At the ATD International Conference and Expo in San Diego, I was speaking on the topic of “Isn’t gamification just sugarcoating boring e-learning content?” (Here’s the deck if want to take a look. It may not make too much sense without the narrative.)
In the presentation, we talked about Might Cards. Might Cards is a set of cards you can use to explore business problems with your client or team members.
The cards are inspired by Cathy Moore’s Action Mapping. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, get Cathy’s book: Map it!, and read it first.) In short, in a two hour meeting with stakeholders, we go from “we need training on softskills” to a list of barriers that hold back employees from doing what they should be doing to achieve a business goal. Some of those will be solved by learning.
After the meeting many people asked how to get the cards. I gave some prototypes away. Based on feedback, I’m happy to report out that v2 of Mighty Cards are now available. You can order them straight from GameCrafter.com below. The set includes 4 x 5 + 1 cards.Get Your Mighty Cards
One set of cards consists of a Knowledge (recall), Knowledge (use), Skill, Motivation, and Environment card. You’ll find four sets in the package. This allows you to keep one in your hand, while working with three stakeholders or your team members. (If you need more cards, just order more sets.)
There’s no right or wrong way to use them! My perspective is more about problem solving with clients, while Cathy’s original approach is more focused on training. Here’s her pre-action mapping flow (Is it a training problem?).
Why cards? In today’s digital transformation, there’s something magical still to hold something tangible in your hand. In my presentation, I referred to some research showing that just by “framing an activity as a game” increases learner engagement. Every time I show up with cards for a meeting, it changes the atmosphere. Never had the same with PowerPoint 🙂
Here’s one way to use the cards:
If you end up MANY performance goals (rarely happens to me), prioritize them and start with the main one.
One simple side effect I often see is the notion of separating Knowledge into two parts: internal and external. Internal (recall) must be memorized. External (use) can be recalled or remembered by using an external tool such as a job aid. This simple thing allows you to work with the SME and point out you don’t need to include all that 123 slides. Just create a checklist (external knowledge) and include how to use the checklist.
There are million different ways you can use these cards for problem solving! How about have each person pick a card but don’t show it to anyone else. Then you write a problem/barrier on the flipchart. Everyone needs to argue why people are not doing what they’re supposed to be doing based on their card. You shuffle with every barrier. This allows people to think outside of their believes (and biases).
The new version has colors. Simple change but it helps when you have many stakeholders and a larger room. As they hold up their card, it’s easier to see the variety by looking at colors. The prototype on the picture was blue only.
Let’s Engage the WORL&D! In my book, you’ll find more details about my experience using the cards. In the first version of this I called them “obstacalities.”