Only variety destroys variety, states Ashby’s principle of requisite variety. According to Ashby, to manage a complex system you need at least its same complexity. Now, if we make one step forward and turn our gaze to the everyday we must question ourselves about the elements determining the complexity of a market place. And the answer can only be: relationships and the system of relationships! That’s why to manage complexity one must have knowledge of the relational styles.

This is the concept from which the business game I attended two weeks ago kicked off – a very instructive business game titled “Which dragon are you?“, organized by the Milan-based event agency FullEvent, managed by Maria Luisa Ciccone, in partnership with EnergetiCoaching. The evening was aimed to present the new motivation division. My goal, stated in a little note prior to the event, was “to let myself be surprised”, and actually I unwittingly turned to be active part of both the event and the game, and I took home interesting reflections.


The metaphor was the dragons’ one. According to this approach each dragon represents a different management style; it’s six of them in total: steam, vip, metal, ice, velvet, shadow. You distinguish them by their energy, which turns into specific behaviours and attitudes.

Two phases characterized the development of the business game: understanding who we are and getting to learn how we relate to others.

Knowing dragons means understanding ourselves, our own dragonship, and admitting there are other ways than ours to live a professional relationship. This starting point is the “core competence” to develop and maintain virtuous relations, both as single individuals (customers, collaborators and colleagues) and as teams.

Dealing with dragons means challenging our limits and, at the same time, enhancing our internal resources. It means observing the others as well as ourselves, suspending judgment, accepting and understanding different characters, enhancing them inside and outside. Ultimately, it means improving and professionally developing.

Dragonship, in EnergetiCoaching metaphor, means leadership crossing the change and adapting to the new organizational and market environment. A leader interfaces with the relational system, i.e. with the element of greatest complexity and opportunity for value creation. Who has dragonship doesn’t just lead, but also aggregates and drives the group. He/she doesn’t claim affiliation but rather lets him/herself be followed.

Why are business games so powerful?

Games as training tools can express and let participants’ creativity flow in a regulated and structured environment, as a metaphor of the organization itself. Experiential learning is proving more and more effective at all levels, especially in complex situations as companies and groups comprising people who don’t know each other.

In this context learning means:

  • activating our own inner resources rather than letting us be conditioned and educated by third parties;
  • being part of a continuous process that doesn’t need for dedicated places and times, and can be fun (to learn you don’t need to suffer);
  • involving rational and cognitive aspects as well as emotional and physical ones;
  • triggering and taking a voluntary growth process.

For me learning within those two hours meant clearly and immediately viewing what my dragonship is, how I interact and how I am in turn perceived by those around me. The goal was thus reached.

Ilenia La Leggia



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