BT

New Early adopter or innovator? InfoQ has been working on some new features for you. Learn more

Portia Tung on the Critical Importance of Play in the Workplace

| Podcast with Portia Tung by Shane Hastie on May 01, 2017 |

This is the Engineering Culture Podcast, from the people behind InfoQ.com and the QCon conferences.

In this podcast recorded in London Shane Hastie, InfoQ Lead Editor for Culture & Methods, spoke to Portia Tung, founder of the School of Play, author and executive coach.

Key Takeaways

  • Culture is defined by what people say and think, based on what’s expected of them and the environment they are in
  • You don’t change culture – you grow it.  Culture is emergent based on the ingredients you put into the mix for growing it
  • The high rates of depression and burnout in high-tech organisations
  • The opposite of depression is play 
  • Ways to incorporate play into work lives
  • Work should give us a clear purpose, play unleashes creativity – surely the two belong together

0m:30s Introductions

1m:15s The big challenges with agile transformation are all related to people’s mindset and habits

2m:05s Culture is defined by what people say and think, based on what’s expected of them and the environment they are in

2m:40s You don’t change culture – you grow it.  Culture is emergent based on the ingredients you put into the mix for growing it

3m:10s Elements of the mix include the people, their perspectives on leadership, vision and the greater purpose

3m:25s Where organisations don’t have a greater purpose then the culture becomes very focused on personal financial gains

3m:40s People happiness/ employee satisfaction is essential for an organisation to thrive in today’s environment

4m:20s Creating an environment which brings the best out of people is both an individual and organisational responsibility

4m:40s Drucker – Organisations form and deform people

4m:50s Take individual ownership and responsibility for your own happiness

5m:00s Don’t tolerate toxic environments – find somewhere else

5m:35s Characteristics of high-tech companies are similar to start-ups, high achievers placing unreasonable demands on their people

6m:03s The impact of these cultures include high rates of depression and burnout

6m:25s The value of executive coaching to help recognise and overcome these risks

7m:10s Human-Ops to focus on the people aspects of work

7m:20s Technical people want to help and often drive themselves to their own detriment

7m:30s Looking after ourselves and each other is important to prevent unhealthy outcomes

7m:50s The prevalence and danger of low level depression which sucks the joy out of life

8m:35s The opposite of depression is play 

8:40 Dr Stuart Brown’s TED talk on the importance of play

8m:52s Founding the School of Play, devoted to creating happier adulthood

9m:505s Play is the antidote to “agile-zombisim” 

9m:20s Play can be as simple as having a chat about something not work-related at the watercooler

9m:45s Play taps into and releases the creative parts of the brain

9m:55s The world is being shaped by playful high-tech people

10m:38s Find your purpose and passion and we can change our own lives and the lives of those around us

11m:00s Simple first step – find a game you like and bring it to work, for example Finger Twister, and find someone to play with you

11m:45s Meetups and TED talks as examples of playful activities

12m:30s Become a beacon for others – share what you enjoy with them

12m:40s Introducing the School of Play – leveraging research and making it applicable in day to day life

12m:55s Introducing Multiple Intelligences Theory by Howard Gardner

14m:10s Self-awareness as a type of intelligence

14m:30s Play Intelligence as a distinct type of intelligence

15m:00s The benefits of play are the same for children and adults – creating new neural pathways

15m:35s The story of learning to play the ukulele and jamming at Ukulele Wednesdays

16m:25s Experiencing the power of play to unblock fear and assumptions

17m:15s Making transformations sustainable – play lowers the barriers to entry for change and lowers the levels of fear about change

17m:50s Play engages continuous learning and continuous improvement, essential for organisational change

18m:15s Bring children into the workplace and ask them how to solve some of the problems – they learn much quicker than most adults

19m:20s Not accepting stereotypes and making judgements, rather look at the qualities and interests of people as individuals to get diverse viewpoints

20m:50s Human interaction is one of the hardest things we do as people – if it were easy we would have world peace by now

21m:30s The energy of children at play – they recharge by playing.  Can we achieve this as adults.

22m:30s Work should give us a clear purpose, play unleashes creativity – surely the two belong together

Mentioned:

More about our podcasts

You can keep up to date with the podcasts via our RSS Feed, and they are available via SoundCloud and iTunes.  From this page you also have access to our recorded show notes.  They all have clickable links that will take you directly to that part of the audio.

Previous podcasts

Rate this Article

Adoption Stage
Style

Hello stranger!

You need to Register an InfoQ account or or login to post comments. But there's so much more behind being registered.

Get the most out of the InfoQ experience.

Tell us what you think

Allowed html: a,b,br,blockquote,i,li,pre,u,ul,p

Email me replies to any of my messages in this thread
Community comments

Allowed html: a,b,br,blockquote,i,li,pre,u,ul,p

Email me replies to any of my messages in this thread

Allowed html: a,b,br,blockquote,i,li,pre,u,ul,p

Email me replies to any of my messages in this thread

Discuss

Sponsored Content

Login to InfoQ to interact with what matters most to you.


Recover your password...

Follow

Follow your favorite topics and editors

Quick overview of most important highlights in the industry and on the site.

Like

More signal, less noise

Build your own feed by choosing topics you want to read about and editors you want to hear from.

Notifications

Stay up-to-date

Set up your notifications and dont miss out on content that matters to you

BT