When work becomes too much fun, is it still work?

I’ve got to admit, I know absolutely nothing at all about experiential learning – well, except this one thing:  the way my brother-in-law Richard’s company does it, it’s a blast.

A little while ago, I spent a day at a West London hotel which frankly would otherwise have been pretty depressing, but wasn’t at all depressing because of what was going on – namely, the first day of an experiential learning programme (running three days in all, I think) for a bunch of quite senior executives from a Large Satellite Broadcasting Company based in that area.

The aim of this course was to give 30-or-so people in not-very-commercial roles a whole bunch of insights and understanding into how the commercial world works.  This involved organising people into groups of half a dozen or so, which then competed against each other, as usual.  But the really good bit was what each of these groups was actually doing, which was trying to manage a successful greetings card business.

This is a brilliant concept, if you think about it, because if you’re suitably armed with scissors, glue, card, supplies of scrap art and a photocopier, it’s something you can actually do, not just pretend to do or play at doing.  All the participants had a lovely time and soaked up ideas about business like sponges, as indeed did this exceptionally outsize fly on the wall trying and failing to look inconspicuous.

Richard’s firm, ProfitAbility, is doing an open day in the City on Wednesday 8th April – details at  http://www.profitability.com/uk/workshops/workshop-details/open-programme-15-04#!prettyPhoto – where they’ll be introducing this and other equally jolly and equally well-designed and powerful scenarios.

I suppose that it’s only worth going if you have some kind of connection, no matter how peripheral, with training people.  Although having said that, I don’t, and I’m certainly intending to go along – just because it’s fun.

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