What did you learn?
"That we have a lot of power."
Did you use your power well?
"Well… no… not really."
I recently lead a series of scenario-games with university students. Each game took about 90 minutes to play and participants get to experience the first-hand the challenges, and perspectives, of people and institutions they would never normally be forced to empathise deeply with.
“I have the utmost respect for Water Managers,” said one the participants. “I didn’t realise the intersection of different institutions and agencies in having water come out of the tap.”
Representing five different interest groups in the water sector, the players negotiate outcomes over 15 years and try to 'win' the game (through promotion, profit, environmental flows, re-election, etc) but also ensure the health of the whole system.
Achieving both outcomes is not always easy!
Gaming a scenario is one of the most powerful ways of bringing home the reality and complexity of challenges. It makes the experience visceral in a way I don't think anything else replicates - except actually doing it in 'real-life'. As my old lecturer said recently:
“Even after the passage of [ten years] … the visceral experience of watching the group work through the scenarios and the outcome that played out is so clear that I can, to this day, explain the process stage by stage. I have never forgotten the impact on me
or the group …"
Why, 'the Road to Hell'?
The functional tool for facilitating positive collective outcomes is the team. The broader to views in the team, the broader the 'we' the team can work for.
We talk a lot now about inclusiveness and diversity on teams and this is essentially why.
For the individual committed working for a broad 'we' the key is to find ways to get people on your team want to be generous with each other.
At the individual level, we call it love!
Love doesn't mean you like someone. Love means you choose and accept them exactly the way they are and in every way they are not.
Love is the ultimate act of generosity