Episode 14

Published on:

12th Jun 2023

Creating a Playful and Purposeful Workplace

What is the point of play? Is it just acting like a child at work?

Nicole has grown children's brands, Ella's Kitchen and worked at informal creative agencies, and also in corporate environments. 

She has identified over the course of her career 10 key qualities that make up a child's lens on business framework that Nicole shares in detail in this episode. 

Nicole believes the whole point of play is to have no point. It is not frivolous. It is a vehicle for connection that can have important benefits for employers including staff retention through greater relationships, willingness to collaborate, general wellbeing and happiness and ultimately better results flow from it.

“Play is like magic tea!” Nicole extols.

But it is NOT just having playful games to be done between the doldrums of work. In this episode explore the definition of play and its deeper meaning beyond just fun in the workplace and the results it will bring. 

Discussion highlights:

  • The role of play in creating connections and fostering better communication
  • The benefits of incorporating playfulness in both personal and professional settings
  • Overcoming barriers to play in corporate environment
  • Applying a child's lens to business brings qualities such as confidence, creativity, resilience, and collaboration.

Key things to consider

  • Creating a culture that encourages creativity and innovation can have a transformative effect on an organization.
  • Playfulness has to be embedded in the culture. It should be integrated into the culture of an organization rather than treated as a separate activity.
  • Having playful areas at work to use between work is not being playful at work
  • To be playful at work and access your playful side, look through the eyes of a child
  • A positive and inclusive organizational culture should encourage creativity, innovation, and collaboration
  • A supportive culture can significantly impact employee engagement, productivity, and overall company success
Show artwork for Why Play Works.

About the Podcast

Why Play Works.
Let's radically reshape work.
Do you have a niggling feeling, a secret hope, that work could be more joyful, more fun and (maybe) a little bit wilder? Do you sense deep down that doing great work doesn't need to be a slog?

In Why Play Works, Lucy Taylor and Tzuki Stewart hear the stories of people who are radically reshaping the idea of work as play - from play practitioners to academics to organisations who take play seriously.

How can working on serious problems be fun and delightful? Is play the opposite of work, or is it actually how we unlock success? How can reconnecting to our playfulness create more fulfilling and enlivening experiences of work?

We investigate how we can harness the power of play to boost resilience, improve well-being and foster collaboration, connection and creativity in the way we work.

About your hosts

Lucy Taylor

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Lucy is the founder of Make Work Play, an organisation on a mission to use the power of play to help organisations unfurl their potential. She is a passionate believer in the power of playful working as a way of bringing the best out in people, creating flow and unleashing creativity.

Lucy designs and leads playful processes which help teams unleash their individual and collective magic. Her approach to facilitation is immersive, playful and creative. Make Work ‘ Playshops’ are a space for you to get the hard work done together in a way that feels enlivening and fun.

Lucy has held positions as Visiting Faculty on MSc Programmes at Ashridge Business School and the Metanoia Institute. She studied PPE at Oxford and has trained in Systemic Coaching and Constellation Mapping, improvisational theatre and puppetry.

Tzuki Stewart

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Tzuki is co-founder of Playfilled, which she brought to life in 2020 with Pauline McNulty to help forward-thinking businesses transform for high performance by filling their culture with purposeful play - the missing piece of the puzzle to increase creativity, collaboration, and continuous learning.

A culture consultancy at the intersection of new ways of working, organisational development and employee experience strategy, Playfilled supports leaders looking to rise to the challenge of changing expectations of work. They offer leadership talks, workshops and change programmes.

Tzuki previously worked in consulting and investment management, and completed an MBA from Warwick Business School in 2019 (timed to coincide with a newborn and toddler "because babies sleep a lot"... that turned out to be a bit of a fallacy!)