So, how’ve you been?

So…long time no speak. We’ve been quiet but plodding along.

A few bits of news:

We’ve launched  a new version of our best selling Property Trading Game – a collaborative version. Our original version set teams up to compete and the heat of competition and getting compelled in the game helped them forget to pretend and just be themselves – all good stuff. The collaborative version twists this and rather than compete they have to work together with other teams to win the game, “Easy” or is it? In our product trials what we found was the behaviour and the processes of collaborating with other teams tested the participants as much if not more than competing. We’ll be giving it a run out in our summer demos…

We’re holding our now annual summer demos in June and July. For anyone who may be interested – HR, L&D, OD, Consulting types, to come along and try one of our games for themselves – try before you (hopefully) buy! You can find more information here: Open Events. The dates are June 22nd for Property Trading Game – Collaborative and July 6th for The Game is Afoot (Moriarty is already planning more dastardly challenges!)

Speaking of L&D types, we are getting amongst them and have confirmed we will be exhibiting at the CIPD L&D show in May. This annual event fills London’s Olympia with post it note brandishing, flip chart ready L&D professionals all thirsty for inspiration or at least some free swag. We’ll be storming it from stand 866 (lucky for some?) and if you’re planning to be there we’ll happily ply you with Quality Street. It’s being held on May 10th and 11th and you can sign up for free admission here

And finally, with a little glow of pride, we wanted to congratulate the team at Crossrail for getting a silver in ‘Best Leadership Development Programme’ at the Training Journal Awards in November. We are proud to say that every programme they ran had at least one of our games as part of it and the feedback from participants made it clear that they appreciated a different way of getting to know their fellow participants even if they did think the person ‘playing’ Moriarty was evil!!!

Anyway, enough about us…how’ve you been?

 

 

Fun in the sun?

So we can guarantee fun…but being it’s the UK even in July we’d be crazy to guarantee sun!

We are holding one of our open events in London in July (late enough in the year to improve the odds of sun but before the kids break up from school) to give any who’s interested a chance to come and try one of our games.

Having run our Property Trading Game for the last few years it’s the chance of “The Game is Afoot” to get an open outing this year so if you fancy your chances against Moriarty then it’s time to step up! It’s an afternoon out of the office and we promise we’ll only try and sell you something at the end…

What’s in it for you? Obviously a blast playing one of our games but more importantly some time spent away from your desk with like minded people having a chance to reflect on your own development and how you perform in a team. We’ll even throw in a few beers and a pizza at the end.

So the details are:

7th July, London, The Game is Afoot             BOOK HERE

All we ask is to take part you are someone who could potentially utilise our products in your work and that when you’ve had a great time, you tell people. Easy really!

Here we go again!

HERE WE GO AGAIN!

One of our many learnings in carrying our kit bag has been, like Dr. Pepper, when it comes to team games, you gotta try ’em to love ’em!

With this in mind (and having had some great fun in the past) we are running two open events in the coming months. Worry not – we are waiting until after Easter to give the weather a chance to improve but the plans are set.

What’s in it for you? Obviously a blast of a day playing one of our games but more importantly a day spent away from your desk with like minded people having a chance to reflect on your own development and how you perform in a team. We’ll even throw in a few beers and a pizza at the end of the day.

So the details are:

30th April, London, The Property Trading Game            BOOK HERE

14th May, London, The Game is Afoot             BOOK HERE

All we ask is to take part you are someone who could potentially utilise our products in your work and that when you’ve had a great time, you tell people. Easy really!

The Class of ’99

Do you remember those now immortal words “Ladies and Gentlemen of the Class of ’99…wear sunscreen”. It is, of course, the opening of Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Sunscreen’ which burst to prominence in the summer of 1999 and for us (and let’s face it probably for you) always prompts some reflection and agreement (especially the thing about the knees)

So last Friday the world is spinning as normal and a distinct yearning for red wine and the absence of an alarm clock was inevitably growing when the fabulous Lily Haines-Gadd of Triz sent a Tweet which linked to an article entitled “The Unofficial Goldman Sachs Guide To Being A Man” on Business Insider. You can find the link here

Having read it through a few times with some leading to giggles and some to reminiscence on some poor and some excellent adventures the one mark it left was almost being the Sunscreen of it’s time. In ’99 we were all dopey, overdrawn and full of ignorance and potential. Now these 14 years we are dopey, more overdrawn and full of cynicism.

The two that really stuck:

  • Ignore the boos, they’re usually from the cheap seats
  • When in doubt, always kiss the girl

A busy summer…

Autumn seems to have arrived with some force and it’s prompted reflection on what’s been a very busy summer for us.

It’s mostly been about our Property Trading Game which we’ve run six times with the teams from Crossrail – everyone from Senior Managers to the Apprentices (that said it does help one of our partners is in the OD team!), once with the global marketing team from Dollar Financial (thanks to VP Digital Marketing David Henry for that one) and finally our ‘there is such a thing as a free lunch’ open day – where 15 brave volunteers came and played on what must have been one of the hottest days of the summer.

A good time was had by all it seemed and apart from some tired feet there’s been some superb reflection and discussion in the post-game sessions we’ve been part of.

So apart from a little light trumpet blowing that’s it apart from sharing two of our favourite pictures from our busy summer. The first from the Open Day where the team chose the ‘Ascent of Man’ for their inventive team picture

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And the second from early September where one of the teams from Dollar Financial invented a new performance art – tube ballet, which they demonstrated to a packed rush hour metropolitan line tube. Our only challenge after that event is the lady from Finland who wants to play the game with her team – may have to be our portable version ‘Bid the Grid’!

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Hope you all had a good summer and remember to give us a shout if you have a team build at risk of being boring!

Do physicians ever heal themselves?

If you were look for a stalwart of the modern organisational landscape you’d be hard pressed not to consider the away day. Generally a chance for a team to pause the day job and spend some time focussing on themselves hopefully in the name of improved performance  (we guess!?). They range from a few hours in a meeting room to the most profligate we ever heard where 15 people flew business class to the US for two days spent in a hotel to then all fly back again!!

As HR people we often get involved with supporting and running other people’s away days but here at Kit Bag we are interested to learn more about the HR team itself and what (if anything) happens on an HR team away day. With that in mind we have prepared a little Survey Monkey aimed at those working for in-house HR teams (sorry consultants we’ll come to you later) to see if HR people take the time to develop their own teams and performance as much as they do for the rest of the organisation.

Therefore if you fit that basic criteria, would you mind awfully filling out the survey linked below  – it’s only 10 questions and they’re all quantitative so should take you no time at all…

Kit Bag HR Away Days survey

Oh and while we have your attention – we are running another Demo Day where for the grand sum of £0 you can come and play one of our games with a bunch of other HR types and get beer and a pizza thrown in at the end. You can find more details here – it’s July 18th and we’d love to see you (and your colleagues)

The apologies end here…

Modest, humble, unabashed, self-effacing, reserved, unassured – however you want to term it, we believe we’ve been a bit <insert one of those words here>

When we started Kit Bag in 2011 there was definitely a gap in the market. There are lots of games and simulations out there and to us they appeared either trite and formulaic or exceeding expensive (and not reassuringly so). So we pulled our products together and set this site up and quietly started to do some business whilst in the tone of this site almost apologising for doing so.

Nearly 2 years later we’re still here. We’ve not made squillions but we have delivered some quality products to some great clients and in doing so supported them to do some great work. We’ve been joined by some partners who’ve all added to the dynamic and we’ve added some products and removed some products from the Kit Bag.

But now, in February 2013 the apologies end. We have a mission and it is: ‘to rid the workplace of mediocre team builds…one game and simulation at a time’.

This post is blatantly marketing – we are upping the ante and if you don’t want to play that’s OK – mediocrity works for some…