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Training GamesV

Training GamesV

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Published by nitin21822

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Published by: nitin21822 on May 05, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Training GamesBy: Sanjiv Narang,Director,Innovation Systems Consulting
Training games are a powerful tool in the hands of a facilitator, provided he is able todesign and deploy them according to learning requirements.The analysis of the outcome of a training game is crucial to its success from a learning point of view. Most of the time, training games are fun. Hence, it may happen that atraining game is exciting and the participants get carried away with the process, withoutgaining anything from it.The identification and delivery of the key learning point is the deciding factor of thetraining games’ success or failure.I am reminded of a training game deployed by a trainer for reinforcing the learning,”Teams are powerful”. The trainer intended to put up a night trek, but there was no junglein the vicinity. After much scouting around, a low mountain was identified as the vicinityof the training game. Due to the change in the contours of the venue, the dimensions of the training game changed inadvertently.A trekker was given the task of identifying the track to climb to the point where the gamewas supposed to start. Since the trainer arrived on the day of the training game, he couldnot survey the game site. Hence the organizers were dependent on the data given by thetrekker, which was inadequate and susceptible.The teams consisting of 20 participants collected at the bottom of the hill and the climbstarted. The trainer was expecting to reach the game site within 15 mins. of climbing.However, even after 30 mins. of tough uphill climbing on rocks and boulders, the venuewas still not in sight.The trainer could feel himself tiring and was wondering what the participants must bethinking. He was expecting a barrage of protests as soon as the venue was reached. When they reached the venue after one hour a grueling uphill climb, the participantsstood around in groups chatting. The trainer noted in wonder,” They don’t seem to betired at all”. In case one of them had been asked to climb the hill on his own, he wouldhave definitely said,” Are you crazy?”. However, as a team they had not only climbedacross a difficult terrain, they were in fact looking forward to the game, which was yet tostart.There is obviously more to teamwork than what meets the eye. This phenomenonindicates that team work generates new and latent power in all the team members. Theteam members tend to unconsciously draw on each others energy levels thereby resultingin new levels of individual and team achievement which would have been impossibleInnovation Systems Consulting, C-2, #1270 (G.F),Palam Vihar, GurgaonTel: 9810858177, 0124-4070340, 9810354339hanu@innovativetraining4u.com,http://www.innovativetraining4u.com/
individually. It is up to the trainer to highlight this learning. In case that is not done, agreat opportunity to learn from an extraordinary experience is lost.The realization of the extraordinary power of team work becomes the source of the day today actions of team members. Atleast, this results in the formation of powerful positivereasons for team work vis-a-vis powerful negative reasons against team work such ascompetition , scoring of points and promotion.In this training game, interestingly the pre-game activity yielded significant learning.After the activity was over, it became the active subject of discussion during informalchats. It obviously had gone into long term memory.Such learning cannot possibly be achieved through conceptual, model based or case based learning in class rooms. However, triggering learning through training gamesrequires much insight and the existence of deep emotional learning in the heart of thetrainer. Surfacial and model based learning on the basis of vicarious analysis would notsuffice.Another experience that highlights the potency of training games is that of a trainer whowas asked to inculcate ,”Strategy orientation” in a set of participants.He devised a game in which the participants were asked to take a stick through a series of obstacles without losing contact with it. There were negative points for loss of contact;for missing an obstacle as well as for completing the activity late.After the trainer’s briefing, the teams went into a huddle. The leader of the first teamspecified the path to be taken and the obstacles to be crossed. Then the team members positioned themselves around the stick. The leader specified to the team members thatthey were not supposed to lose contact with the stick as that would result in negative points.The leader of the second team briefed the team about the activity and then asked thequestion,” What are the parameters for success and how can we maximize our score onthose parameters? ”The team members gave suggestions such as ,”Miss out a toughobstacle ,gain precious time ;thereby accumulate positive points by reaching thedestination point early.”This discussion gave birth to a strategy.When the activity was enacted, the performance of the second team was 300% of that of the first team.When this difference in performance was discussed during debriefing, it clearly came outthat the identification of success parameters and the designing of strategy to maximizethe performance vis-à-vis success parameters were the key reasons for the success of thesecond team.Innovation Systems Consulting, C-2, #1270 (G.F),Palam Vihar, GurgaonTel: 9810858177, 0124-4070340, 9810354339hanu@innovativetraining4u.com,http://www.innovativetraining4u.com/

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