"Play: It's Serious Business"

In today’s demanding and sometimes unforgiving business environment, companies must navigate change and innovate to survive.

From modern brain science, we know that play activities touch and activate the areas of the brain that control executive functions often known as the "CEO of the brain". These functions control ability to organize information, decision making, problem-solving, task flexibility and delegation, time management, planning and execution activities - all critical capacities for change activities.

And, play-based exercises facilitate more balanced participation within a group: mutual curiosity and discovery begin to overshadow titles and hierarchy, yielding diverse perspectives on the challenge at hand.

This is the genesis behind PLAY... a game-based group discovery process that helps organizations address strategic challenges by strengthening their capacity for change and their creativity and innovation "muscle".

During this presentation, you will discover how to:

  • Understand "play" activities as strategic tools in corporate strategies, change initiatives and innovation
  • Experience play methodology for discovery, team building and organizational development (important in change initiatives)
  • Illuminate common challenges and generate insights into current state business challenges
  • Spark new ways to create "discovery opportunities" that are less threatening and lead to activation
  • Build common ground with other participants around shared challenges - possible follow-up after conference
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About Tim Carlson



Tim Carlson is a passionate leader in the formulation and implementation of technology, brand, marketing and sales strategies.

Throughout his career, Tim has worked with more than 200 brands - large and small - in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. That work has focused on bringing companies, products and services to life and to market.

His current company, thinkcube, works closely with creators, business and organizational leaders, and change agents to incubate, challenge and advance new business concepts, products, services and untraditional offerings.

Prior to thinkcube, Tim was most recently the Chief Product Officer and Head of Marketing and Sales at Talent Partners, a $850M business services organization and managing partner at Oxygen, a strategy, brand and marketing consultancy.

Tim is an award-winning designer and has a business degree in finance and marketing from Boston University.

About Paul Kimmerling

Program Designer


Paul Kimmerling, program designer, master trainer and facilitator, helps organizations and individuals boost their performance through customized programming, facilitated events, experiential workshops, and coaching.

Paul’s dynamic approach creates an engaging environment for discovery and transformation. He blends powerful techniques (Innovation Games, Six Hats Thinking, CPSI methods) with his own insights to generate innovative ideas and practical methods
for success.

Prior to his current work, Paul was the HR Learning & Development Manager at MediaOcean (formerly DDS), an advertising technology company. Paul developed and delivered global training solutions to operationalize company objectives and values, and build individual, team and departmental performance.

His facilitation of user-centered design approaches and creative problem solving/discovery techniques was crucial in the success of new initiatives, and fostered improvements in processes, products and relationships.

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