Santa was kind enough to deliver the kids Junior Monopoly. Now they’re six, it’s the perfect age to play board games together, and learn lessons on winning and losing (a blog in itself for another time).
The revelation I want to share with you today is a lesson in Culture.
You see, we all remember playing Monopoly growing up – especially those occasions when it went on for-ev-errrrr. But this Christmas, each round whizzed by.
And we were astonished at how quickly Lily and James became property magnates, snapping up spaces on every move.
Then there was the paying of rent. I was stung for double the rent on some of my goes, because one of the kids owned all the properties of the same ‘colour’ (now officially known in the Norbury household as ‘double-bubble’).
And another thing. The ‘Free Parking’ square is still there, and Jacki and I had vague childhood recollections of having to put money in the middle each time and someone collecting this. But we couldn’t really remember what this was all about.
And it wasn’t just us confused, Grandparents, cousins and Aunts were too.
What’s my point in all this confusion (for us adults, not the kids)?
Well, we read the rules.
You see, in the past, I don’t think we ever read the rules properly (if at all). And many ‘rules’ were slightly different depending on whose house you were at.
So, growing up, we were basically playing the game totally wrong – and slightly differently to our opponents – because we hadn’t read the rules.
We did this Christmas, and it was a revelation! The game was much quicker with the opportunity to earn (and lose) more money on every go.
And there was clarity – no bickering on the rules around going to Jail, or a pot of random money in the middle of the board, or choosing whether to invest or not.
More importantly, it was fun. Because we all knew what the rules were.
And the same goes for business. We all need to know what the rules are in order to all play the same game.
It’s massively important and the stakes couldn’t be higher, but it is a game nonetheless: a game like any other, which you are far more likely to win if you understand its aim and associated rules, strategies and structures.
Now, take this a step further:
What would happen if you knew the rules so well that you could manipulate them to suit your purpose?
What if you could learn how to observe what was going on around you and write the rule book yourself?
Surely that would give you the absolute advantage.
Surely that would show you the route to winning the game – on your terms.
Please take a long think about this, this week. It is a Game Changer.