Change by games and play? By serious games and playfulness? Would this be possible ... still or again? Yes it can. In my opinion it is the easiest way to help people to gain insights. So they get grip on their own development. The way théy want. Do not be surprised when their team members, coworkers or clients get engaged too. I love to show you how it works.
Who is Yuen Yen?
I wish I knew. That I could say it simply to you. Nah. Doesn't work. Let me rather borrow the words of others, who have described me.
Games and gamification
I know quite a lot about how games and gamification work in large organisations. Including: how to implement them. And what pitfalls are common. How come? A few years ago I worked for the national government. And I believed strongly that the government needed serious gaming. So I took a deep dive into the subject. Read covers to covers; and applied it without hesitation.
From complex to simple
Changing something simple into something complex, is easy. The other way around, to turn something complex into simple again, also easy. If you allow me to pick up my pen and visualize the message. Really, done in a jiffy.
We cán do! This mentality runs thru my veins. When you invite me to come along, I share with you what I think. I also unveil my sources. No problem. This is my normal way of doing. Sometimes ... perceived as 'unconventional' by others. Nice!
What would be the best way to explain to you how I work? You know what, I can describe it best in terms of 'BFF's' (best friends forever). So let me tell you about my BFFs.
Madmultimedia is a gamestudio with a long history. Cool! So Arthur van der Linden van Sprankhuizen has already experienced many 'ups' and a few 'downs' in the sector. Building games or innovating with GPAL; either way, we both are very interested in the human-being-at-work. Especially: how does she/he learn at the working space?
What happens if something new has to be introduced at work? If coworkers need to refresh their knowledge? Then perhaps a digital serious game is the solution, like in the case of Public Health Service (GGD) Twente. Infectionary assists in refreshing the knowledge about infection prevention measurements. And I just love building serious games with a wonderful team of MAD.
Center for International Legal Cooperation, run by Willem van Nieuwkerk, shares knowledge and experience about the Dutch rule of law. The exchange with other countries is always intensive, intriguing and serious. So how am I involved?
I make sure that the participants do not get bored;-) I apply creative working formats, serious games, visualizing techniques or gamification in the learning process. Choosing different ways to interact with each other, while staying focused on the materials. The team builds itself. Learning together makes it easier for every one. Complex matters can become simple again. Now the participants can make an educated choice from methods and experiences to apply back home. Thát is what games and play ignite.
Design Thinkers Academy
Summer 2017. Drinking a cup of tea with Tim Schuurman. Getting to know each other. Design Thinking, a method, a vision. In this design thinking world, visual thinking and play are inseparable parts. Wait, is that not my destination?! :-D Without play there is no creation. Without creation, there is no change. That is what the DesignThinkers Academy has shown me clearly.
Together with Tim Schuurman and other facilitators, we help participants to understand the principles and methods of Design Thinking. In order to apply in real life. That is why we unite our efforts and catchy laughters to guide participants to great insights.
What can I do for you?
Did I confuse you with all my stories? Apologies. Let me wrap it up for you:
You are dealing with learning and development matters. And you search for unusual solutions. Sometimes these solutions cause surprising changes. For which you have no fear, because the long-term goal is crystal clear to you.
You think that I could help and reach out. I will share with you my thoughts about serious games, gamification, video-based learning with GPAL or creative sessions. Let's see if something resonates. And when it does, let's decide together what the best next step will be.
The Story of Shiraka
I call a creative session 'playful learning'. How could this look like? I tell more about it in this Tedtalk.
Reflections of a Facilitator
In the cosy studio of André I have beautiful conversations with special persons. Apparently a certain insight, perspective or thought was the compelling reason for the rendezvous. Communication, contact and culture often emerge during the conversation. How to facilitate a group, how to involve people, how to make an impact for sustainable change, are not simple to-do-lists. These questions challenge us to explicit our personal beliefs and ways of working.
That is why we have a conversation. Reflections come and reflections go. Thought by thought we help each other to gain insight in one's own work.
Paths of Life cross. Then what? I show you. First you get crunched in a firm hug :-D Equivalent to 'Words of Gratitude' for the training. You will giggle unstoppably. Then you stay in touch. Conversation unveils. Word by word Sofiène explained to me how his mind opened up to play, strengthening a sense of direction in his working life, seeing the power of positiveness affecting people. I was so impressed. I merely withdrew in silence to reflect on what was happening. :-D Óf cóurse we met again. Cooked up an experiment for Humanity&Inclusion, Tunis. The Crossing turns out to be a supersonic highway; bridging The Hague and Tunis. What a journey!
Ayman. Bold, young man. 'If the teacher is interesting, I stay. If not, I go'. Resonated with me, while facilitating. Quite a challenge.
So we played serious games. Did I have an other option? No, of course;-) not.
I admire Ayman's willpower to walk his own path. Resisting peer pressure and system dynamics. Aborting patterns, once useful, but ineffective today.
Thinking out loud he was able to express his thoughts, reflecting his behavior before, during and after the game. Opening up, formulating his thoughts, accepting feedback, rethinking. It all requires attention, courage and persistence. Grateful to walk along his unconventional learning journey. Wish him well.
One day he was sitting in my room. together with more than 20 fellow-professionals. I was focused on building this team in order to achieve effective learning journeys for them. They were waiting for me to start playful learning.
Within 2 minutes Medyan interrupted me. Asked me questions about play. And stepped in - immediately. He learned, he applied back home and brought change to his organisation.
I admire his wits, his drive, his empathy and his kindness. We share a common vision on teams. We all can learn about how teams work. But to make teams work, we have to step in. Be present.
So he was. Not only for me, but for the whole team.
Yuen Yen is a master. Why? A master is somebody who exceeds the material. She owns the material, not the other way around. She is also a master of disruption. In an inimitable manner she confuses you, therfor you have to reflect. Or flee. When you choose the latter, it will be painful. Perhaps for Yuen Yen (I do not quite know), but certainly for the fleeing one. Yuen Yen ís the intervention. The rest is mere detail.
"Yuen Yen, this amazing trainer whom I met for the first time in the Shiraka programme in The Hague! Verily, I say unto you, she combines, in her style, creativity, art, communication and the ability to simplify sciences. I have been always wondering, what if she was not there in the training and left us dealing with purely legal themes, how would things go. I learnt from her that the individual creativity doesn’t matter if there is no communication between related parties. She nicely used games as a means of communication between trainees. So I learnt from her an example of the relationship between the movie director and the novelist or writer. She played the role of an excellent director and showed us how a director can take us out of the novel world to a sensory and realistic world in a real movie! In addition, her style illustrated that the use of artistic creativity, drawing and games is important in transmitting information and in interaction. Indeed, her permanent smile and laughter and her optimistic face bring each training session into life and make the human mind in permanent development and creativity.
Finally, I would like to say that Yuen Yen’s training style and her theory of transmitting information are irreplaceable in every training session.
Personally, I tried her approach with my students and results were very positive. I highly appreciate this person!"
هذه المدربة الرائعة التي تعرفت عليها في برنامج شراكة لاول مرة في لاهاي هذه شهادة أقوله بحقها صدقا : انها في أسلوبها تجمع بين الابداع والفن وعلم التواصل وتبسيط العلوم yuen yan
وكنت دائما اتساأل اذا لم تكن موجودة في التدريب ونحن في عملية قانونية بحتة كيف كانت تسير الامور ؟؟؟
، تعملت منها أن الابداع الفردي ليس مهما ما لم يكن هنالك تواصل بين الفئات وذوي العلاقة! وأبدعت هي في استخدام الالعاب كوسيلة للتواصل بين المتدربين
ولذلك تعلمت منها مثال العلاقة التي تجمع بين مخرج الافلام بالروائي والكاتب ، فهي مثلت دور المخرج البارع ، كيف يستطيع المخرج السينمائي ان يخرج الرواية من طورها الكتابي الى طورها الحسي والواقعي كفلم واقعي!، إضافة أنني تعلمت منها من إسلوبها أن استخدام الابداع الفني والرسوم واللعب هي وسيلة مهمة في توصيل المعلومة والتفاعل ، حقيقة هي بضحكتها وبسمتها الدائمة، وتفاؤلها الدائم تبث الروح في كل عملية تدريبية متواجدة فيها ويجعل عقل الانسان في تطور وإبداع دائمين
وفي الكلمة الاخيرة أقول ان أسلوب يون في التدريب ووجودها في العملية التدريبية ونظريتها في توصيل المعلومة لايمكن الاستغناء عنها في أي عمل تدريبي
وانا عن نفسي جربت طريقتها ذلك على طلابي في الجامعة وكانت النتائج أيجابية للغاية
مع التقدير لشخصها.
Learning can be seen as a journey. Taking a learning journey with Yuen Yen as facilitator brings you to a playful, beautiful, inspiring place that previously was unknown or did not attract your attention.
And you are not alone on this journey. Time and time again Yuen Yen seems to be able to form warm groups, whether you are an employee, director of even a judge. Within the shortest time you feel free to experiment. You look for new horizons and try different ways of moving around this new world via vessels of intervention methods.
Sometimes the mountains on this journey seem high, but when coming closer you will see it is not that far away when you learn in a playful way. With Yuen Yen present it is not so hard to try something new. And not hard at all, when you get the taste of it.
How do I know this? I have studied the work of Yuen Yen in national and international contexts. I have written it down here: for you. This is the very essence of what many of her former participants told me in the role of researcher for the Radboud University, faculty of Management Sciences, dept intervention methodology.
I worked with Yuen Yen as project manager at Spirit. Yuen Yen drew visuals for the project 'Hidden Solutions (Verborgen Oplossingen)', in which we experimented with customized solutions to put social security of families in need, in order. Her visuals captured our lessons learned, insights and results adequately.
The cooperation with Yuen Yen is wonderful. Always enthousiastic, full of ideas and creative. Significant advantages also are Yuen Yen's experience in change processes, her flexibility and very quick way of working.
Yuen Yen, we have cooperated pleasantly together in the project Serious Game Infectionary. You directed a process, you have incredibly much knowledge and translates the wish of the client into technique, whereby you are communicative and highly skilled in connecting. We love to work together once again in the future. Team Infectionary, Public Health Service Twente.
Shiraka (The Hague, december 2016/Tunesia, april 2017) This was one of the best workshops I have ever attended. From day one the training course was very interactive, inspirational, engaging and enjoyable. It was my first time ever to experience learning by playing, the idea of learning by playing allowed for a better and faster learning and communicating. And this allowed for tying our different ends together in concluding every discussion. It was an experience that will live long in my memory although time flew by!
I was very happy seeing Yuen Yen training Judges by using sticky notes and visual drawing. She was really bringing out the best of them by turning a workshop and brainstorming to such a play which was a mix between having fun and having more creativity.
So next time you’re thinking about doing a team building day for your team, creating a new training workshop, or hiring an expert to help your team improve its performance, make sure you incorporate ‘play’ into the session. If you’re interested in finding someone who incorporates play into very effective, professional workshops, look no further. You have found her here.
When someone can talk about difficult processes in a simple, effective and funny way then it is said they have a gift. I honestly think they are a gift. A gift to those who are listening to them. Yuen Yen was our gift in Rome last November. It was great to see how the Netherlands and Italy could work together on a governmental level in the applied gaming sector. We hope to see Yuen Yen again and more and more often in Italy to link our countries on this challenging and interesting issue. She was a key player in promoting Dutch applied gaming in Italy.