The Oasis Game is a transformation tool used by the HRM department with company representatives to transform the company culture. When the company culture of a company becomes counter productive for the mission and vision, then transformational change must be promoted. The Oasis Game, when time and willingness of managers and workers are available, will drive transformational change. The collective releases more energetic enthusiasm than the individual one; aligned through the Oasis Game, the community will create a long-lasting change of the company culture. This blog post introduces the 7 disciplines of the Oasis Game through an adaption of the Elos Methodology of the Elos Institute (Instituto Elos, 2015).
The first discipline is the Appreciative Gaze
The collective should come together and start to cultivate an appreciative view of the current company culture and the work environment in which the work actually takes place. During this process workers should start valuing the presence and the potential contribution of each worker. One needs to be in the moment and define what can be appreciated. For example, one can appreciate the leadership skills of all managers, the transparent information flow, the current company values, the contribution of worker X, the organizational talent of worker Y or the problem solving skill of worker Z. Understanding and observing the current work culture are the foundation of the Oasis Game.
The second discipline is the Affection
The workers should start to engage in active listening and listen to the experiences of each other relating to the current work culture. During this process trust, affection and finally refuge should be established. Furthermore, workers, if not all company members are present, should connect with managers and talents of the company. At the core of this discipline are two points: 1. identifying and 2. synthesizing the essence of the shared experiences of the work culture, whether they are good or bad.
The third discipline is the Dream
Workers should use the synthesis to create aspiration. It is important to focus on possibilities instead of problems. Presenting the dreams without criticism to each other is very important. However, the aspiration must be authentic and genuine to the company and the workers because only then will the workers become evangelist and support and promote the dreams. The core of this discipline is to aspire after the best work culture and not merely a better one. Believing in utopia must be the common ground.
The fourth discipline is the Care
Workers should start to care about the dreams. It is important to find references for the existing dreams, showing that the dreams are feasible. During this process the workers must act as a community and plan to build the dream together. For example, one should start answering the Five Ws, Five Ws and one H or the Six Ws. The choice of dreams must be collective and the majority of the community should participate in the planning process. Remember the quote of Laurence J. Peter: „If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else.“
The fifth discipline is the Miracle
This is the moment when the community is in action. The key word during this step really is „action“. The planning must be put into action to empower the dreams of utopia. At the heart of this discipline are three crucial characteristics: 1. Cooperation among the community 2. Autonomy of the community and 3. Pro-activity of the individual in the community.
The sixth discipline is the Celebration
After the first action or the first milestone of the dream is accomplished, the community should get together to celebrate the accomplishment. That is the moment when the psychical dream meets the physical reality while celebrating the transformational contribution of the community. The community is, metaphorically speaking, transforming a desert to an oasis and, thus, this transformation tool is playfully called the Oasis Game.
The seventh and last discipline is the Re-evolution
In this process one grows together and restart the disciplines of the Oasis Game with a new confidence – a confidence based on having made the dream that seemed impossible come true. The Oasis Game, followed disciplined, should be restarted regularly according to the needs and wants of the company and its workers.
The Oasis game is a transformation tool that is centered around the workers; based on their dreams a work culture will be developed that can create transformational change if put enthusiastically into action.
Instituto Elos. (2015). Todo mundo tem um sonho, o nosso é realizar juntos. Retrieved July 22, 2015, from http://institutoelos.org