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

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…

From the best to the worst…

So late last Spring we tweeted an open invite for guests to contribute to a series of blog posts. The only parameter was they had to come under the title “The Best Learning Experience I ever had”. We had some fabulous contributions and you can find a link to some of them here and from there the breadcrumbs to the rest should be easy!!

In conversation with one of our partners, Doug Shaw, yesterday we happened upon the idea of another series with the opposite title “The Worst Learning Experience I ever had”. In Doug’s words “the worst ones always give the best learning”. So form an orderly queue Ladies & Gents and comment or DM us on Twitter if you’d like to be included.

Some thoughts to start the school year

We came across this through a Facebook friend, the inimitable Ms. Ailsa Suttie. It was originally created to the comedian George Carlin but from a bit of t’interweb hunting it now appears it was written by a Minister from Washington state by the name of Dr. Moorehead. Whoever wrote it, we thought there were some good thoughts for reflection before we all (those of us who didn’t go back to school last week) jump back into the fray.

Happy New Year all….

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgement, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space.

We’ve done larger things, but not better things. We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice.

We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less.

We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes.

These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill.

It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.

Remember; spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever. Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your
side.

Remember to give a warm hug to the one next to you because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent. Remember, to say, “I love you” to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you. Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again. Give time to love, give time to speak and give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind

A new player for the game…

It’s been a busy October so far with new products being designed (more on that later) and some of our previous clients coming back to get more stuff from our kit bag – happy days!

The thing we are most excited about is another partner to join the fold. PTHR and it’s punk rock star Perry Timms (aka the most networked man in HR) have joined the Kitbag fold to take the game to a new group of clients. Perry has been a big supporter of ours since launch and it’s great to have him on board.

You can find more about PTHR and our other partners Change Continuum and What Goes Around on Our Partners page.

The best learning experience I ever had – Ian Pettigrew

Today’s guest post comes from Ian Pettigrew. Ian runs Kingfisher Coaching and be found on Twitter here.

Inspired by Mike Collins’ post, Ian’s best ever learning experience also involves a track day but with a very different outcome…

On 6th September 1999 at Donington Park I had an amazing day with a motorbike on a race-track and learned a lot.

At slow speeds, race-tracks seem like they’re badly designed and disjointed as nothing quite seems to fit together. But once you’re at full pelt, clear racing lines start to emerge and each corner flows seamlessly into the next.

And that’s the feeling I had. Absolutely flat out, the most amazing feeling. 150 mph down the Dunlop Straight, shifting my weight forwards to keep the front wheel on the ground for the bumpy bit under the bridge and then shifting my weight from side to side as each corner seamlessly flowed into the next.

Until they didn’t

It went, as the biking expression goes, “Earth, Sky, Earth, Sky. Ambulance.”

Another rider did something I wasn’t expecting, and I was forced to take McLeans far tighter than I’d intended and far tighter than I should for the speed I was doing. There are various ways that a bike can crash and I had a ‘highside’ and went over the handlebars of the bike at what I think was around 90mph. I bounced a few times on the track and ended up in the gravel trap.

What followed next was a bit of a blur of race doctors and paramedics apologising for cutting through my one-piece racing leathers and then Hospital, spending hours in A&E immobilised on a spinal board while they identified what I’d broken and tried to find one of my vertebrae that wasn’t showing up on any X-Rays.

Jumping straight to the end of the story, it all works out OK. After a few operations to pin things and adjust and remove some pins, I am fine. I consider myself hugely fortunate. I was doing something I love and I came a cropper. I have nobody else to blame.

I learned a very important lesson. That day is the closest I have come to dying and my thoughts for the few hours after the accident are crystal clear in my memory. There were no thoughts of regret or fear and I just felt annoyed. And the reason is this: The 12 months before the accident, I’d been doing a job that I shouldn’t have been doing. I knew it wasn’t the right job and the right environment for me. It was slowly wearing me down and it was doing me no favours. But I stayed in it.

My main thought in the hours after the accident was if that was how I’d spent my last 12 months on this Earth, I’d have been really, really disappointed! My choice to put up with things that were wrong suddenly looked very different to me.

This life isn’t a dress rehearsal and we should make the most of it. It can be easy to go with the comfortable option, or to put up with things you know you shouldn’t and sacrifice the pursuit of your dreams. But just because it seems easy, it doesn’t make it right.

I’m hoping to be around for a long time but if this were my last year on this Earth, I’d still be happy with what I’ve done this last year and the choices I’ve made.

I learned a valuable lesson from my motorbike accident that continues to inspire the decisions I make each day.