First Light is a dramatic, immersive, team-based experience that plunges participants into a VUCA world of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. The team must take risks, overcome challenges, and deal with time-driven tension. After each participant has been given a role as one of six unique alien life forms, “The Commander” (facilitator) provides an animated briefing. The teams then dive into their mission preparation and planning.
The mission is to explore the “First Light” universe and collect rare and valuable resources. At the same time, teams must conserve their limited resources and escape the universe before it collapses. One of the biggest challenges is that they don’t know when this collapse might happen, nor do they realize the opportunities that a change in course may bring. Participants are challenged to plan and adapt their strategy, learn, adapt, and apply as they go, and succeed in an extremely ambiguous and changing environment.
Anxiety mounts as teams are forced to adapt to drastic changes, deal with new information, and respond successfully as a team. The teams need to find and rely on the few constants that serve leaders in a world of constant change: the team’s values and the support of a positive culture within the team. With these two elements, the teams begin to take appropriate risks, think in innovative ways, share information more freely and broadly, support each other, and deal with the volatility and complexity with increased elegance and ease.
When the mission concludes, a winning team is celebrated, and all teams explore their processes, key lessons and their relative levels of success
The First Light debrief sets the stage for participants to reflect upon and share their experiences and apply lessons learned on how they can create a winning team that can deal with the increasing pace of change. They draw parallels to their real-life organizational experiences around coping with and leveraging change, managing ambiguity, working as a team, applying learning as they progress, and leading from within. The discussion focuses on these lessons as participants immediately apply their insights to the real world.
“The game has really helped me at work! Hard work, research, and careful planning are so important, but not enough on their own. The leader and team also has to be bold and confident, based on the essential ingredients that make up a great team, have clear and lived values and help shape a truly supportive and strong team culture. Many thanks – I really enjoyed the challenge!”