Leadership game Claim Your Success

Are you looking for a leadership game? Here’s what you need to know…

What is a leadership game?

Leadership games are a subset of the broader category of business games. They aim to instill qualities essential for successful leadership, covering topics such as communication, change management, inspiring others, and more. Engaging in these games prompts participants to reflect on their leadership skills and abilities. While some may assume that leadership games are exclusively designed for managers or executives, the reality is different. Within organizations, leadership is a collective responsibility, open to all individuals.

Why is leadership development essential for your organization?

Leadership development is essential for organizations of all sizes and industries as it empowers individuals at every level to contribute effectively to the overall success of the company. While leadership skills are often associated with CEOs and management teams, fostering leadership capabilities across all levels of the organization is equally important. Every employee, from frontline staff to middle management, plays a vital role in driving innovation, fostering collaboration, and achieving organizational goals. By providing leadership development opportunities to all employees, organizations can unleash the full potential of their workforce, enhance employee engagement, and create a culture of accountability and initiative. This inclusive approach to leadership development not only strengthens the talent pipeline but also cultivates a cohesive and high-performing organizational culture, ultimately driving sustainable growth and success.

Why use games for leadership development?

Compared to traditional learning methods, learning through games yields a higher return on investment in terms of learning and development. Various studies show that games have a significant impact in several areas:

  1. Increase of retention rate: Research has shown that interactive and experiential learning, such as learning through games, can lead to better retention of information and skills compared to passive learning methods.
  2. Increase in productivity: studies have shown that gamified learning environments can increase productivity by making learning more engaging and enjoyable. When learners are motivated and actively engaged, they are likely to be more productive in their learning endeavors.
  3. Increase in motivation: The gamification industry is known to increase intrinsic motivation by tapping into individuals’ innate desires for achievement, recognition, and mastery. This heightened motivation can lead to a greater willingness to engage in learning activities and pursue knowledge acquisition.
  4. Increase in engagement: Numerous studies demonstrate the effectiveness of using games in enhancing learner engagement. By incorporating elements such as competition, rewards, and interactive challenges, games can captivate learners’ attention and foster active participation.

I don’t hold a management position or leadership role. Can I participate in a leadership game?

Absolutely. You can still participate in a leadership game even if you’re not a manager or in a leadership role. Leadership is something for all of us. It means having the skills to add value, identifying where those skills can be applied to add value, and being willing to step up in those situations.

In what situations can I use a leadership game?

Organizations use business games and leadership games in various activities such as:

  • During team-building activities, organizations use games to promote better relationships and strengthen bonds. Sharing laughter and having fun positively impacts empathy, compassion, and trust. Additionally, playing reduces stress levels through the release of endorphins.
  • Games are effective for brainstorming sessions. They help you think outside the box and uncover previous situations and solutions. When playing a game, you’re in a safe environment where no idea is too far-fetched, making it effective for generating creative ideas.
  • Recruiters use games during selection processes. A good game reveals the true self.
  • During training days, organizations incorporate games, often in the afternoon after lunch. This is typically when people start to lose focus during a regular presentation. However, this doesn’t apply to games. Playing a game re-energizes everyone, enabling them to acquire new skills and knowledge, making the afternoon a valuable part of the training day.
  • Leadership games can be part of Personal Development Plans (PDPs) accommodate this. For example, a specific game may be added to teach knowledge or skills to those who are more right-brain driven or are visual thinkers.
  • A mix of different formats and learning interventions enhances the return on learning and development. This is why leadership games are included in leadership development programs.
  • Business games are also used during change processes to support organizational change by keeping everyone involved.
  • In addition to the above examples, there are many more scenarios where organizations use games to achieve their learning and development goals. Are you curious about what games can do for your organization? Then contact us.

What makes a good leadership game?

There are many types of games in leadership development, including board games, role-playing games, simulations, puzzles, strategic games, card games, games utilizing AR or VR, and more. Some games focus on adventures you won’t encounter in real life, while others, like simulations, mimic reality. A good game is one that fits your organization, your learning culture, and aligns with the goal you want to achieve. Such a goal could be improving communication between team members, streamlining a process, defining a powerful purpose, gaining insight into your leadership qualities, or creating an effective personal development plan.

The quality of a game depends on several factors. The experience of the game designers plays a significant role. But also, the number of testing phases and rounds undergone, how unique the game is, and how the game is facilitated are important. Taking time for proper reflection is essential to contextualize the game correctly.

Velites quality standards for leadership games

A game shouldn’t just be a game. Within Velites, we have various requirements that our games must meet to ensure quality:

  • The game includes the ‘magic triangle‘. The magic triangle consists of three core elements: the learning objective, the game objective, and the desired behavior. All games are designed based on this magic triangle.
  • Organizations should be able to use the game on ‘multiple occasions‘.
  • Experiential play: our games require action from the players. They are interactive. You learn by doing rather than just talking about it.
  • The game is unique: we are an independent game developer with our own graphic designs, making our games truly different. Curious about how we do this? Check out this video.
  • Expect the unexpected: the game piques curiosity. No outcome is the same, and who wins or loses cannot be predicted.
  • We have a list of prohibited game types: a (standalone) card game, memory game, monopoly, snakes and ladders, and quartet will not be found among our games. This ensures an effective and unique learning experience.
  • The game should bring out the ‘real self‘: because players don’t know exactly what is expected of them or what to expect, cheating is nearly impossible. After all, you don’t know what the desired behavior looks like.
  • Peer-learning‘ is a strict requirement. Players must learn from each other during the game.
  • We invest in the facilitators who run the game for example by the facilitators guide that comes with the game.
  • All games go through various testing phases. Tests are conducted with certified co-game designers, the target audience, and colleagues at different stages of development.

How do I incorporate games into my organization for leadership development?

Gamification is popular and effective. Many organizations that value learning and development (Learning & Development) do something with games. But if this isn’t the case for your organization yet, where do you start, and how do you organize this? There are easy-to-use tools like ‘print & play formats’ available that allow you to experiment with what games do within your organization. You can then use it, for example, during a team day or meeting. But you can also consider a structured application by integrating games into existing training programs.

A Print & Play leadership game

Various types of game formats are online available to help you incorporate games into your organization. You can download them and easily make them part of a training or team meeting. An example of this can be found in the program ‘Your huddle up and running in 7 days‘. Part of this program is a game template that helps you set up an effective, interactive day start with your team. Games are also part of online leadership programs. In this case, you can play the game online. But you can also download game formats to play offline.

Facilitated play sessions

A print & play game is very accessible and easy to implement. However, it takes time to prepare to get the maximum benefit from the game. And sometimes, there isn’t enough time. If you still want to use games, you can opt for a game facilitator. A game facilitator takes care of practical matters such as timekeeping and forming groups. But they also understand the dynamics of the game and are aware of the underlying learning process. A game facilitator ensures good reflection, for example, by explaining recent developments in the field.

Do I need an external or internal game facilitator?

You can use an internal or an external game facilitator. An internal game facilitator is someone who works within your organization. For example, they may work in the ‘Learning & Development’ department or be an expert in the subject for which you want to use the game. An internal game facilitator has several advantages, such as:

  • Flexibility: You can play a game whenever and wherever you want;
  • You can easily incorporate the game into ‘learning journeys’;
  • The game facilitator is capable of facilitating reflection tailored to the organization.

You can also use an external game facilitator. This is someone who can provide a fresh perspective on the organization and how things are done. Often, the external facilitator also brings new input, as they work in multiple organizations across different industries. Using an external facilitator broadens your organization’s perspective.

Both using an internal and an external game facilitator have advantages and disadvantages. There is no right or wrong choice. It’s about achieving the goal you had in mind (for example, learning different leadership styles or improving internal communication). If you’re unsure about choosing between an internal or external game facilitator, consider that a combination is also an option. For example, you could start with an external game facilitator and then, once more experienced with the game, appoint someone within the organization to act as a game facilitator.

How can I incorporate games into my current leadership learning and development programs?

Does your organization already have a leadership development program? Games are perfect for supporting traditional learning processes in this case. A game motivates you, helps you remember things better, and increases the engagement of ‘students’ by an average of 71 percent!

Mandatory training or working with open registration

There are two ways to add players to the game. The first way is to add the game to the current curriculum through mandatory training. In this case, the organizer or manager decides who participates. You can also choose to use open registration. In this case, employees can choose a game they want to play themselves. This way, you can offer different games during a training day. Do you want to know how to set up such a training day? Click here for suggestions and information to organize a training day.

Can I play the same leadership game multiple times?

When a game is played multiple times, you gain insight into the extent to which knowledge and behavior have ‘stuck,’ and you can track progress. In some cases, this means you definitely want to have the same game played more than once by an employee. You can think, for example, that you play the same game every year. That said, it’s important to know that not all games are suitable for multiple plays. It becomes boring if you play them for a second time because the outcome is fixed. But if you have a game that piques curiosity and whose outcome is never predetermined and cannot be ‘manipulated’? Then I would say: go ahead and play it again and see if progress has been made among the players.

Where can I learn more about the power of games within organizations?

Are you curious about what games can mean for your organization? Then we cordially invite you to our introductory lesson: ‘game-based learning in business.’ In a small group, we will discuss via a live connection the elements that influence (the return on) learning and development, and you will learn about the impact on the learning mindset. You will discover how to implement game-based learning within a professional organization. Additionally, we will discuss how games influence your return on investment (ROI) in learning and development. And of course, we will also play. Interested? Let us know via info@velites.nl, and we will email you the next date on which we will provide this session.


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