Archives for the ‘Playmaking’ Category

The Sound of Silence

True Courage Great and Small
Silence is always accompanied by Reason.

For some, Silence is a solitary figure who has found inner peace.

For others, Silence is the one in charge when we find ourselves stuck. So stuck, in fact, that we become blocked and can’t figure a way out. So stuck that we can’t hear the alarm bells ringing that demand we take action to save our very existence.

And if we do nothing for long enough, Silence settles into our lives permanently.

And if we’re not careful, Silence drains all the colour and life from our existence. All because we’re too stuck to take the tiniest baby step forward to unstick ourselves.

While I applaud Quiet, the one who thinks before they act, the one who reflects before they react, we must do something about this kind of Silence.

One of the most effective and playful ways I’ve managed to sweep away the cobwebs is to make a din. To create the loudest possible noise, and even music, so that our bodies, hearts and minds become free to perform and sing again.

As Friedrich Nietzsche once said, “Without music, life would a mistake.”

How will you play to break the Silence?

Playmakers Assemble!

Play at Work

The Meaning of Life

Did you know that in Chinese, the word “business” is made up of two characters that translate to “meaning” and “life”?

Given that we spend more than 70% of our waking hours doing work or work-related activities, don’t you wish we could all make more of our meaning of life?

Come join me in an interactive presentation on Play to help take you and your team from good to great:

Learn more about how to transform work through play complete with my talk and presentation at the Playmaking site!

Thanks to everyone at Playcamp London for their enthusiasm for play and learning. Play, like Change, begins with ourselves.

Time for Play and Work

Time for Play

Calling all Players…

Consider this your very special invitation to Playcamp London on 24 March 2015!

What’s Playcamp?

Playcamps are one-day regional conferences celebrating the use of Innovation Games® and other serious games for problem-solving in both the public and private sector. These events capture the best of traditional conferences and unconferences through a mix of compelling speakers and attendee-driven content, and include both in-person and online forms of serious play.

Why play at Playcamp?

  • Learn about how play can help you bring about positive change at work and deliver more value.
  • Play and learn games that can help you with your daily job.
  • Gain new skills in facilitation, problem solving, creativity and innovation.
  • Get the most out of learning from play practitioners.
  • Have fun and make friends!

What’s the agenda for Playcamp London?

Luke Hohmann and I will be keynoting and there’ll be 6 possible open space slots for you to share ideas with others on games you play to deliver more value at work. Find out more here.

Where can you sign up?

Here! Get your tickets quick! And tell you friends all about Playcamp!

What if you’re not in London and you want to play?

Check out playcamps happening around the world. And if you can’t find one in your neighbourhood, why not organize your own? Contact Luke and his team here.

Read the latest InfoQ interview with inventor of Innovation Games Luke Hohmann who’ll be keynoting as will I.

Hope to see you there! 

Finding Mojo

Not waving but drowning

Do you feel exhausted and frustrated? Or perhaps you feel annoyed and demotivated? May be you’ve had this feeling a thousand times before but can’t quite remember how to shake it? The French have a special name for this state of being. They call it “ennui” which roughly translates to boredom (and possibly something much darker). Whatever you choose to call it, don’t just wait for it to pass. Not this time.

In order to rediscover your mojo, we need to first agree on its meaning. defines it as “the art or practice of casting magic spells; magic; voodoo”. In essence, it’s getting into the groove or feeling the buzz. In practice, it’s creating or doing things that make you feel remarkable, amazing, happy.

In his Ted talk, neuroscientist Daniel Wolpert has come up with an unusual premise of why the brain has evolved. According to him, our brains have evolved not to think or feel but to move. To create mojo.

Not drowning but waving

If Daniel Wolpert’s premise is true, that we’re creatures created for mojo, then the first step to rediscovering our mojo is to get moving.

  1. Stop what you’re doing right now (in a safe way).
  2. Say the one thing you’d really like to do today to get your mojo flowing again OUT LOUD. (Remember, you don’t have to realise your world domination dream today. That would be like trying to swallow the sun. Instead go for the smallest baby step you can do today towards your goal.)
  3. Just do it.

Instead of “not waving but drowning”, get moving to find your mojo. Because if your mojo is missing, it misses you.


Time for Play

The Play Manifesto

Calling all Playmakers!

It’s Monday morning. Again. Is your cup half empty or half full? Either way, a spot of Play is sure to get you topped up and rearing to go again!

If you want to learn more about the science of Play and how to lead a more playful life at work, join us for a play session in May:

Hope to see you there!

Meanwhile, find out more about The Play Manifesto at – the home of Playmaking!

Playmaking While The Sun Shines

Go to work to play

“Screw work let’s play!”

Do you sometimes wish you could goof off work and play? I’ve been invited to present “The Power of Play” at GOTO Copenhagen on May 23.

Join us in a playful presentation where we’ll explore why play isn’t just essential for creativity and innovation, but crucial to our survival and overall well-being. We’ll begin with the definition of play followed by an exploration of why we play and how we play. We’ll investigate the relationship of work and play and demonstrate how, instead of being mutually exclusive, both are necessary for personal and group creativity and achievement. We’ll finish off with useful guidelines for bringing more play into your life. And if you play your cards right, you’ll leave with plenty of ideas to achieve your recommended daily amount of play!

It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be!

If you’d like to come along, then there’s more good news! You can now take advantage of a speaker referral program, get a discount AND GOTO will make a donation on your behalf to “Computers for Charities“.

All you have to do is:

  1. Register for the conference here.
  2. Enter the promotion code: tung1000.
  3. Make your purchase.
  4. Hey presto! You’ve just saved DK 1.000 AND GOTO will make a donation of DK 1.000 to a charity.

Can signing up for play get better than this? I’m sure we can think of something…

Meanwhile, looking forward to playmaking with you and your friends at GOTO Copenhagen in 2012!


The 30 Day Challenge

Yaay for Play

“Play once a day to keep the doctor and priest away!” – Portia Tung

Screw Work Let’s Play!

I first came across the book “Screw Work Let’s Play” by John Williams sometime last year. It’s fair to say reading the book has changed my life. In a playful way.

The fact is, I’ve been researching on how to make a living out of doing what I love for years. I’ve read books like “The 4-Hour Work Week” by Timothy Ferriss and watched a multitude of videos and self-help books besides. Check out Tim’s inspiring Ted talk here.

Why love what you do?

Because I know, as a coach, that when we do what we are truly passionate about, the world around us opens up. And that’s when the magic happens. For me, doing what I love is a dream come true. A chance to make the most of my potential. Since this is what I encourage my teams to do, it’s important I drink my own champagne.

So what have I done since? Quite a bit, considering I’ve got a day job and other responsibilities.

  • Created an play-filled presentation on “The Power of Play” (based on my past and very present curiosity on the art and science of play)
  • Delivered the “The Power of Play” presentation at a number of places, including Oredev 2011, Play4Agile and even at work! If you want to experience this session yourself, we’ll be playing at GOTO Copenhagen on 23 May!
  • Invented the concept of “Playmaking” to mean “transforming work through play” and the term “Playmaker” for people who do this to stay alive plus created the “Playmaking” blog
  • Attended a session hosted by John on the subject of “Happiness” and making happiness a central part of my life (the event was part of something called “Scanners Night” where a scanner is an ideas person who may at times struggle to realise one of those ideas)
  • Made play an integral part of what I do every day. Have you had your Recommended Daily Amount of Play today?

What’s next?

I’ve signed up to be the second intake of “The 30 Day Challenge“, a concept realised by John and Selina Barker to help people deliver a “play project” of their choice. “The 30 Day Challenge” started back in August 2011 and I’m very excited to be part of it!

The challenge begins on 1 May and I’ve selected my project. To write and publish a book to share with you. I’ve started and abandoned writing a book (fiction, non-fiction, you name it, I’ve probably had a go) at least 20 times in my adult life time, so I reckon this endeavour will be a serious test of how effective “The 30 Day Challenge” really is.

Watch this space and follow me on Twitter to hear live updates on how my 30 Day Challenge goes.

Meanwhile, back to you…

…  Benjamin Disraeli once said, “Life is too short to be small”. How can you open up the world around you so that magic can happen?

Moody Blues

Dear Reader, my apologies for not writing sooner. The fact is, I’ve gone into hibernation mode. Caught in a week-day routine of getting up before dark and returning home in the dark is enough to send anyone to sleep.

And yet, this winter is not unlike all the other decades of winters that have gone before. Wintry weather has always had a way of getting under your skin and into your head if you let it. No wonder winter feels like a thousand days of dark and cold.

The problem is, it’s not even mid-January yet. So the real question is, what are we going to do about it?

“M is for…”

We can choose to make M stand for Moody, Morbid and Morose. Just as I was starting to wonder why Misery was getting to me, a friend casually explains that it’s because the moodiest day of the year is just around the corner. It’s scheduled for Monday, 23 January, with a preliminary spell of dreariness predicted on Monday, 16 January.

“Beware of Blue Monday!”

It turns out this terrible day has a name. Our modern day soothsayers (I’m referring to bloggers and feature writers) refer to it as “Blue Monday“. Discovering the existence of so curious a phenomenon snaps me out of my hibernation mode as I find myself leaping into CSI (Crime Scene Investigation) mode.

As I do my research, I find myself slipping between feeling bemused and amused by so strange an idea of “the most miserable day of the year”. Meanwhile, a quiet resolve forms in my mind to politely refuse to succumb to something that resembles nothing more than superstition.

“I have a dream…”

So I decide to make use of “Blue Monday”. This time, it’s personal. I plan to use it as a test of my personal agility. A test of my focus and will. A test of my play potential. With a little help from my friends, of course.

On this special day, I shall round up my Play Brigade and we shall make the most of what we have. Instead of succumbing to the notion of predestination, we shall assert free will. We will tell jokes, eat candy and play. There will be laughter and groans (unless I magically get my standup act together in time). There will be music and may be even dancing. And balloons. Yes, lots of balloons.

Wake up sleepy heads

“M is for…”

We can choose to make M stand for anything our hearts desire. For me, M stands for Materialise, Magnify and Make-Believe. It’s no coincidence that these action words often lead to my most successful work as a coach and friend.

The days of “no news is good news” are long gone. Knowing that something as terrible as Blue Monday is just around the corner gives us time to prepare. And it makes us choose. A choice between sleepwalking through 2012 or making it a song and dance for life.

What do want “M” to mean to you?

Playmaking: Transforming Work Through Play

Home of Playmaking

Isn’t it time we all have more fun at work?

If your answer is “Yes!” then join us at the home of my new blog “Playmaking – Transforming Work Through Play“. Looking forward to seeing you there!