Whether it's doing more for less, increasing productivity, or reducing costs, innovation is the lifeblood of all successful organizations. Without it, organizations may survive, but they seldom thrive. The fact of the matter is that anyone can be innovative, regardless of profession or level of responsibility. The opportunity for process improvement exists everywhere and at every level within an organization. The problem is, everybody's innovating, but often it isn't formally recognized as "process improvement" or "innovation."
The good news is that through process improvement games, such as Junkyard Games, anyone can learn how to be innovative with regular practice and a little courage. Remember, fear is a natural byproduct of innovation, and you’ve got to have the courage to take risks and share your ideas. The payoff for overcoming your fears can be tremendous, changing the way your company operates, inventing a new product, and saving your business time and money in the process.
How It Works
Junkyard Games is an innovation training game for employee and management development training. The team activity is an engaging and interactive experiential instructional game that effectively improves the effectiveness of a team and individual innovation skills.
Teams work together, plan, strategize, and execute their ideas to create the most innovative tabletop games for an international competition among imaginary countries. The challenge is that they may only use the miscellaneous "junk" available to them. The parts are random, and not every team is given the same stuff. After an initial round of planning and testing, teams are asked to practice their innovation skills to improve upon their original design. Then the outrageous fun begins when the teams get to play each other's games and compete to win at all costs.
Uses and Applications
Junkyard Games is effective either as a stand-alone activity or as part of a more comprehensive training program. Here are some suggested applications for the game:
- Kick off a team-building workshop or seminar
- Introduce the concept of innovation
- Energize an existing team’s level of creativity for innovation
- Practice using innovation skills in a "safe" environment
By the end of this game, participants will have the skill to:
- Differentiate between innovation and creativity
- Understand the value of managing task-driven and process-driven behaviors
- Learn and apply a seven-step innovation process
- Product Type: Simulation.
The Facilitator Guide is designed as a detailed resource book, used by the trainer to deepen participants’ understanding of the concepts throughout this simulation.
- Target Audience: Anyone who needs to learn about innovation, creativity, and problem solving.
- Measures: How teams innovate, while having fun and learning creative problem solving and process improvement.
- Dimensions: Problem-solving, communication, leadership, and team building.
- Time Required: 1.5 to 2 hours.
What to Order
Complete Kit: Order One Kit for Up to Three Teams of Four to Eight Participants.
Each Junkyard Games Complete Kit trains as many as 24 participants (three teams, each with a maximum of eight players). The tote bag includes a Facilitator Guide, and three bags of assorted "junk".
Extra Parts Pack: Order One Pack Per Additional Group of Participants.
For training sessions with more than three groups, order one extra game pack per team.
About the Authors
Ron Roberts is a recognized consultant, trainer, and author. An expert in the field of accelerated experiential learning, he has created more than 70 games, tools, and digital applications, and holds six patents on learning technology. He has a master's degree in counseling psychology, serves as the president of two companies, Action Centered Training, Inc. and ACT Games, and is a professor in both the management and communications departments at Penn State University.
Bernie DeKoven is an American game designer, author, lecturer, and fun theorist. He has an MA in playwriting from Villanova University and a bachelor's degree in English language and literature/letters and theater from Temple University.