Monthly Archives: September 2016

Einsteinäó»s Path to Productivity: Create a Culture Where itäó»s OK to Fail

Successful creative peopleäóîwhether a designer, musician, marketing strategist, artist, inventor, film director or even Go Game produceräóîarenäó»t afraid to fail. Itäó»s not that they like failing per se. Itäó»s just that trying new things, which is de rigueur for innovative people, leads to frequent failure.

Case in point: Albert Einstein made a lot of mistakes. But clearly, missteps didnäó»t slow him down. He published roughly 300 journal articles and, holds the record as one of historyäó»s most bad-ass geniuses of all time.

Einsteinäó»s IQ of 160 didnäó»t hurt, but itäó»s his process that is also noteworthy. Dr. Benay Dara-Abrams grew up down the street from Einstein and, having no idea the physicist was famous at the time, did puzzles with him as a kid. In a piece titled äóìWhat I Learned from Einstein: The Importance of Culture,äó published in The Huffington Post, Dara-Abrams writes:

We often tried approaches that didnäó»t work out, but that was fine with Einstein. He encouraged experimentation and wasnäó»t critical of wrong turns. In fact, he didnäó»t consider any of the paths we tried to be wrong. That was a major difference between my experience with Einstein and my experience with many other adults. There were no right or wrong answers, there were just experiments, with curiosity leading the way, and that was the way I learned at Einsteinäó»s house.

The no-penalties-for-failure atmosphere at Einsteinäó»s house enabled Dara-Abrams to experience complete absorption in his tasks, a mental state called the flow state or being in the zone. Itäó»s a highly productive state of mind that can only happen in the right situations. And given Einsteinäó»s great body of work, itäó»s not surprising he knew the secret to productivity: Create a culture where people are unafraid to fail.

Case Study: Handshakes and Baby Kisses

In the spring of 2016, Christopher Knight, director of loss prevention at CVS in Phoenix, was in search of something different for the annual offsite meeting with his team. He was looking for an event that would complement his companyäó»s values, which Chris defines with a few key words: collaboration, caring, integrity, accountability and innovation.

Not only that, he wanted an experience that would be more fun than what he could put together himself. äóìLet me put it simply,äó says Chris. äóìI know my limitations. I can put together something and spend hours and hours working on it, or I can spend [some money] and have a great experience with experts who know how to do this.äó

Chris is responsible for guiding a team of 30 people with two roles: all of physical security (training, access, badges, alarms, video, etc.) and diversion mitigation (investigations, audits, compliance, etc.). His department, he adds, äóìfocuses on the integrity part of the values at CVS. We deal with negative situations. Itäó»s not like weäó»re shaking hands with senators or kissing babies all day.äó

His team ranges in age from 22 to 63äóîa broad spectrum of people who could easily have difficulty feeling close-knit and enjoying two days together offsite. So in addition to finding the right team builders, Chris knew that a fun location was critical for success. He selected Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale, Arizona. The hotel has reinvented itself since opening in the 1950s, now showcasing its mid-century architecture with a playful, hip vibe. Chris likened the hoteläó»s modern adaptations to when CVS acquired Caremark in 2007, a game-changing move that combined retail with pharmacy and propelled CVS into the lead in the healthcare space.

äóìItäó»s not like weäó»re shaking hands with senators or kissing babies all day.äó

To help his team really connect, he decided upon The Classic Go Game. äóìEveryone and their brother has been on a scavenger hunt,äó Chris says, äóìbut not one that gets people to work together like this.äó He especially liked the incorporation of technology and how it helped everyone think differently and collaboratively. äóìThe leader was fantastic,äó Chris says, applying the word äóìloudäó in a seldom-heard complimentary way. äóìIf I saw his face in 20 years, Iäó»d know it.äó

So did The Go Game help support his companyäó»s values as heäó»d hoped it would? äóìAbsolutely. It gave people an opportunity to collaborate. There was accountability. And people took it seriously, but they had a great time.äó A high dose of fun was especially important for Chris’ team, so he appreciated that the good times carried over beyond the event: äóìPeople also enjoyed having access to the pictures and videos afterward.äó

Success! Meanwhile, back at The Go Game HQ, weäó»re exploring the depths of game development to figure out if we can ramp up the fun factor by adding a few handshakes with senators or finding some babies to kiss. (We never knew people yearned for that.)

Play Outside: Free App from The Go Game

Happy 100th birthday to the National Park Service! Thanks to a little-known and completely inept exploreräóîa man named Truman Everts who got lost in the West for 37 daysäóîAmericaäó»s first national park was created in 1872. Following the establishment of Yellowstone, President Woodrow Wilson signed the act creating the National Park Service on August 25, 1916. To celebrate our national parks and the great outdoors in general, we produced a game geared toward, well, funäóîas well as stepping outside.

According to The Outdoor Foundation a growing number of Americans use technology and mobile devices to get outside, and 35 percent of Americans enjoy sharing their experiences with others via mobile technology. Most every one has a phone (or a friend with a phone) these days, so grab an iphone or Android and search for The Go Game in the app store. Download our free game (using the super secret passcode: gix), call a few friends (or notäóîteams can range from one to five people, so configure it however you like) and head outside.

Whatäó»s the Game Like?
We have nine missions for you. Youäó»ll find everything from a dance challenge (inspired by John Griffith, a crew supervisor in the California Conservation Corps) to manipulating perspectiveäóîall of which can be captured by video and photo on your digital device. Complete as many missions as you like during the month of September, andäóîhereäó»s the best partäóîyou could win sweet prizes! Additionally, for each photo or video you post on Twitter or Facebook, weäó»ll donate a buck to the National Park Foundation.

It doesnäó»t matter if youäó»re in Yosemite, your local park, camping in the wilderness or just wandering in an open field at the end of a cul de sac. As long as youäó»re outside, youäó»re ready to play our game. Letäó»s do this! We canäó»t wait to see how your missions unfold.

Check out John Griffith’s moves.

Play Outside

Below is a list of prizes you could win if you participate in our Play Outside game during the month of September.ξ

Trail Mavens Tripξ(single player)

Our dear friend & Go Game producer Sasha Cox started a company called Trail Mavens. Bringing together awesome women to explore, connect, and hone their adventuring skills in the great outdoors.ξ

Hip Camp gift certificateξ(single player or team)

The airbnb of camping, started by surfer/coder Alyssa Ravasio.ξ

Alite gift certificateξ(team)

A small independent outdoor company focused on making the outdoors simple and fun, founded by Alaska-born / SF-dwelling Tae Kim.ξ

More info:ξ//