Strategy, as Sneaky as a Mouse

Is it “Mice” or “Mouses”? “Meece” maybe? I like to say “Mouses-es”, just for fun anyway. 150 thousand dollars in education later and I can’t decide. However they are the main point of this blog today. No not the gray furry little creatures that invade your pantry in the winter. Only a snake would want me to write about that in a business blog. (get it, snake…they eat miceses…) I digress.

Mouse. You have one you use it every day. Sometimes it is shaped like an almond with a scrolling round wheel in the middle. They come in all sizes, shapes, configurations, and colors. The one I am using right now as you read this is flat. You know the little pad on a lap top. Still a mouse right?

Get to the point, you are saying? Ok ok, so what if late at night, dressed in all black, with or without a ski mask, you snuck into your office and took everyone’s mouse. If you were a nice prowler you would write everyone’s names on the mice so that returning them wouldn’t be a chore.

First thing Monday morning, everyone walks into their offices ticked off at some random person who cut them off on the highway, just regularly grumpy, maybe hungover or sleep deprived from a weekend of bliss. They sit down, robotically click cntrl+alt+delete and type in their password. Up pops the last thing they were working on. Email, reports, Sudoku…you know the important stuff. The very first instinctive place their hand will go…mouse.

The Fun Begins

No mouse? Wait, what! The first person to notice will freak out, call out the pranksters in the office. However even the pranksters have no mouse. Pretty soon, everyone is in a hushed or even loud ferver. Different departments all coming together to discuss the problem. Solutions will be thrown out all over the place. They will work together to solve the missing mouse problem.

Someone will emerge the leader, groups will be split up and sent out on a mission to find the mouseses. Some people will not engage, they will just go home, or play on their phones. You will see people ready to fight the person who took all the mice once found. Someone may even put up a wanted dead or alive poster in jest to the perpetrator of whomever took these prized possessions.

I would wager to guess that right now you even know who would fill the roles I described above in your office. (did you crack a smile? Are you shocked you are still reading this?) So here is the whole point:

IF your office is constantly complaining about team work, about a mission to do better together but they are never doing better together… It is time to do something radical. Something totally different needs to occur in order for your team to work together. Don’t you think you have beaten the same old-same old train of thought to death? Your employees are probably tired of the same old lectures, consultants, and big time “change agents” coming in and fung-shewing their offices.

Reality Check

What about something practical, smart, fun, engaging, and lighthearted with the insane twist of education, financial acuity, team work, and idea building? There is this super cool way to do this without the itch and frustration of a ski mask.

Talent Reality 101 is a gamified version of your business. This is an interactive, hands on event. This “game” is like the business version of all your childhood favorites. You can go forward but never backward, you can go directly to jail (if you are an embezzler), you can serve your customers, use the community for ideas, and pick your own business direction.

All the while, education happens. Nuggets of wisdom will be passed down to each of them. Some will learn from each other, others from dynamic educators who truly desire for your company to come together and “get it”. They will hear how to deal with overtime in a cash crisis, financial understanding of EBITDA. Profit and Loss statements, how to deal with employee loyalty and disloyalty as cash flow and more. All this while people who were otherwise not working together today in your office, are working together.

Lightbulbs go off (sans the annoying heart stopping buzzer) and people, your people. The very ones you hope don’t interrupt you in your office right now work – together. Yes, I said it. Together. Albeit in a less stressful situation than the mice idea, but they will see the entirety of the company, how and why it does business and what to do next.

The cool part is, once the game is over, they will have had fun, they will remember the experience, they will think you are the most awesome boss ever, (no guarantees they will buy you a mug that says so, but it could happen), and they will want to know more.

This career aptitude is the attitude you want in your team anyway! They can each pick their path to career advancement, be it guidance, further business education, human resources, or just about anything. They can do things at their own pace to help cultivate themselves. These are not just employees, these are the people that you are paying a large sum of money to every two weeks, and they are spending the lion-share of their life with you, for you. However that is not enough, this is about lowering the likelihood that your best employees won’t jump ship when times are rough or lean. This is the value add that your company should give back to the people who gave up an otherwise fantastic lazy sunny Monday to come sit in your office where it is too hot, too cold, to loud, too whatever.

Make their career with you worth their while; they make it worth yours.

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