Triple Bottom Line Game - debating team activity - CiteHR
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With the obvious rising interest in and awareness of modern 'ethical' organisations issues (at last), it's helpful for all organizations to bring TBL-type thinking to life in team activities. Here's a simple exercise to do it:

The activity (which can also be used for more structured workshops) is for groups of any size although large groups of more than twenty people will need splitting into several teams with facilitators/spokes-people/presenters appointed, and extra thought needs to be given to the review/presentation stage to review and collect all the ideas and agree follow-up actions.

Split the group into debating teams of 3-7 people. (The larger the whole group, the larger the debating teams should be.) Each team's task is to identify three great new team or department initiatives - one for each of the Triple Bottom Line areas, namely, Profit, People, Planet. Give some thought to team mix - if helpful refer to the Belbin model or Gardner's Multiple Intelligences inventory - it's useful for all teams to have a balance of people who collectively can reconcile ideals with practicalities.

If necessary set the scene with a brainstorm or group discussion about what ethics and the Triple Bottom Line (profit people planet) actually means to people, staff, customers, and its significance for the organization/industry sector concerned.

Initiatives must be SMART (in this case SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound). Each of the initiatives must focus on one of the Triple Bottom Line areas (profit, people, planet), and at the same time must support the other two TBL areas.



For example, a profit initiative must not undermine people or planet. A planet initiative must not undermine profit or people. And most certainly a profit initiative must not undermine people or planet.

When we say 'not undermine profit', let's be clear that many ethical intitiatves can reduce profit, especially if the profit was being achieved by doing harm or damage somewhere, and the initiative seeks to correct this. The extent to which profit is affected by ethical initiatives is a matter for discussion and consideration of the wider and long-term view. Within this view are the wider benefits achieved by improving the ethical behaviour of the organization, which ultimately will improve profits far more than ignoring ethical issues.

Instead of looking at loss of profit, think about the risks associated with ignoring the ethical issues, which generally dwarf short-term costs of ethical initiatives. For example, what's the point in sticking with exploitative third-world manufacturing if the consequence of doing so means in the future there'll be no customers prepared to buy the manufactured product?

Teams have between 20 and 40 minutes (facilitator decides beforehand) to develop their ideas, and presentations, depending on time available. Presentations can be in any format to suit the timescales, numbers of teams and delegates, and the emphasis given to the TBL theme. Allocate time for presentations to suit the situation, numbers and timescales.



As with any ideas session or activities always ensure that there is follow-up, and seek agreement for this with the relevant powers before raising hopes and seeking input of people and teams. Follow-up can be for a limited number of initiatives that all delegates vote on at the end of the presentations, or you can agree follow-up actions on a team-by-team basis, depending on levels of enthusiasm, quality of ideas, workload, and perceived organizational benefit.

This activity links with the spirit of the development forum gameshow activity, which particularly addresses the people and well-being aspect of the triple bottom line philosophy.

Article from Business Balls:

This is a bit of fun which can be used as a simple icebreaker or warm-up. The game also adapts to provide a simple yet novel team-working exercise. The game and games variations demonstrate the heightened concentration and focus which results from contest and competition, and as an adapted exercise it prompts teams to work together to approach a complex statistical challenge. For groups of any size.

Materials required are simply two packs of playing cards (or more packs, depending on group size).

Shuffle the packs keeping them separate. Retain one pack. Deal from one pack between three and ten cards to each team member. The more cards then the longer the exercise takes. If there are more team members than can be supplied from one pack then use additional packs. It is not necessary to remove the jokers, but be mindful of the effect of leaving them in the packs.

Team members must arrange the cards dealt to them face up on the table in front of them.

The dealer (facilitator) then 'calls' cards (like a bingo caller) one by one from the top of the dealer's own (shuffled) pack, at which the players match their own cards (by turning them over face down). The winner is the first to turn over all cards. Suits are irrelevant - only the numbers matter. Aces count as one. Picture cards as 11 (Jack), 12 (Queen), 13 (King), or simply call them by their normal picture names - again the suits are irrelevant. Jokers (optional) treat as jokers. Players can only turn over one card at a time, in other words, if a player has two 4's they must wait for two fours to be 'called'.

Interesting variations can be made to the game to add team-building and cooperation to the activity, for example:

Have people play in pairs or threes. Deal cards to each person as normal, but then teams can sort and swap cards between themselves so as to give the team of two or three the best chance of one (or two - it's up to the facilitator) of the sorted sets winning. (This is pure guesswork obviously, but it will test people's approach to the challenge of statistical anticipation.)
Have the group play in two or three teams (each team size ideally no bigger six people). Deal each team twenty cards and ask them to pick the fifteen that they wish to play with as a team. Again this is pure guesswork, but it will challenge the teams to think about statistics, and to agree the best tactical approach.

Other variations include prohibiting or enabling competing teams to see the other team's cards while they are deciding which to select.
To make the games last longer and to alter the statistical perspective you can require that suits are matched as well as numbers/picture cards.
Practice your ideas first if possible.


From Business Balls

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