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Game of the Month Rubber-Stamp


Rubber_stamp_-_carimbo_de_borachaIn this game, the player hires a consultant to do a feasibility study of a project she already knows is feasible; she needs an external person to deem the project “worthy” so that senior management will approve it.
Example: At a company that had recently been bought by another company in a slightly different sector, a senior manager in the acquired company identifi ed which consulting group the acquirer typically used, and briefed this consulting group on his proposed reorganization of the unit. The consulting company then prepared the “data” and arguments to support this position, and ultimately the proposal was approved because the consulting company was credible to senior management and had “stamped” the proposal. The added advantage for the manager was a diminution of responsibility for the proposal; if the idea failed, the manager could move to play Scapegoat.

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Games of the Month

Token Involvement

To play Token Involvement, a manager conducts opinion surveys, focus group, or involvement meetings to communicate that "your opinion matters", but these activities are done only to make people feel involved rather than actually to involve them. The real intention is just to get rid of the complaints and for managers to show their management that they´re doing the "right" thing-involving their people in the decision-making process. The same game is played when leaders involve their direct reports supercially, soliciting their views on department strategy but relying exclusively on their views on department strategy but relying exclusively on thei own view. Cynicism becomes employees´ultimate response to this game, and they lose respect for management. Perhaps evens worse, when management really needs employees to be committed and contribuing to a major project, they have great difficulty securing this involvement.


Praise for Games at Work

jacopoA terrific read not only for senior leaders and executives but also for employees seeking growth in complex organizations. Goldstein and Read dissect the interpersonal dynamics that affect a company’s performance, provide a framework to understand the games that are commonly played in businesses around the world, and offer practical tools to correct these behaviors and improve the organization’s effectiveness.

Jacopo Bracco Executive Vice President DIRECTV Latin America

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