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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Simple Rules and Tools - Perfection Game

Making something better and better

The other night at the Aikido dojo some members were tested and successfully achieved their next level of ranking. Immediately before the tests all of us worked through a regular class which usually has us start with practicing a very basic and simple technique and build on it towards a pretty startling movement.

To the casual bystander this approach can seem odd. If I am learning to spin my opponent around me almost horizontally, force them to the mat, and then secure them immobile, why should I spend time practicing having them grab my wrist over and over... and over?

Where's the cool drag them one way, clothes line them across the neck in the other direction, take them off their feet using their own momentum, and have them slam down on the mat, all with a flick of the wrist, twist of the hips, hardly needing a deep breath?

Well, of course, Aikido isn't about being “cool”, or slamming your opponent, who is actually more your partner in an intricate dance than a real threat. At least in the dojo.

And the whole development of these intricate moves occurs step by step, just like learning to fly an aircraft, or any other criteria-based instruction. When one can demonstrate satisfactory performance of one task or movement, then one can progress to the next step.

In particular, at each step one can review, evaluate, and improve to develop a firmer foundation for the next step.

This continuous building and adding to achieve a startling amazing result is one thing Great Teams practice doing during the the Simple Rules and Tools of Great Teams Immersion. The Tool is called the Perfection Game. The initial “movement” is simply whatever idea or proposal is suggested for the team to consider from one of the team members. That person asks one or more of the others to “Perfect” it, and the protocol begins.

It's a very special, structured, and positive form of feedback:
  • it only occurs at the requestor's asking
  • it indicates how much value the responder is hoping to provide to improve the suggestion
  • it covers the aspects of the suggestion the responder likes with only positive comments
  • it indicates any improvements the responder would like to see to make the suggestion as close to perfect for them as it might be – the value the responder is adding
That last step is where the continual building, improvement, and adding value occurs, particularly when the whole team is involved – either at the same time or in stages.

So if you like the opportunity for continuous improvement – kaizen – in your martial art, your flying, driving,... whatever, or are just looking to make an idea better in any situation the simple tool the Perfection Game protocol is ideal.

Find out more about the Simple Rules and Tools for Great Teams at

Get a free copy of all the rules and tools known as The Core Protocols at

See our example of the Perfection Game at

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