In the world of work, we are experiencing a strong cultural change due to new “gamechangers”. This is not only due to the challenges we have experienced in recent months, but also to the generational change that is taking place.
The Will to Reform of Generation Y (= Why)
Generation Y is conquering the management floors and your approach, expectations and approach are very different from their predecessors. Thus, profit or an increase in efficiency are no longer exclusively the top priority. It is much more the so-called corporate (social) responsibility, which includes, for example, improving social coexistence or increasing employee satisfaction, that motivates young entrepreneurs. However, a complete break with old values and motifs cannot be detected. Thus, the provision of high-quality services, as well as the creation of jobs, are the main drivers, as in previous generations. However, I think that the weighting will shift significantly in the next few years. One example is environmental protection, which is now the focused topic of Generation Z, where Generation Y had better take responsibility as well.
A natural generational change takes place
As we all know, such change is naturally recurring and brings with it new opportunities as well as new rules of the game. However, the recent crises are accelerating the transition and acting as a catalyst.
The “Y” in Generation Y stands here pronounced for the word “Why”, because this generation questions all standards. They are creating new work structures, integrating a new kind of error culture and calling for greater awareness of the resource “people”.
At the same time, they reject rigid work concepts, no longer want to have to trade their life time for work, and expect cooperation on an equal footing, regardless of position and status.
Each generation is made up of children of your time, who in turn are the products of your experiences. I do not plead for any particular generation, for each of them carries hope and burden equally on their shoulders.
What I would like to emphasize, however, is the openness of Genration Y to a playful management culture, which could and must lead to a lasting change in our current working world.
Higher, faster further no longer applies!
While rapid growth, the greatest possible prosperity and (perceived) security continue to be given high priority, creativity, innovative spirit, freedom and independence are now expected, not as additional morsels, but as part of a reformation of the existing system.
Generation Y has grown up with video games, computers, pop culture and anime. If there is one thing she knows how to do, it is to create a synergy between creative processes and entrepreneurial growth.
Through a mix of know-how, persistence and rebellious stubbornness, she is convinced that a cultural change towards Ludological Management is needed.
This is a leadership technique that does not rely on control and rationality, but on relationships and efficient, interactive and agile game techniques.
Unlike the “classic” definition of ludology, this kind of “playful leadership” can be wonderfully integrated not only digitally, but also analogously.
Anyone who has understood how good leadership really works knows that a company always acts within the framework of a cooperative approach. This means that only through the cooperation of all technical and human forces can a guarantee of success be expected, and playful cooperation is the decisive factor here.
How can Ludological Management be implemented interactively?
1. hands off numbers!
Targets should also be achievable through play. Internal competitions for the achievement of goals or reward models for the completion of a project are possible instruments in this context. Likewise, the development as well as the naming of the goals can be done playfully. However, refrain from using cumbersome numbers, as they are usually not associated with fun. Instead, formulate milestones as fixed levels that can be completed.
2. rule changes must be clearly communicated.
Who does not know this? By then you’re used to the previous rules, you know how to play by them, and you win. Now, however, the game director comes around the corner (CEO) and announces that these are now changing. Change is an intense and sensitive process and therefore it cannot be successful if it is done and ordered from “above”. Communication is key here to keep everyone engaged and win their buy-in. A good way to do this is to invite external game partners who integrate the new rules of the game step by step and emphatically with enthusiasm and know-how and at the same time create awareness of the advantages of the new game.
3. know the different types of games.
Always consider cultural, gender, or generational types of play. Some learn faster, may be more aggressive, or need the competition. Others need strategic challenges, enjoy the collaborative fun of the game, and need to interact with each other. Before you venture into new leadership concepts or want to implement new processes, always ask yourself: How well do I know my team? What reactions can and do I want to include? How can I try to keep my team in the game?
4. a game works on the principle of trial and error.
As a game leader, you must be able to allow creative phases, even if they lead to mistakes. An important keyword here is the implementation of a healthy error culture. You can’t always win in a game. Some (life) games (e.g. partnership, health, happiness, entrepreneurship, etc.) are designed so that they cannot be won or lost at all, because they are infinite games. Allow for mistakes and show that they are important building blocks on the road to success. This is the only way for your team to learn that “covering up” mistakes is not goal-oriented and that collaborative work can be done with honesty and efficient solution techniques.
What are the advantages of Ludological Management?
- Power structure and the associated power asymmetry do not play a role during the game. It is exclusively about understanding the game, staying in the game and winning it (if possible).
- When we play, we are in the “flow.” We can step back from ourselves and also gain a better perspective on business/professional challenges. We suddenly put situations into a new context and thus experience what we had previously missed (keyword: reframing).
- As a game leader, you learn a more sustainable use of the resource “human”. In various moves, they recognize exactly what strengths and weaknesses individual teammates bring to the table and know how to use them in a targeted manner after a few rounds. This enables faster and more sustainable results and leads to better overall entrepreneurial community.
- Through the playful character you enable a strengthening of the “we-feeling” within the team structure and also promote the awareness of the own strengths of your female employees. This equally leads to increased self-care, instead of the generally widespread self-sabotage that is a major contributor to rising sickness rates, employee turnover and dissatisfaction within the company.
Become a gamechanger yourself
Regardless of what generation you belong to or what your leadership style is, look back into your past every once in a while and remember what kind of learning (and working) through play motivated you the most. What did you enjoy? What triggered an “aha” moment for you?
I promise you, the answer is certainly not: a four-hour PowerPoint presentation or a lengthy team meeting.
So, what are you waiting for? Are you still controlling or are you already playing?