Using Games as Organizational Learning Activity

Last week I had the chance to facilitate one of our staff meetings at Heartland Alliance International. And instead of presenting a session about a certain topic, I decided to make it a little bit more interesting and interactive, and chose to facilitate the game called “Win as much as you can”.

What motivated me to lead this game was because I played it twice before: one in Switzerland during the leadership program I participated in, and another time in India during the peacebuilding and conflict resolution training. And during both times I played it, I was very excited although I didn’t like the end results of my groups.

The game consists of 10 rounds. Teams are divided into 4 groups. Each group has the option to choose between two options of characters. In this case, I am going to say “X” and “O”. Every group should decide what card to play every time taking into consideration the goal of the game which is to “win as much as you can”. Also other instructions to the game include:

  1. Don’t share your decisions or exchange your opinions with the other members of the whole group, unless you were given the permission to do that.  This prohibition applies to non-verbal as well as verbal communication.
  2. Every group must agree upon a single choice for each round. No individual decision should be taken.
  3. Don’t reveal your group’s choice to the other groups until you are instructed to do so.

The points that each group will get will be based on who chooses the X and who chooses the O.  Here is how points should be scored.

1X X O O O
3 -1 -1 -1
2X X X O O
2 2 -2 -2
3X X X X O
1 1 1 -3
4X X X X X
-1 -1 -1 -1
0X O O O O
1 1 1 1


Rounds 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 9 are all played the same; however, rounds 5, 8 and 10 payoffs are multiplied by 3, 5 and 10 respectively.

More instructions on how to facilitate this game is here.


It was interesting how the groups decided on their numbers knowing that there was an introduction about the Games Theory before I started the game.

The ultimate way to play this game is by collaboration, though it’s rare to happen, where all groups choose O at all rounds so that no one loses and all win.

My colleagues liked this activity overall. Some were annoyed by how during rounds 5 and 8 where they had the chance to collaborate overall, not everyone collaborated.