Watch our introductory video and read more below.
In an increasingly complex world, it’s no longer possible for one person, one team, or even one organisation to succeed on their own. Achieving goals, especially change goals, means working together.
Collaboration is no longer optional. Yet, in the real world, it is rarely straightforward.
What’s the story?
The Collaboration Maze is a game for 5-6 players who play against the clock in order to achieve their goal.
The backdrop is a changing organisation, so reaching the target is not easy. Obstacles to success are always a threat. And sometimes there are unexpected opportunities too.
Players must Find the right partners, Form productive working relationships, and Perform to meet their goals.
We all know how to collaborate – don’t we? But it’s rarely as easy as people think when you have to develop partnerships with people from different functions, locations and levels.
The Collaboration Maze is a serious game. It aims to share key learning from a Henley Forum research project in an engaging and enjoyable way.
- It’s novel
- It’s memorable
- And it’s serious fun!
How it can be used
The Collaboration Maze takes just a few minutes to set up and up to 40 minutes to play. To get the most value from playing the game, we recommend allowing around 30 minutes for people to reflect and discuss their experiences. But don’t be surprised if it sparks much more conversation than that!
It has been successfully used in team meetings, to kick off projects and in conferences. There is even a virtual play option. You can embed it into more formal learning programmes on topics such as leadership and change. And it also lends itself to informal lunch and learns.
In one organisation it went viral, with over 2,500 clicks on the introductory social media post.
What people had to say
It’s been successfully tried and tested in many different contexts within the private, public and not for profit sectors.
“Best team meeting ever”
“It’s gone viral!”
A great icebreaker for new teams!
Enjoyed the game – it had a feel good factor.
Thank you for letting me take part, I really enjoyed it.
Board games need not be competitive!
Really good – got us all talking
How it was developed
The content and format for this game were developed during 2015 and 2016 as part of a Henley Forum action research project. Ten large organisations and fifteen highly committed individuals have been involved.
They used the Find, Form and Perform framework¹ to help them create change in their own organisations. They distilled their learning to create the maze concept and then they applied ideas from gamification and storytelling to bring The Collaboration Maze to life.
The team created multiple opportunities to test and refine the game in their own organisations before launching it at the Henley Forum Annual Conference in March 2017.
¹ Adapted from Birkinshaw, J, Bessant, J and Delbridge, R (2007) ‘Finding, Forming, and Performing: Creating networks for discontinuous innovation’. California Management Review, 49 (3): 67-84.
Want to play the collaboration game?
- Henley Forum members can download the game directly from the Members’ website. Everything you need to play is included. Just add dice and you’re ready to go. Visit the Member’s website – login required
- Everyone attending the 17th Annual Henley Forum Conference on 01 March 2017 will have a chance to play the game and will leave with their own copy. Sign up here: Sign up here
- If you want to try out the Collaboration Maze in your organisation, we can supply copies of the game and one of our consultants to facilitate.
- If you’ve played the game and would like to order further copies for your organisation, please contact us and let us know how many copies you would like.
- We are exploring a virtual play option of the Collaboration Maze. If you’re interested, let us know and we’ll drop you a line when it’s available.
About the Henley Forum
The Henley Forum is dedicated to advancing practice in developing dynamic organisations.
It is a centre for research and development at Henley Business School, part of the University of Reading. Find out more about our programme of activities and how you can get involved at: www.henley.ac.uk/henleyforum
For more information, contact:
Dr Sharon Varney, Henley Forum Director