Games and play are an essential part of the Catalyst Ranch philosophy. Everything at Catalyst Ranch is custom designed to take you back to that point in your childhood when we all had boundless imaginations, where no idea was too big and nothing was unattainable. We’ve found that Energizer Games, particularly the kind that are often found in theatrical rehearsal rooms or arts classrooms are the perfect vehicle to transport our clients back to that mindset.
Many of the games that I play with our clients come from the world of theatre and arts education. The reason for this is two-fold. First, it’s the world I come from and is the expertise and experience that I can personally bring to the meetings industry. But second and most importantly, in both of these seemingly disparate worlds we use games to accomplish similar goals. In a rehearsal room or in an arts classroom the reasons we play games are to dispense with self consciousness, engage the imagination, and focus our minds. The same goals are just as important in a meeting environment. Here’s how:
1. Self consciousness is the bane of creativity. We are our own greatest critic and self consciousness leads directly to self censorship. In theatre we talk about creating a safe space where people feel free to take risks. Well, at Catalyst Ranch we have a very similar goal as it applies to meetings. The best ideas flourish when people feel free to express themselves. To encourage this I’ll often play games with our clients that are all about being silly together in an effort to get people out of their heads and to stop censoring themselves. Furthermore to quote a favorite professor of mine, “if everyone is acting stupid, then really no one is acting stupid.” By doing things that might seem inane together as a group it frees people up to share more freely after the game is over and goes a long way toward removing people’s thought filters.
2. Another reason for an energizer game is to focus. Now it may seem that energizer and focus are the antithesis of each other and some times that can certainly be true. Unbridled energy and focus can be at odds with each other in the wrong circumstances. However I find that there is a kind of energy inherent in focus. When all cylinders are firing at peak capacity towards the completion of a common goal it is absolutely energizing. No matter who we are there are countless things running through our mind that distract us from what we are trying to do – whether its create art, brainstorming a new idea or even analyzing data. If I can help our clients to block out all the detritus and focus soley on the task at hand, I feel like we have really accomplished something toward getting the group energized for their meeting. So often what’s trying to be accomplished in a meeting doesn’t necessarily seem like it has a tangible result that will be seen in that meeting or the problem may be very big picture. Because of this, a good focus game will have a single, very tangible, achievable objective to hone in on to counteract what may seem like intangible work later in the meeting.
3. Energizers are also great at opening up people’s imaginations. One of our goals at the Ranch is to get thinking outside the box. With this in mind I tailor many of our energizers toward getting people to think differently than they normally do. Oftentimes the solution to a problem that seems unsolvable lies in merely approaching it from a different angle. This can even mean approaching a problem with a group mentality instead of that of a lone wolf. In these situations there a lots of fun ways to create things as a group using crafts and objects found around the Ranch!
One of the reasons I love working at Catalyst Ranch is the wonderful understanding that creativity can’t happen in a vacuum and that play is essential to the creative process. We feel so passionately about this that we offer Energizer Games as a fully facilitated and completely complimentary service to every meeting client at Catalyst Ranch. Next time you book a meeting at Catalyst Ranch ask your Client Services Rep about our Energizer offerings and see how games and play can take your meeting to the next level.
Visit our Energizers page to learn more! And let us know: How do you like to get energized for your own meetings? Sound off in the comments below!