What the &$^# is a Pikachu?
It started with a few photos on Facebook. Cartoons and acquaintances of mine were popping up in photos together on my newsfeed. I figured it was random or a super geeky thing I didn’t need to know about and then the posts started getting more cryptic….friends were “hunting” Pokemon? Pokemon were screen-capped sitting on friends’ laptops and posted to social media and I was very very confused.
Even the University Health Network here in Toronto posted a chart on how to play safely. Wait what?
Are you playing @Pokemon GO yet? Here are some quick tips for playing safely around UHN. #PokemonGO #teampika pic.twitter.com/rqgh3JChPw
— UHN (@UHN_News) July 19, 2016
Then the naysayers started emerging. Nasty tweets and posts popped up about how stupid it was. While sending a text during my morning dog walk the construction worker doing road paving near my house said “Ugh. Tell me you aren’t looking for Pokemon? That is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of”. News stories broke out about PokemonGo related injuries, accidents, along with the instant rise of Nintendo’s share price.
My husband came home that night, and described the concept. “You walk around and there are things to collect and battle while you walk around. And it is in real life. It’s weird, but kind of interesting, right?”
I thought, wow, I’m not really interested in phone games, but the concept sure does sound neat.
So I downloaded it. Much like Snapchat I didn’t get it right away. (My good friend Jamie told me that it was so old people couldn’t figure out how to use it. Hmph.) But I figured a few things out. I caught a few Rattatats and Zubats. Then Ruth downloaded it and we went for a little break. We had quite a blast, and I learned a few things too!
So while I hate to admit it, it’s kind of fun. It’s kind of social. It got me outside for a quick walk instead of glued to my laptop.
So why would a leader in an organization give PokemonGo a try? Shouldn’t we be keeping our minions in their offices doing work instead of looking for nearby Pokestops? I don’t think so. And here’s why:
3 Reasons Leaders Should Download PokemonGo
- It Will Help You Be Kind and Curious. Remember our famous coaching phrase? Kindness and curiosity leave no room for anger and resentment. Instead of harbouring all that anger and resentment for those cute little cartoon characters, try playing it for 15 minutes. If you hate it, at least you can say why and you can say you tried it, right? Get your kids to teach you, or get your employees to show you how it works. They’ll get a kick out of it. Trust me.
- You Will Find Something New to Talk about. Often when dealing with different generational types in the workplace, it’s hard to find some common ground in conversations. Instead of your team members jumping back to their desks and pretending to finish their TPS reports when they were actually out poke-hunting, you can ask them if they found that damn Zubat, and encourage them to relax. Start a conversation, ask them to take you for a hunt and show you how it works. They will love getting to engage with you without having to have that same humdrum conversation about your weekend. (And they’ll respect you when you suggest it’s time to get back to work now.)
- It Will Help You Encourage an Active Work Culture. Maybe your office has a lunchtime plank session, or yoga class, or fitness or meditation group. In large organizations that might be possible, but in smaller organizations it might be cost prohibitive to implement a large scale wellness program. This is a great way to take 10-15 minutes out of your day, to get outside as a group, go poke-hunting together, and get some fresh air.
This all being said – boundaries are important. What I love about the UHN tweet is that asks people to be safe and considerate of others, but also jumps into the spirit of things and wishes players luck. If you feel it necessary to set some boundaries in your organization, try to keep it firm and fun, instead of shutting the whole thing down and making people hunt in secret.
Tell us how PokemonGo is playing a part (or not) in your worklife. Tweet us at @whiteboardcons!
Until Next Time,