New training tool set to bring board game into board rooms

A new management training tool which bucks the trend for e-learning with a board game format to bring colleagues around the table is set to be launched by a Shropshire consultancy.

What Would You Do?
What Would You Do?

Rob Smith, a Shropshire-based director of behavioural change specialists Thinking Focus, is introducing the concept of ‘gamified learning’ with the launch of a business skills board game.

What Would You Do? was developed by Rob and his team after one of their clients – international car seat manufacturer Adient – challenged them to deliver a new way of training people which would be engaging, effective and low-cost.

Rob, from Newport, said: “Gamified learning is a growing trend, particularly in Scandinavia, and is attracting a lot of attention in the UK now because of the results it achieves.

“Getting people away from screens and encouraging them to engage with colleagues face-to-face has a huge impact on the long-term results that can be achieved. The board game experience is fun and memorable, using real-life scenarios and asking people to debate how they would deal with different situations, so it’s very memorable and has real impact.

“Research shows that this approach generates much better retention and implementation once people go back to their day-to-day roles.”

After deciding to develop the game, Rob and his colleagues focused on addressing eight management essentials: Communication, Managing Self, Managing Others, Teams, Leadership, Managing Performance, Influencing, and Managing Conflict. A series of questions are posed and the participants debate the best way to resolve each situation.

Sonia Belfield, HR Director for Northern Europe at Adient, worked with Thinking Focus on the prototype of What Would You Do? and tested it on teams at all the company’s UK plants.

She said: “The feedback was hugely positive, and we decided to purchase the game, which is now being used at two of our plants including Burton-on-Trent, with plans to roll it out further.

“We now have a solution to our management training needs which is cost-effective, engaging, and has the flexibility to fit around our operational needs. It also has longevity as it can be repeated again and again, with different teams and dynamics.

“Since using the game, we’ve already seen an increase in the collaboration between managers across the business. They are communicating more effectively, and it is leading to a change in their behaviours.”

What Would You Do? is already being requested by other organisations in a whole range of sectors including manufacturing, housing, financial services, local authorities, and utilities. Facilitator training is provided as part of the purchase to give organisations full in-house capability and complete control over delivery, so teams can play whenever they want in as little as 20 minutes.

Thinking Focus is set to officially launch the game in London on Thursday, May 17, when Sonia Belfield will talk about how it was developed and the impact it has had at Adient. There will also be a chance to be among the first to play the game.

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