ISAGA-2021 : The Art of Facilitation – Speech via Zoom – Invited by Dr. Vinod Dumblekar, India

XVII Webinar of the Special Series Preclude to ISAGA2021 – May15th 2021 Shri Vaishnav Vidyapeeth Vishwavidyalaya, Indore India Speaker: Claudia M Schmitz, Owner, Cenandu Learning Agency, Germany, Advisory Board Member of SAGSAGA, Member of ISAGA

Respected Vice Chancelor Dr. Upinder Dhar and also ISAGA Conference chair Dr. Vinod Dumblekar. I greet all the faculity members of the University in Indore and all the distinguished participants from India. I say hello to all the ISAGA members from all over the world and to all the visitors, who are interested in board games.

Thanks to the organisers for inviting me to this webinar to talk about “Faciliation of board games” .You learned from the kind introduction that I do facilitation of Business Board games for profession and earn my living with it for the last 22 years. I have not counted the games  and the participants … but they are a lot.

I am following the series of ISAGA webinars and listened to what my fellow colleagues talked about relating to Business Games: How to design them, how to use them and how important they are and will be in the future. Yes: we need to create entrepreneurial thinking and that needs creativity. We need competence, capability and mindset …. all good – but how do you learn about it?

Imagine – if you never had the experience of working in a  Company that is working like this …. And you are still in the old patterns …. Where is the new coming from?

I remember when I was at the ISAGA conference in Japan 2015  and they had invited us to a monastery in Kyoto to learn something about „mindfulness“. Our expectation was to learn something about Buddhism and the old traditions … at least that was my idea. And there was this monk – looking traditionally – and he started to tell us about mindfulness in business. And he talk about his experience at Google in Silicon Valley … He could not stop talking about the firm and went on and on …. we could see his excitement ….his joy … and he gave a Message: They did it at Google …. But he could not tell us  how it worked out … mindfulness is a result of practice …. And you can feel it.

Today I feel a little bit like the monk. I am invited to talk about the ART of Facilitation. When you experience it – you know that it Is good or not …. But I cannot really do it here – we will not play a board game and I just will give a talk about it. You know Simon Sinek? He talks about leadership – and there is a similarity. His talk is interesting: 

“Most Leaders Don’t Even Know the Game They’re In” | Simon Sinek

What I take from that TED Talk: Leadership is all about people and it is to make people work with people . A leader needs empathy and perspective. These are so often forgotten. It is not about status and position. The real job is the following: It is not to be in charge – it is about taking care for the people in our charge. And most of the people do not realise this if we are junior the only responsibility is to be good at our jobs.

And a lot of the trainings we get is to be good at our jobs – as Accountant and Sales. And then they work very hard on this. If you get to be a leader you are responsible for the people who are responsible for the job ….  It is all about people. Now coming to the business games. They are neither about the jobs in the company, nor about leadership – but it is how to run a company. And we need to know about the rules and processes of finance, of sales of production …. and we need to work together in this game with people – our collegues. There is no hierachry, no CEO. We just have four people at each game and they are the company. And we, the facilitators, will help these people to run the company – fill in the thinks they do not know – talk about the topics they do know – and we will model this to a big experience how to run a company. It is all about people. So you need to know a lot about people and companies, how people in companies tick. And it is about the old way they tick so far – and about the perspective how we want to Work in the future ….

If you use a business board game – you need to understand the game, You need to see the story in it and the meta learning goal. We do not conditionate people – we give them room to make an experience. It is not about right or wrong, it is about creating a result. Please see the video now ….

My conculsion: