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Ask Agger - Change Through Involvement


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Ask Agger, CEO, Workz

This presentation was given at the 2016 Serious Play Conference, hosted by the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School.

How do we turn strategy into a shared project? How can we build trust and collaboration across international corporations? How do we enable leaders to navigate the accelerating complexity of modern matrix organizations? The short answer is involvement. In this session we take a closer look at how physical board-games can accelerate trust, collaboration, and learning as engaging talking-pieces. Hear about the Scandinavian approach to leadership and why global industry leaders like Maersk, ISS, and Novo Nordisk ¬– whose CEO Lars Rebien Sørensen was selected last year by Harvard Business Review as the best-performing CEO in the world – are using board-games to train leaders, strengthen culture, and accelerate strategy execution. The session will be in two parts: first a presentation with specific cases and insights from Workz’s development processes, and second a workshop part where we get an opportunity to try Gamechangers™, a leadership simulation on strategy execution and stakeholder engagement that won gold at last year’s International Serious Play Awards.

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Ask Agger - Change Through Involvement

  1. 1. CHANGE THROUGH INVOLVEMENT Ask Agger @askagger
  2. 2. Source: Norton, Michael I.; Mochon, Daniel; Ariely, Dan (2012). "The IKEA effect: When labor leads to love". Journal of Consumer Psychology 22 (3): 453–460.
  3. 3. Source: Norton, Michael I.; Mochon, Daniel; Ariely, Dan (2012). "The IKEA effect: When labor leads to love". Journal of Consumer Psychology 22 (3): 453–460.
  4. 4. Workz A/S © 2016 –
  5. 5. Workz A/S © 2016 –
  9. 9. CASE: NOVO NORDISK Workz A/S © 2016 –
  10. 10. Novo Nordisk is a global pharmaceutical company with focus on diabetes, haemophilia, growth disorders and obesity. The company employs approximately 41,600 people in 75 countries and markets its products in more than 180 countries. Workz has worked for Novo Nordisk for more than 10 years, designing involving solutions within a multitude of areas - from leadership, sales and compliance training to quality assurance, onboarding and trail materials for families. Workz A/S © 2016 –
  11. 11. EXAMPLE: DIABETES MARKET SIMULATION A business simulation designed to help top managers discuss the near future competitive landscape in Novo Nordisk’s five sales regions. The game simulated regional scenarios covering the years 2013-2017. Divided into teams, each representing a competitor to Novo Nordisk, the participants competed for participants competed for market share growth. In each round of the game the participants would focus on different strategic and tactical actions that would either help the uptake of their new products or defend the market share of existing products. Actions could be adjusting a sales focus, introducing new services, increasing customer support and adjusting prices. Workz A/S © 2016 –
  12. 12. EXAMPLE: CHANGING DIABETES TRAINING TOOL Under the headline “Changing Diabetes” Novo Nordisk is involved in a number of global initiatives to support the fight against diabetes – from Team Novo Nordisk, the world's first all-diabetes professional cycling team, to the Cities Changing Diabetes partnership . Earlier this year we helped Novo Nordisk to develop a training tool to support the implementation of the Changing Diabetes strategy and toolkit within the global organization. Workz A/S © 2016 –
  13. 13. EXAMPLE: BUILDING TRUST AND ALIGNMENT A business simulation aimed at strengthening the internal collaboration in Novo Nordisk between professionals within Market Access and Public Affairs. The playing ground was a fictional country with certain health care issues typical for many emerging economies. The case also described two sets of stakeholders: Internal stakeholders at Novo Nordisk and external stakeholders, e.g. a key opinion leader, a policy maker, and a head of a health technology assessment agency. The game demonstrated the importance of building trust and alignment among stakeholders and how this can help make Novo Nordisk's products available to more people with diabetes. Workz A/S © 2016 –
  14. 14. CASE: ISS Workz A/S © 2016 –
  15. 15. EXAMPLE: ISS STRATEGY GAME ISS is a leading global provider of facility services, offering services on an international scale. With over 510,000 employees across 77 countries the organization is one of the largest private employees in the world. The ISS Strategy Game is a business simulation with focus on creating awareness and dialogue about the global strategy and business model of the company. In the game three teams compete in an open market on how to attract and retain the right portfolio of customers through the delivery of a strong value proposition. The game emphasizes the importance of a commercial mindset, strategic alignment, and a deep understanding of the customer’s purpose and needs. The game materials combine magnetic boards and 3D printed models with physical action cards and game pieces. Workz A/S © 2016 –
  16. 16. "Despite the many benefits of online solutions, ISS treasures the benefits of a physical design where the participants interact face to face in the same room. Good games function as “talking pieces” that facilitate meaningful discussions between the participants who get a unique opportunity to share insights and experiences. The ISS Strategy Game is currently being implemented across the global organization – from the top management team to talent programs and local management academies. The feedback from participants has been overwhelmingly positive." - Christian Lauritzen, Head of Group Learning and Development, ISS Workz A/S © 2016 –
  17. 17. KEY LEARNINGS ON USING PHYSICAL GAME-BASED SOLUTIONS TO ACCELERATE INVOLVEMENT, ALIGNMENT AND CABABILITY BUILDING 1. Everybody likes to be involved as active and contributing participants. The joy of play and games transcend cultural boundaries, nationalities, age groups and job functions. 2. Designing good games is like designing conversations. The best tools functions as visual dialogue pieces that facilitate the exchange of knowledge and ideas between participants. 3. Beware of the complexity. Don’t try to simulate everything at the same time. 4. Gamification can significantly accelerate learning, motivation and alignment but only if the content and context is relevant and if there is time for reflections that can anchor new insights and learnings. 5. By creating a safe sandbox, where new approaches can be tested and where mistakes can be made without real-life repercussions, a simulation can help to address difficult issues and build trust. Workz A/S © 2016 –
  18. 18. Executing strategy Workz A/S © 2016 –
  19. 19. Ask Agger @askagger