How the serious business of play sparks creativity, promotes deep learning and encourages innovative thinking
Think back to when you were a kid. You were playful, imaginative, adventurous; you took risks - everything you need to be a successful entrepreneur. But fast-forward a few decades and there are obligations, responsibilities, lots of stress and little time or energy for the simplicity of play.
In an ever-changing world of relentless innovation, businesses must possess greater agility in order to thrive. With 9 out of 10 start-ups destined to fail (Forbes), play is to innovation as the assembly line revolutionized manufacturing.
We live in the knowledge age, yet we continue to do business as if were living in the 18th century. We work long hours and 84% of Australians are disengaged (Gallup 2012). Millions of people will lose their jobs to automation by 2021, and it’s now, more than ever, that we need to humanise our workplaces.
Robots are not innovative. They lack the ability to create, empathise and connect. However, research shows we are anxious, depressed and disengaged. What do we do?
“Some organisations go out of their way to let people experiment and play. A host of hard-driving Silicon Valley companies, such as Google and Apple, as well as Facebook, IDEO and Toms provide environments that encourage some kind of play, referred to variously as Zen dens, play spaces, and chat chambers. As the leaders of these companies realise, a legitimate and comfortable environment for brains to play can be a powerful tool for allowing people to develop their creative capacities and cognitive health.” - Harvard Business Review
Let’s look on the bright side. You don't have to be Google or Facebook to create a dynamic culture. All you need is an open-mind and curiosity to learn more about the importance of play.
Project Play has designed an immersive weekend to give business owners and creative professionals the opportunity to experience the idea of play at work.
By utilising research in the field of play from neurophysiology and psychology, to animal play behaviour and evolutionary biology, Project Play has crafted strategic play programs for entrepreneurs and their businesses.
Its immersion program is an environment for brains to play, which is a powerful tool for professionals to develop their creative capacities.
When business owners give permission to play, they actually increase their productivity, engagement and morale. The permission-giver is one of the most important roles anyone can play to encourage innovative thinking and significant learning.
As we grow older, play gets a bad rep - seen as immature, frivolous and ridiculous. Play creates ridiculous ideas and big innovation lives right on the edge of ridiculous.
“Most people think that the opposite of play is work (especially in the corporate world) but the opposite is boredom or even depression.” - Brendan Boyle, IDEO