Serendipity meets Synergy
Candy Crush Saga is a popular online game visited by millions of game players every day. I propose that many are unaware of the complexities of this game and how understanding these complexities can improve our relationships in and out of the workplace.
Serendipity implies a happenstance meeting or random series of events. In Candy Crush Saga, a grid is filled with varied candies, the object of the game being to align three of the same kind of candies to progress. Add some obstacles and the seemingly simple game takes on a challenging turn. Any time we take a new position with an organization, we are thrust into working with a group of people. We may or may not have previous connections with these new coworkers, but we will be working with them on a daily basis, and how we interact will determine the course of the day.
Synergy, or the truth that collaboration yields greater results that working independently, is also in evidence in the popular game. By looking at the game board as a whole, one can predict the outcome of certain moves and that prediction will make each move more beneficial. Realizing that the computer generated candy has no personality, and cannot choose their destiny—the game demonstrates the point that three or more jellybeans can get more done than one standing alone.
As I waxed philosophical while wasting time trying to align my red jellybeans and my butterscotch candies, I realized that the job of the manager is much like the player of the game. Managers are presented with a mix of employees, circumstances, and opportunities. What we do with the mix is up to us. Do we randomly stir the pot, hoping that it will all work out? Do we rely on external forces to provide the right circumstances that will insure success? Perhaps the success of a manager relies on the ability to align employees, give them the proper tools, exposure and guidance, and celebrate daily successes. Intentionally working with the staff, anticipating how one action creates a subsequent reaction, and planning ahead seems like a pretty good managerial style to me.
Now, if I can only get past level 38…