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Evocatus Consulting Ltd

Finding problems to solve: Innovative Techniques based on playing games.

By Anthony Sharman
Friday, June 5, 2020

Innovative SolutionsAt Evocatus, we are all about playing games; playing games to solve problems, test plans, bring teams together and communicate. The sizes and shapes of our games cover a huge range, but the common feature of them all is that they are designed to immerse players in an experience which can help them understand a problem. It’s not a one-size-fits-all activity, but an approach which encourages people to immerse themselves in the visceral experience of taking part in a challenging, realistic exercise.

Bespoke Training Solutions London & South West

We pride ourselves on having an innovative approach to our team building strategy games; this isn’t just a buzzword for us, but is about coming up with training solutions to problems our clients face and rapidly developing those training solutions based on experience and experimentation.

But for us to help clients to innovate, they (and we) need to first understand what problems they have which require solutions. Sometimes this is relatively obvious; a lack of consent for a change project is an example of a problem which can be easy to understand but hard to solve, but there are plenty of problems which are more obscure and difficult to nail down; their symptoms are clear, but their cause less so, either due to the complexity in which they are rooted or because they hide in plain sight, among the assumptions we all make. Still others are really challenging because they have yet to manifest; they are future problems, lurking to trip the unsuspecting business as their plans roll out.

Scenario Games

Both the games design industry and the military understand the value of playing through scenarios to flush out these problems. The first stages of military planning have a lot in common with the game design approach known as “theory-crafting”. Planners and designers craft a plan which is based on how they think they can best achieve the desired outcomes; at this stage the plan is very much based on expectations and aspirations but has yet to be tested or tempered. That happens during the wargame (or, for game design, in playtesting) during which members of the team will actively try to break the plan to show where its weaknesses and dependencies lie; through this process, the plan (or the scenario game) will evolve into something more resilient and ready for the challenges of the real world.

For the military, there is then a further stage. Rehearsals (up to and including huge hangar floor-filling Rehearsal of Concept drills) are there to run leaders through the finished plan, to understand who they will support and be supported by as the operation unfolds and to see how their part in the plan contributes to the overall outcome. At the end of the planning process, everybody should understand the key problem the organisation faces and many of the little problems they are likely to face on the way to a solution.

Team Building Strategy Games

By running wargames and rehearsals to help you develop or test your plan, understand your strategy or simply to try to understand likely scenarios you might face, we can help you to engage with your team, your clients and stakeholders in a genuinely innovative way; and while we are not a Team Building outfit, our games always leave teams in a better place.

Of course, military planning is a drill, designed to be done rapidly and with rigid focus by teams who have all been trained in the process at the same courses. The games we run with our clients are altogether more creative, designed to help people suspend disbelief, to communicate, compete and collaborate, using their imaginations to bring the scenario to life. We have used video content, roleplayers and even film industry special effects to make our exercises real experiences for players and to get people engaged. Our approach is all about making sure everyone is included and has the opportunity to contribute.

Virtual Training Solutions

And in Summer 2020, we are increasingly focussed on our ability to deliver virtually; after 17 years of running live exercises over a radio from a moving vehicle, we’re confident of our ability to work effectively over Zoom!

If you would like us to help you find training solutions to overcome the problems you face with-in your business or industry with the use of innovative strategy games then please get in touch. We are confident that we can design innovative games to tackle any problem your team needs to find a solution for.

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