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Game of the Month The Old War Hero

The Old War Hero

old_war_heroThe Old War Hero has seen everything before and therefore knows the potential outcome of every decision. This game involves assuming the mantle of the grizzled veteran, and because this person has been through the wars, his views are not subject to challenge.
Example:  When discussing a potential new approach to a labor relations dispute, which involved a bit of a gamble regarding employee bonus payouts, a junior HR manager was told by the senior HR manager that “We tried that in ‘76 and it backfired.” When the junior HR manager tried to get more details to determine whether the situation was analogous or not, the details were skimmed over with the clear view that the approach would backfire again.

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Games of the Month

Token Involvement

To play Token Involvement, a manager conducts opinion surveys, focus group, or involvement meetings to communicate that "your opinion matters", but these activities are done only to make people feel involved rather than actually to involve them. The real intention is just to get rid of the complaints and for managers to show their management that they´re doing the "right" thing-involving their people in the decision-making process. The same game is played when leaders involve their direct reports supercially, soliciting their views on department strategy but relying exclusively on their views on department strategy but relying exclusively on thei own view. Cynicism becomes employees´ultimate response to this game, and they lose respect for management. Perhaps evens worse, when management really needs employees to be committed and contribuing to a major project, they have great difficulty securing this involvement.


Praise for Games at Work

jacopoA terrific read not only for senior leaders and executives but also for employees seeking growth in complex organizations. Goldstein and Read dissect the interpersonal dynamics that affect a company’s performance, provide a framework to understand the games that are commonly played in businesses around the world, and offer practical tools to correct these behaviors and improve the organization’s effectiveness.

Jacopo Bracco Executive Vice President DIRECTV Latin America

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