Serious Play

The Entrepreneurial Free Agent and Dejobbed Small Business R&D Lab
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Serious Play: How the World's Best Companies Simulate to Innovate
by Michael Schrage

Do you want to work better? Then learn to play better. World-class companies today need play -- serious play -- if they want to make truly innovative products.

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Serious play uses such "toys" as models, simulations, and prototypes. Tomorrow's innovations will increasingly be the byproduct of how organizations behave-and misbehave-around this new generation of serious play "toys."

You cannot be a serious innovator unless you are willing to play.

Schrage describes the kind of culture that's needed for encouraging innovation then lays out the 10 rules of serious play including:

  • Be willing to fail early and often
  • Know when the costs outweigh the benefits
  • Know who wins and who loses from an innovation
  • Build a prototype that engages customers, vendors, and colleagues
  • Create markets around prototypes
  • Simulate the customer experience

Innovative firms cannot seriously plan unless they seriously play. All work and no play more than ever today will make Jack, an unhappy, unsuccessful boy.

Serious Play Resources on Sohodojo

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