FLIGBY’s Galaxy of Feedback Types
(Excerpt from the book, “Missing Link Discovered“)
FLIGBY has been designed to give each player a continuous stream of valuable, multidimensional feedback during and after the Game. The two dozen or so different kinds of feedback are of three types, if we use as the basis of classification the time when the feedback is given:
- Multiple feedback while playing the Game;
- A comprehensive, automatically-generated report on the strengths and weaknesses of each player’s leadership profile, sent individually to each player (as well as to his or her instructor/trainer) right after the Game; and
- Discussion with the player’s peers – during the debriefing sessions arranged by the instructor/trainer – on the reasons why some players have made different choices on key decisions than other players or the Game’s designers did.
Feedback during Game-playing
The player can periodically or continually check the Game’s dashboard for instruments that show how the GM’s decisions impact the Flow state of each member of the management team, the “corporate atmosphere” and the Winery’s profit potential.
Each time the player manages to get someone into a Flow state, FLIGBY signals that the player has collected a Flow trophy, and each time the player’s decisions promote/enhance the environmental sustainability of the Winery’s operations, FLIGBY signals that a Sustainability badge has been earned. How many trophies and badges a player earns by the Game’s end (of the maximum possible numbers) is one measure of the player’s skill and they are inputs into winning or not the Game’s main prize, the “Spirit of the Wine” award.
However, each player receives much more than quantifiable feedback! He or she will also obtain, continually and visually, emotional-reaction-based feedback from the members of the team as they respond with voice-tone and body-language to the GM’s communications with them and to the GM’s decisions affecting them. One characteristic of a Flow-friendly manager is that he or she pays attention to such type of feedback, as opposed to just continuing on his or her merry way, as many “bosses” do in real life.
And that is not all! The player has the option of restarting a Scene, or the entire Game, discovering what the GM’s virtual team members’ reactions would be if the player made different decisions. What a learning opportunity, in complete privacy; something we can only wish for in real life, wondering about “what if…?”
And that is still not all! At the end of each of the 23 Scenes, Mr. Fligby, the player’s personal game and leadership mentor and coach, is ready to offer personal feedback.
At several junctures in the Game, the player will get a signal that FLIGBY’S Multimedia Library has a brief classic reading or video to guide the GM on the decision he or she is about to make. Those resources provide intellectual-academic learning and reinforce the overall purpose of the course or the training program where FLIGBY is used. The player has the choice of making use of those aids or skipping them and possibly revisiting them later.
And there is, of course, the grand prize: the “Spirit of the Wine” award. The player will learn only at the Game’s end whether he or she has succeeded in earning that Award, a measure of the player’s success in skillfully balancing difficult tradeoffs, such as generating individual Flow, enhancing the level of corporate atmosphere, earning satisfactory profit, and adequately protecting the environment.
A report on the strengths and weaknesses of a player’s leadership profile
One of the first steps in the development of FLIGBY was identifying the skills helpful for generating Flow, along with other typical management/leadership skills.
Upon finishing the Game, the player receives a detailed, benchmarked report on his or her managerial/leadership skills, as well as areas suggested for further development. The report shows relative strengths and weaknesses within each individual’s own skills profile. At the same time, each skill and group of skills is automatically also benchmarked against the average of the player’s cohort. In addition, instructors and trainers may request other, tailor-made comparisons with specified benchmark groups (e.g., by industry, age, leadership level), which FLIGBY’s service providers will assemble from the detailed (but anonymous) scores of the thousands who had played FLIGBY up to that point.
Some participants always ask: “What should have been the ‘right’ choice to pick on certain key decisions?” Although each instructor/trainer is given access to a “key”, called Private Guide to Key Decisions, with an explanation of the FLIGBY expert teams’ reasoning on each of those approximately 90 decisions to which certain skills were attached, the immediate response should be that there are no clearly “right” versus “wrong” answers, only “preferred choices”, based on Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow-based decision framework.
After this caveat, participants will hear the explanations behind the preferred decisions; a great learning experience for all. Inevitably, some participants will shout: “but my decision was different because I reasoned that …”. Such interventions, too, will offer valuable lessons to the participants, learning how knowledgeable and concerned individuals who are in agreement on the main goals of the organization can have different takes on certain issues.
Debriefing sessions are always exciting and memorable as participants explain their thinking and reasoning on decision dilemmas, and debate each other. The additional learning is priceless: everyone will hear that there are numerous plausible and defensible ways to think about a problem or to react to a situation. Some differences will reflect varied cultural backgrounds (the instructor may emphasize); others can be traced to distinct personalities, shaped by inherited genes and individual experiences. Such discussions are bound to open minds, strengthen tolerance toward other views, and teach the importance of empathy with others (especially subordinates). Tolerance toward different views and empathy with others are essential skills in a Flow-based management framework.
The architects of FLIGBY think that all debriefing discussions on the dilemmas managers/leaders continually face should be concluded with the instructor’s statement that key decisions must always be made – that is the principal responsibility of a GM and any one in a leadership position – carefully but on a timely basis.
Debriefing after the Game is a good opportunity for the instructor to convey another “wisdom” of the Csikszentmihalyi-FLIGBY ethical responsibility framework, namely, that good managers/leaders always accept and own up to the consequences of their decisions – foreseen or not – instead of finding excuses and blaming others for possibly adverse consequences.