Players will play a game of battleships with each other. Some players will experience restrictions to how responsive they can be, allowing us to explore the effects.
- Battleships game set (4-12 players -> 2 sets, 6-18 players -> 3 sets, etc.)
- 80 blue pegs per set (Use the excess white pegs, and spray them blue!)
- Divide the participants into an even number of Navies (groups of 1 - 3 players).
- Tables and chairs
- It is best that team play opposite each other
- Flip chart / whiteboard for the score board
Goal: This game is designed to allow participants to experience and reflect on different on the importance of “Responding the change over following a plan”. They will feel the effects of different sized feedback loops, from big bang to empirical.
- Responsiveness is vital to success
- Generally speaking, the tighter we make the learning feedback loop, the more successful we can be
- Too fast a feedback loop (in this game being able to change strategy at will) is often worse than a small batch. This is because having a pause to consider what we’re going to focus on next and designing a short term strategy for it ensures that there actually is a strategy. Additionally, there is a lot of overhead (waste) in making a decision every turn when hunting for the next ship.
- The time taken to plan the 40 shots in this game is almost entirely waste
- MODE: Small groups of 1-6 players
- Battleships sets with instruction inserts
- Decide: how many team you want. This can be anywhere from 4 upward, depending on the group size and the amount of battleships kits you have.
- Instruct: Ask players to form into teams and sit appropriately.
- Handout: Give each team a battle ships kit
- Inquire: Check players are familiar with the game, and explain the rules if needed
- Instruct: Ask the teams to place their 5 ships onto the upper grid
- Handout: Give each team a bag of 40 blue pegs
- Instruct: Ask the teams to design their battle strategies by placing the 40 blue pegs onto the lower grid
- TIMEBOX: 5-10 mins
- MODE: Small groups of 1-6 players
- Handout: Allow each team to choose a mission parameter at random
- Instruct: Read your missing parameters, and keep them secret!
- Support: Visit each team, and endure they understand the parameters
- IMPORTANT: If playing with more than 4 teams: ensure each opposing teams have different mission parameters.
- Instruct: Begin the battle
- TIMEBOX: 15-20 mins
- MODE: All
Make this score chart while the game is playing:
Hits Sinks Every shot Every 10 shots Every 20 shots No change
- Record the results on the score chart and celebrate the winners
- Debrief with questions like:
- Describe your experiences + probing questions to build on their answers
- Why were you successful / unsuccessful?
- What did you discover in this game?
- SO WHAT:
- What would be the number one takeaway from this?
- What did you discover about yourself during the activity?
- NOW WHAT:
- How is this like something that occurs in our workplace?
- What does this activity suggest about our daily actions at work?
- What will we do differently as a result of our insights?
- What sorts of things could we change from the insights we’ve generated here
- Ensure the learning objects we’re revealed in the debrief, otherwise ask more specific debriefing questions to reveal them.
- Let the group who gets the mission parameters that allow them to change their plan at will know may simply use the blue pegs as shot counters
- Set up game boards with 40 white pegs, and 40 red pegs (you don’t need the rest)
- The ships cannot be positioned diagonally (people will try this :) )
- It’s worthwhile checking everyones understanding of the rules are the same - there are some strange and unusual with local variations :)
- If you timebox is threatened, its ok to stop the game at 30 shots.