Blog: Learning outcomes from unexpected places


Learning outcomes from unexpected places

Fear is a challenge for leaders, but we must take risks and never be afraid to ask for help. Both in the Mystery Rooms and in life, the antidote to fear is action.
Learning outcomes from unexpected places

Sometimes, we find answers in the places we least expect them. Last week, I was waiting to pick up my son from the Mystery Rooms - an Escape Room where people are given one hour to solve riddles and challenges. In the reception area, I caught sight of a list of the center’s rules and was struck by how similar they were to the rules we ought to follow in today’s increasingly complex business world. 

Picture Credits: Mystery Rooms Types for Winning the Game, Gurgaon

All the Mystery Room rules could be applied to a business context, but a few key points stood out for me:

  • Search everywhere - In the Mystery Rooms, you need to find clues to move forward and that's why they advise to “search everywhere.” Similarly, in business to find answers to our current problems, we need to look beyond what we know and expand our horizons. Complex issues tend to have complex solutions. Rather than attempting to streamline and simplify, we should embrace complexity and take advantage of the interconnectedness of the information at our disposal. 
  • Communication is key - Solving a Mystery Room challenge is a team effort, so talking about what you are seeing and what you are thinking is critical. Collaboration and alignment are at the highest point of need. In order to thrive, we must not only gather as much data from as many places as possible but share our findings so the team can build into each other’s findings. As they say at the Mystery Rooms: “let everyone know what you’ve found!” 
  • Don't be afraid of using your lifeline - At the Mystery Rooms, they say “it’s better to get out with help than not get out at all.” In a business context, we could take this to mean: “it’s better to succeed with help, than not succeed at all.” Fear is a challenge for leaders, but we must take risks and never be afraid to ask for help. Both in the Mystery Rooms and in life, the antidote to fear is action. 
  • Hard work pays off - This business advice never goes out of fashion: if we truly apply ourselves, we are sure to see results. The impact of these results may not be immediately obvious, but with patience, consistency and persistence, our goals will be achieved. 
  • Don't give up - As we navigate an increasingly complex business landscape, new challenges will arise. Difficulties we hadn’t anticipated will become the “new normal” and at times the velocity of these changes will feel insurmountable. It is crucial that we don’t give up, even in the face of these unexpected tests. Persistence pays off. 

But it was the Mystery Rooms rules’ final line that I found most useful: “Stay Active. Keep Thinking. Keep Trying.” 

In business - as well as the Mystery Rooms - there will be tough challenges alongside the successes, lows to accompany the highs. This is unavoidable. It is crucial, through all this, that we apply ourselves, think deeply and widely, stay curious and most of all, keep moving forward.  

This visit at Mystery Rooms inspired my opening speech at People Matters TechHR this week, see you all this Thursday in Gurgaon! Learning is everywhere, …. But surely is in People Matters TechHR! Join us!

Click here to register for TechHR 2019


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