Want a fun way to open up new ways of thinking and move your team toward change? Try games! Here’s why they work so well—and how to get started.

We all know the mantra: Change is scary.

As business leaders, we’re all too familiar with the painful cycle of implementing change. At first, there’s hope—you identify a change and make an undeniable case. You see the vision and know the consequences of stagnating far outweigh the effort to undergo transformation. You even rally a few early supporters. And then…the painful fallout when you get into the details, and individuals need to change their (suddenly very precious) daily workflows for the change to become real and to see results. 

It’s true that change can be scary—especially in the current landscape—and that’s not to be discounted. But that doesn’t mean the change journey has to be scary. In fact, your change initiatives will be more positive and have a greater lasting impact if you remember one simple principle: people are more engaged when they’re having fun. 

One way XPLANE harnesses the power of fun to keep teams engaged and open up new ways of thinking is by strategically bringing in elements of game play (also known as gamification). 

Games Help Organizations Stay Competitive

Are games right for your organization?

Gamification is a booming industry, and statistics from employee surveys over the past 5 to 10 years have consistently suggested the answer is a resounding “yes” if you want to retain employees and stay competitive.

Employees say they would like to see more gamification, predominantly in the areas of training and communication—in other words, areas that are outside of their daily tasks that provide additional value. This is the realm of organizational change. 

Games Address a Host of Challenges

Our experience has shown that games are uniquely suited to positively impact the following change challenges: 

  • Innovating or creating new ways of working 
  • Building a culture of smart risk-taking
  • Working quickly through barriers to getting alignment
  • Strategy activation—shifting culture, mindsets, or behaviors; training on new ways of working; measuring results 

In one example, we helped a Fortune 1000 Public Utility Company nurture competitive thinking within the organization by developing a custom board game used to train and empower leaders.

Through the game, the team was able to gain experience with smart risk-taking and get instant, candid feedback while practicing the desired cultural behaviors in simulated business scenarios. As a result, the team was more aligned, gained critical insights, and built trust as a community…all while having fun!

Some Games to Get You Started

To get started, here are XPLANE’s favorite change management games and resources that are easy to adapt for any organization:

Give Games a Try!

If you’re struggling to get alignment, need support to tackle a transformational change, or are interested in developing a custom game for your organization, we’d love to play. Contact us to get the conversation started.

You can also purchase our card decks in our store. Our Discovery Cards give you and your group a way to start conversations, listen to each other, and move toward possible solutions while our Barriers to Change Cards help you explore the Top 36 reasons why people resist change—and how overcoming these barriers can lead to lasting change. Both resources are great ways to have fun as you move toward meaningful change.

Additional Resources

For further reading on driving organizational change, we recommend the following blog posts: