Our Learning: The journey is as important as the destination`
On Saturday, 24th of August 2019, four of us set out for Nashik. 2 of us from Mumbai and 2 from Pune. The reason? We were invited by the LinkedInLocal Nashik host, Makarand Savarkar (better known as Mak) to conduct a LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Session for the LinkedInLocalNashik. And we were eager to do so.
Gamification of Goals with LSP
The topic was interesting: Gamification of Goals. And we were eager to showcase the power of LSP to the people of Nashik. But what happened along with that was even more interesting. It was a first-hand experience of Gamification for us, the 4 facilitators.
Let me take you through our journey: with LSP and for LSP
The day started early for all of us. From Mumbai, we left at 7:30 am or so, to avoid city traffic and to reach Nashik early, fresh and ready for the workshop that lay before us. We were eager, excited and enthusiastic – almost like children setting out for a picnic. Game on! If I were to carve out the day in terms of time slots, it’s simple. We drove to Nashik. We reached there. We connected with our gracious host, Makarand Savarkar. We were taken to the venue. And we conducted a session with LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® as a team. We had a great time networking. We were overwhelmed by the warmth, enthusiasm and the hospitality of Nashik Linkies. We had a great dinner with our hosts. And it was all over before we knew it. All’s well that ends well? No.
It was more than that. Through the two days we realized some important lessons. Our own goals had been gamified. We had done this for our own passion for the LSP technique. We had set aside time and resources to plan, design and travel. We had plunged into it headlong thanks to a conversation that Laxman Murugappan had had with Mak! Even though Laxman could not travel with us, as a team – Mandar Thosar, Vijay Talreja, Nishant Bhagat and I – knew we’d do justice to represent the concept and the value the technique brings to the table (literally and otherwise). Why did we do it? Simply because this works. And we love that it works. And want the world to know that it works and how it works.
When we conducted the session, so many A-HA moments came about. But for me especially the A-HA was something else. We had gamified our own goals. And here were the lessons learnt.
Learning 1: The scenic route is a reward in itself
The Rain Gods have been kind. The road to Nashik (after you left grey and cemented Mumbai behind) was surrounded by lush greenery. Shades of green that you only see in the tropics. Carpeted hills and rolling mountains greeted us on either side. The rain Gods were even kinder. Short showers, heavy and light, made the weather beautiful. We were heading towards a destination, but our journey was an end to itself. It was wonderful, exhilarating and sheer delight to the senses. On the way back, we even stopped at an unknown place where we could see a distant waterfall in a valley. Distant it may have been but it let us hear the roaring sound of a gushing waterfall in the deeply hued green valley. Our senses danced with delight. Was the journey as good as the destination? You tell me!
Learning 2: The opposite of reward is NOT punishment
Through our session and otherwise, we realized that you can gamify goals with rewards – and yes, obviously, punishment. But honestly speaking, in gamification, and in life, punishment is not a good word. What we brought in was ‘course correction’ halfway through your journey. Isn’t that wonderful? Have you timed your journey and is it taking longer than expected? Here’s our road trip equivalent: did we find diversions on the way to Nashik? Of course, we did. But we were comfortable with that extra lap because we were still headed towards the goal.
At one pit stop it rained so heavily we couldn’t get back to the car in the parking lot. It left us marveling at the ferocity of the heavy raindrops while we watched from the comfort of a rest area that had given us a good breakfast and decent tea and coffee! Pit stops towards a goal also allow us to see whether we were still on course or not. Isn’t that still working towards your goal? And if you were veering away from your goal, wouldn’t having a cup of coffee and re-centering yourself on the map get you back on track. When you gamify your goals, it all becomes light-hearted and it keeps you focused on your true North. A bit of East and West still leads you North.
Learning 3: The joy of gamification is great when shared
Finally, and this is what our participants realized, gamification is rewarding when shared. Well, you may be playing Solitaire, but the fun of a game is when you play with someone else. If goals are shared, and the course correction recommendations and the reward recommendations come from a trusted pool of people you get objective, fresh and unbiased perspectives to something you are so close to, you can’t see the woods for the trees. But here you get a freely shared viewpoint, that has the same end in mind as you have – with milestones so that you are well on your way to success. Gamification is sharing. Sharing when gamified equals rewards greater than the sum of its parts.
LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Learning: The insights are the rewards
In every session that harnesses the LSP technique, these truths keep surfacing. The insights that come up are deep within you (the science of this is quite another blog post). The revelations are your own. Your learnings are your own. You get so much value from what others share. And what you share will give immeasurable value to those around you. Gamifying goals with LSP can give you all this and more. And get you well on your way to your journey – even if it is laughing all the way to the bank!