One of the best ways to learn to be a founder of a business or an entrepreneur within a large organisation is to…well, just do it! Playing Lean have created a great board game to teach Lean Start-Up mindset, methods & insights from the movement. I brought in my game, some hard knocks experience from heading up teams in start-ups and the wisdom of the great Lean Start-Up gurus; Steve Blank, Guy Kawasaki, Ash Murya, Geoffrey A. Moore, Tony Ulwick and of-course Eric Ries. If you wanted a short half a dozen books to read on Lean Start-Up this is it; strategy, product innovation and accelerated delivery for smart people!
The best thing about all this wisdom is that it imparts with you a clear set of principles to practice to help you be more productive in your business. The thing about principles though is that they are experienced based values. If they aren’t experienced well then they are just propaganda on a wall…or a modern term would be a ‘meme’. So the Playing Lean Game forces you to iterate through your business strategy, experiment product builds with customers and invest in accelerators such as technical excellence, innovation culture and marketing & sales. Lots of decisions for each to be made each round; testing out their strategic intentions, validating their assumptions and allowing them correct quickly.
The goal of a start-up is to grow, to validate what customers want and reach broader market saturation. The game forces you to think about scaling while iterating, always keeping your winning horizon line in mind.
The trick in playing the game (just like in start-ups really) is to start smartly, learning the best actions, building accumulative advantages into your business operations and accelerating your idea to feedback loop with your customers.
Thanks Dave Pryce for setting up the session, taking photos and being co-facilitator :)