Life is Like a Box of…Board Games?

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That’s how the saying goes, right?  Maybe not, but I’m the odd bird who doesn’t particularly care for chocolates.  I do, however, love a good board game.   

My husband and I are board game nerds, so an exciting Friday night for us is usually spent gathered around a table strategizing how to build a deck of cards to stockpile the most gold (Dominion); rack up the most points in a desert full of camels, temples, and djinns (Five Tribes); become the dominant force in an alternate version of 1920s Europe (Scythe); develop a corporation to take over Mars (Terraforming Mars); build the most impressive castle (Castles of Mad King Ludwig); or save the world from disease (Pandemic) (too soon?).   

Each game presents its own unique challenges, but many of them operate in similar phases of strategy.  Take a classic game as an example—Monopoly.  First, is the set-up phase where you scramble to acquire properties.  Then the building phase, expanding on that foundation by developing houses and hotels.  And finally, the end game, where you hope for a little luck that will force your opponent to land on your fully developed resort and bankrupt themselves so you can clench the victory!

When playing board games, you can see these phases play out.  Strategies shift depending on how deep you are into the game.  And players have to be adaptable, adjusting to unanticipated hurdles or windfalls.  Maybe our philosophical take on these games is facilitated by the glass of wine or whiskey that often accompanies them, but my husband and I have often noted that life and business follow similar phases.  There’s the set-up phase, acquiring necessary skills, education, or resources for your endeavors.  Then the building phase, putting those skills and resources to work for you, expanding your foundation to (hopefully) prosper.  In this phase it is critical to be adaptable, identifying changes in your circumstances and adjusting accordingly.  Then the end game of allowing those foundations and systems you’ve put into place to flourish and bear fruit.  This could result in looking to sell an established business or circling back to a new building phase, expanding on the work you’ve done with new ideas and plans.  Seeing business in these phases can help you identify how best to focus your efforts and allocate your resources.  

So next time you’re looking for something new to do on a Friday evening, pull out a board game and think of it as development of your strategic planning skills!  Plus, you might have a little nerdy fun too. 😉

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