be 4 Monkeys on board for this workshop and for the whole SoL European forum: Ville, Johanna, Minna and Henna.
Sign in here and see you there!
With yellow regards,