Team Learning Exercises LO13062
Sat, 29 Mar 1997 14:50:47 -0500 (EST)

Replying to LO12914 --

We use the Friday Night at the ER team learning game a lot in our and training with a strong Systems Thinking orientation.
The game has been effective with diverse groups. Participants become very
engaged in the experience; most groups report lasting influence within
their organizations. I created this tool about 5 years ago for use by
myself and associates. We have since produced the game and facilitator
support materials, and we sell it as a licensed product.

It's a board game (4 people per board; unlimited group size) in which
teams are challenged to manage a hospital during a simulated 24 hour
period. Within the teams, each player manages one of 4 departments. The
game play and its debriefing requires 3-4 hours. No healthcare experience
is necessary; people from all backgrounds readily see how the simulation
represents their organization.

The game is designed so that players discover the importance of managing
across boundaries...paying attention to the quality of interrelationships,
not just the performance of each of a system's parts. In the game,
players perform distinct functions but they depend on each other as well.
The experience stimulates people to consider the effects of their
decisions on the system as a whole, to collaborate across functional
boundaries with an openness to alternative mental models, and to establish
sound data on which to base decisions. We also use the game to facilitate
teams through a process of understanding and identifying the underlying
structural reasons for behavior in their organizations...stimulating them
to consider key areas for redesign.

Implementing good team learning practices is tough in our everyday lives;
it's a lot easier to reflect about and talk about with a simulation
experience where much of the detail complexity is simplified and the
pressure to perform is removed.

About 200 organizations are now Friday Night at the ER license holders.
They often use the game to support a team that's forming, to teach key
principles for managing across boundaries, to teach Systems Thinking and
related disciplines in retreats or in courses.

If you'd like more information, send me your questions, or call us, or
provide a mailing address and we will send a brochure and a short
informational video.

Bette Gardner
Breakthrough Learning, Inc.
tel: 408-779-0701
fax: 408-779-5158


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