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Business Games - The art of game playing in business
by Startacus Admin
Business Games - Guest Contributor for Startacus Jo Haigh highlights the art of game playing in life and in business
Having worked in corporate finance for over 25 years, I am very aware indeed of the games played in business. Whether the game is charades or blind mans bluff being aware the game is on is part of the key in winning.
Not everyone likes games; personally I hated them at school and did everything I could to get out of them!
It’s not that I wasn’t a team player I was, and still very much am, in fact, I really generally don't like working on my own at all.
If I’m honest it was the running around, and in winter, the cold but the games we play in business, for the most, part don't involve muddy fields, cold hard courts and balls. Well not the traditional kind anyway! What they do involve is skill and a certain amount of play acting, even deception and bluff, having perhaps then more in common with card games than field games.
Poker, for instance, a great many people make their living playing poker and a greater number lose their livelihoods and more, so why do a few succeed?
One well known poker player told me he never bluffs and that most professionals in his field would adhere to that principle. I was frankly, quite astonished, by this revelation (not quite as I imagined after years watching old westerns with my father!) but there you have it.
The reason, he informed me: – skill, card counting, knowing your opponents and such are much more controllable and can be learnt. Once you have bluffed and been found wanting a few times you will be seen as the fake you are.
So, do you opt to play the business game or not? Sometimes you have no choice, just as I didn’t as a child, pushed (literally) kicking and screaming onto the hockey field. I had, I soon realised, two choices.
Stand on the sideline and freeze to death whilst at the same time alienating my friends...or....Join in!
Oh there were times when I chose option 1, call it bloody mindedness, or just sheer stubbornness but mostly it was option 2. Surprisingly for me, believe me, I do not jest I often enjoyed it! All be it reluctantly. The same situation applies now in a business context.
I can choose to sit and watch and risk missing out on both the fun and the win or I can give it my all. Mostly I choose the latter, to be honest, it goes with the job, BUT I don't bluff and the people I work with soon realise this.
I work on the basis that if the top card players in the world think bluffing is a poor win tactic, and these are individuals winning many millions a year, then why would I believe I know more than them.