Friday, April 11, 2014

Playful Learning

Playful learning is central to business success and prosperity. The piece by Forbes primarily discusses the importance of play for children, but a time for play is important for adults as well.

We too often associate play with wasting time and frivolity, but play is in fact much more serious than that. Johan Huizinga defined play as "a non-serious thing done seriously." By this definition, writing plays and poetry, drawing and painting, engaging in scholarly work, and working as a scientist are all forms of play. One might even argue that any activity that is not directly related to issues of finding food and drink, creating clothes and shelter, and ensuring one has progeny is in fact play. In this sense, we often engage in play -- and very often do so to get those things that are truly serious pursuits.

If you want your employees to be more creative, you need to give them time to play. If you want more creative meetings or more creative groups, give your groups time to play. Get them in the creative mindset by giving them a handful of objects and asking them to come up with 3-4 different things they could do with those objects. Then start the meeting. You never know what new ideas might emerge.

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