Adopting Playfulness as a Strategy at Work : A Workshop

Across most of the 20th century working life, there was much predictability in the work-life. If you worked for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, you would get a fixed pay at the end of the month. If you worked for a certain number of years at a job, you would get a promotion, and pre-defined benefits. Once you retired, you would be assured of pension and other benefits. In essence, there was a certain formula for a good life. Since the outcome was known, people found it safer to stick to the day–to-day plan.

From the beginning of the 21st century, predictability in work life has gone out of the window. Predictability and permanency has disappeared from the way businesses are run as well. Almost all of the sequential, logical work with predictable outcomes is today done by robots and algorithms, be it a shop floor of an automobile manager or micro level individual tasks. The result of this is that humans are left to deal with work that rarely has a predictable outcome.

So, an approach of ‘sticking to the norms’, that worked even 2 years back, is unlikely to work today, as the norms would have been rendered defunct, thanks to increased robotisation. At the workplace, humans have to be adaptive to change, all the time. To survive in this new environment, they have to be agile and nimble footed and willing to unlearn old habits and pick up new skills, all the time. Unlike the single career professionals of the 20th century, most humans today are expected to have multiple careers in their lifetime.

Being nimble footed does not come easily as humans have a natural resistance to change. Moreover, as adults, we are taught to adapt to social norms, and to be afraid of failure and criticism. The way to overcome this is to be playful. Playful not as being sporty or childish, but to adopt playfulness as a mindset or a strategy.

For several months before the Covid 19 lockdown hit humanity and demonstrated that permanency and predictability are words from the past, this workshop has helped senior leaders at Corporate organisations better prepare them against uncertain times. Watch some of the 1 min videos below.

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What is it all about?

This is a 2-hours long interactive workshop from Workplace Strategy consulting practice iDream. It is all about adopting playfulness as a mindset, and not as an activity.  Easier said than done. People and organisations resist change. Such an adoption works only when three things work in conjunction : a) Invitation 2) Management Buy-In and 3) Mission Alignment. Invitation refers to the setting that promotes playfulness, management buy-in refers to the change in management’s mindset and Mission Alignment indicates that all of this will work only when such change management moves are aligned to an organisation’s mission. This introductory workshop explores the science behind adopting playfulness as a strategy at the workplace and lays down the framework for building in playfulness within workplaces.

This workshop is part of a series of year-long workshops theme of Workplace Management. Workplace Management is the holistic management of all resources needed to design & maintain appropriate, effective and economical workplace experiences that align to strategic business objectives and support people in doing their best work every day, wherever they are.

Who is it for? Leaders from all areas of business (including Operations, Corporate Real Estate, Facilities Management, HR and IT). Shown on the right are a few of many organisations which have seen their senior leaders take part. Email at if you would like to have one organised for your senior staff.

Key Takeaways

  • Better prepare (organisations and leaders) against uncertain times
  • Learn how to adopt playfulness as a strategy at the workplace
  • Improve Creative Thinking and Smarter Decision Making
  • Increase Freedom and Optionality in your work-life
  • Nuances of working together with teams to develop a workplace management strategy

What type of Workshop is it?

This is a ‘learn by doing’ workshop, comprising of fun filled exercises, to drive home the main points. It is highly interactive in nature, with participants working together in groups and learning. Both versions are being offered.

Who is the Trainer?

The workshop is conducted by Parthajeet Sarma, Senior Associate – Advanced Workplace Associates and Founder – iDream. A Chevening scholar (Oxford University), Parthajeet is a pioneer in Workplace Management in India, having worked hand in hand with corporate clients around Workplace Strategy and Change Management for several years.

Both online as well as offline versions are being offered. Email at if you would like to have one organised for your senior staff.