In this episode, we have some fun and talk about the power of play in the workplace with Gary Ware, TEDx Speaker, Facilitator, Coach, and Founder at Breakthrough Play.

Listen to People and Performance Podcast

Gary Ware is a self-proclaimed creativity catalyst helping people reach their potential using the power of play. A sought-after facilitator, TEDx speaker, and Founder of Breakthrough Play, Gary combines his passion for improv theatre with over a decade of experience in the advertising industry specializing in digital marketing to help creative professionals develop deeper relationships to drive performance.

Gary’s obsession with learning how to use play as a transformational tool led to his own transformation, moving him out of digital marketing into a world of transformation to help people improve their business, relationships, and life.

With a belief that humans are wired for play and if you can tap into their play drive you can create magic, Gary and his team deliver training and retreats for organisations to help them increase psychological safety, reduce voluntary turnover and increase job satisfaction.

Questions Include:

  • Here’s a cracker to get this performance podcast party going! And we’ll obviously get into the why, who, how, where and when as we navigate today’s discussion. But to begin, please can you tell us in – 60 seconds or less – what it means for the employee and to company performance when we can dedicate time to have fun and play together at work?
  • You are quoted as saying “Prior to learning about the benefits of play, I thought burnout was a badge of honor”. Tell me about your prior mindset and how you used to live your life and why mindset is so important as we think about play?
  • So why is it so important to give ourselves “permission to play”?
  • The reality is that, to achieve your professional development and career goals, you need to learn and grow in your career. When it comes to, for example, professional accreditations, are there areas to explore where leadership can help add more fun along the L&D journey? Should HR and managers ensure and facilitate the use of experiential learning (and improv) wherever possible? If so, why?
  • Creating a safe environment to embrace play – what can happen if leadership facilitates time for playful interaction between colleagues but doesn’t create a ‘safe space’ in which employees can take part?
  • When you’re working with companies and individuals, helping them recalibrate play into their life, the first thing that you tell them to do is focus on awareness. As part of that, you have them document whenever they feel they’re engaging in playful activities. Why does that matter?