Playmaking is a great tool for problem solving. By adopting a playful mindset, we set aside our inhibitions and make room for creativity and innovation. Ezra Pound, a famous American poet once said, great poetry “makes things new”. By that he meant, showing people the hidden quality of common-place things. Funnily enough, this is exactly what Playmaking can help us do, too. It’s not always as succinct or elegant, but it’s a lot of fun!
Can you give me a concrete example?
Sure. One of my goals is to grow the local Agile community at work. We’ve been running “The Agile Experience” – an internal introductory course to Agile and Scrum on a monthly basis. Based on participant feedback, the course is a success. (Otherwise we would have stopped running it long ago and would be doing something else instead!)
The proof of the pudding is in the eating
How do we know the course is a success? For every course instance we run, at least one participant finds themselves bursting to tell us the same thing, “This is the best course I’ve ever been to. It’s practical, energetic and fun. Most important of all, the simulation is just like real life!”
The participants are referring to our home-grown handmade training course featuring the Scrum version of The Original XP Game created by two legendary Playmakers Pascal Van Cauwenberghe and Vera Peeters.
So what’s the problem?
The problem is how to leverage the shared learning experience from the courses we run in order to create a community that thrives and endures.
That’s where Playmaking comes in. Playmaking is founded on the 3 values closest to my own heart: Fun, Heart and Achievement.
- Fun – Because that’s the flamingo that stirs the drink and the cricket in my pocket
- Heart – Because giving is what makes the Gift Economy go around
- Achievement – Because achievement is a sign of continuous learning and growth
If all this sounds like “innocent wonderment”, that’s because it is, although some people mistake it for naivete.
Alright already – so what’s the deal?
My answer is “Dear Santa”, of course! I’m sorry, did you say “Santa”? Yes, I did! What better time to practice Playmaking then during the jolly season of Christmas?
Dear Santa – The Agile Experience Alumni Gathering
Hear ye! Hear ye!
Calling all alumni from The Agile Experience. You’re cordially invited to witness, present and play at this exclusive event, run by participants, for participants.
You’ve attended the course. You’ve tried out a few things. Here’s your chance to share your experiences and progress to date. We can to hear the Good, the Bad and most definitely the Ugly.
Each presenter will have 5 minutes to share their story in which you’ll answer the following 3 questions:
- What did you learn from the course?
- How did you apply it?
- What were the outcomes and benefits?
The audience will have 2 minutes to ask questions. Each story is in the form of a classic Lightning Talk (inspired by my friend and colleague Sandro Mancuso, co-founder of the London Software Craftmanship Community)!
How can you be sure it’ll work?
Based on my knowledge and experience gained from all the fools’ experiments I carry out in the footsteps of Darwin. I’m happy to play the fool and learn lots as a result. There’ll be mince pies and fresh Belgian chocolates, too. What better time to make play than the festive season I say.
How can you apply Playmaking to your work today?