This working remotely stuff is a challenge, even if you feel like you’ve got things dialed in. No matter where you are on the continuum of comfort in managing your remote team, it can be tough to make your team more productive and effective, better able to cope with this disconnected work environment, and not just survive, but thrive. Unfortunately, our Zoomified world tends to push us apart, rather than bring us together, and that can lead to burnout.
The thing is your team is made up of people—humans, not machines. And humans have real needs that are more than just data in, data out. Beep boop boop.
Humans need to connect.
At Fujoli, the whole reason we do what we do is to help teams find real, authentic connections. We believe strongly that a key component to preventing burnout and fostering wellness in your team isn’t optimizing, lecturing, or strategizing — it’s play.
Fujoli’s virtual PlayLab sessions are custom-crafted to your team’s needs, and they’re more than just ice-breakers. Whether your team participates in a single PlayLab or engages with a series of PlayLabs, what your team experiences together is intentionally designed to provide an optimal experience of authentic aliveness, connection, engagement, and learning.
This means less stress, more answers, and making life a little easier for your team, and for you. (Sounds good? Keep going.)
We use play to break down barriers, which helps you and your team work better, feel better, and be better together.
So How Smart is this “Smart Play” Thing?
Fujoli PlayLabs are NOT just some random virtual cocktail party, energizer, or ice-breaker. There is a ton of expertise and science-backed structure that goes into designing your team’s PlayLab experience.
We have years of expertise in designing immersive and engaging learning experiences. It’s fun, yeah, but like the back of that magazine you see at your dentist’s office, it’s fun with a purpose. But not, like, looking for hidden pictures of parrots or something.
What’s the purpose?
Fujoli PlayLabs teach critical and practical skills that can help your teams thrive.
Our goals for the design of a PlayLab are based on three key ideas:
We tap our years of experience and science-backed research to create a holistic arc to each session, and to the series as a whole. Learning is biological. We need to experience it, connect with it, feel it in our heart and in our gut, just as much (if not more) than it has to make sense, or stand up to reason. That’s not to say that things shouldn’t make sense (although what about 2020 has made any sense?) but that what you feel, what you experience, is what sticks with you.
It’s all about the feeling, about the why.
Fujoli believes in multi-sensory aliveness. We wake up your team’s senses (smell, touch, taste, vision, hearing, body) and, yes, we do all of that remotely.
Ok, Walk Me Through a PlayLab Already
Burnout happens when people feel overwhelmed and disconnected—from their teams, and from their authentic selves. Here’s how we solve that:
Phase One: Land
Picture the arrivals gate at your local airport. Everyone pouring off their planes, flying in from different places. Some had bumpy flights, some flights were smooth. Some people had a guy sitting behind them putting their smelly feet up on the arm rest. (Gross.)
The point is, everyone’s landing in the PlayLab from a different state. And we don’t just mean Minnesota. When people log in, some are rushing from other commitments, from urgent family needs, from helping their kid log onto virtual school, or maybe just knocking their coffee over on their desk and notes and keyboard. Some of them are coming in with ten hours of blissful sleep and a positive outlook on life (and whatever those people have got going on in their lives, I want that).
With Fujoli, we recognize that this arrivals gate is a distinct phase for your team.
We help people orient themselves, because you can’t just go from burnt toast to total business engagement.
Musicians don’t just start playing. They tune up. It’s the same for your team. In Fujoli, we use music and movement to get your team connected, engaged, and aware that they are a team—and they’re ready to start a shared learning experience together.
Phase Two: Connect
This phase has two parts.
First, you connect to yourself. You make the shift from being in your head, in a state of Conceptual Awareness (all those thoughts about meetings or strategy or what to have for lunch) to Embodied Awareness — to a state where your whole body is engaged and aware. Once they’ve reached this phase, your team can let go, become fully present, and really start to change their dynamic. By waking up the senses in this phase, your team will connect to their bodies, which is our distributed brain, where our deeper wisdom, our gut instincts, and our intuition reside. Each individual member of your team remembers that they’re more than just their heads. And when they make that connection, they connect to their full selves.
From here, the team members connect to each other. They drop facades, those carefully-constructed images we each hold of ourself — a mask, more or less, that we project. It’s impossible to connect authentically from mask to mask. You just can’t do it. And so, through a range of exercises, your team finds joy and play in revealing who they truly are, and seeing one another, person to person. We make it fun, we make it light, we make it safe. We help you and your team become aware that you are a system, almost like an organism.
We call this becoming System Aware.
You and every member of your team are not just a bunch of lone individuals. And you can learn how to see your system.
Phase Three: Skill + Play
Now that you’ve arrived, and connected, it’s time to get really serious about everything, bust out the powerpoint presentations and start doing burpees.
No just kidding, now it’s time to play.
We use smart play to break down barriers and create a safe, fun, and light learning space. It’s from this place that we do the really cool stuff.
They say the difference between knowledge and wisdom is knowing a tomato is a fruit, and not putting it in your fruit salad. The world is flooded with so much information, but it’s starved for wisdom. Wisdom comes from the inside, from what you experience. And you can’t really learn or experience something purely in your head. You need to experience learning in your full-bodied wholeness. You can’t just hear it and read it, your heart needs to feel it, your gut needs to know “yup, this works.”
Teams can only get better together by learning and practicing together.
Instead of reading a handout called “How To Communicate,” we give you an experience of communication, so you feel what works and what doesn’t. With Fujoli, your team gets an immersive experience. We get the learning into your bones. And by making it fun and playful, you’re willing to take more risks, you’re willing to fail, you’re ok with being imperfect, you’re forgiving and understanding. You’re building collaboration and teamwork skills.
We offer fun and surprises, the kind of learning-by-doing where key insights sneak up on you like a nine-year-old with a Nerf gun. It’s participatory, interactive, and then . . . Oh! That’s what I just learned!
Phase Four: Insights
Just like trying to walk after spinning around a bunch of times, the Fujoli phases are not linear. Your team’s experiences will have a natural flow that feels seamless and organic. But each activity is mined for precious insights that participants glean from the experience and the skill they practiced. A typical query is “What did you just learn? What did it take to make this successful?” It’s a rich way to tap the collective intelligence and wisdom of the team. Research in cognitive sciences and learning pedagogy show that people learn by doing, and retention helps by using recall.
Phase Five: Action
At the heart of this work is the core belief that real, measurable, and sustainable change only happens over time. No one ever gets fit from just one workout at the gym, as nice as that would be. Whether your team does just one session or takes a series of sessions, you need to commit to practice and put the new insights into action, if you want to make the learning stick. Every group leaves a session with a commitment to practicing at least one new behavior between sessions.
I want to play!
What’s next? Whew. All of that was… a lot. We’re just super enthused about what we do and we think it can really help you and your team. So come talk to us! Visit our website and sign up for our email list. You learn about the power of Fujoli PlayLabs by doing it. So what are you waiting for?