How my Game of Go Skills Can Inform my Game of Work Skills

The agenda for this week’s Annual Meeting of the New Champions at the World Economic Forum in Tianjin includes plenaries, sessions, and conversations that focus on topics that can broadly inform our work as communication and marketing strategists in the higher education and nonprofit sectors. Academic experts, media leaders, technology pioneers, social entrepreneurs, business leaders, and civic society organization leaders will be discussing a range of issues around three themes: redesigning systems, rethinking innovation, reshaping growth.

Here's the thread I see.

Across the higher education landscape, colleges and universities are redesigning systems to improve teaching and learning, to help more students succeed in their studies and graduate, and to break down barriers that are keeping students from gaining access to education.

Four-year and two-year institutions are rethinking innovation in ways unimagined by their colleagues only a few short years ago, looking around the next bend for ways to use new technology.

And they are reshaping growth to accommodate declining financial support from local and national government sources, changes in student demographics, and shifts in determining what students need to succeed today.

The sessions that I'll be following more closely are Building the Future Web, Education for a New Age, Navigating the New World of Work, and Building a Global Brand. The speakers and participants have deep and broad experience and knowledge in these areas that cut across my interests and my work.

I must admit that I'm intrigued by one session in particular: A Conversation with Lee Sedol, Grand Master of the Strategy Game of Go, (and Grand Master of the Korea Baduk Association). I did some reading in advance of his discussion and have become fascinated with the game. Here’s what interests me about it, from the Korea Baduk Association website: “There is great scope for intuition and experiment in a game of Baduk.” “The game reflects the skills of the players in balancing attack and defence, making stones work efficiently, remaining flexible in response to changing situations, timing, analysing accurately and recognising the strengths and weaknesses of the opponent.” Sounds a lot like the skills needed to be successful in business today.

I'm interested in learning more about the game and how my game of Go skills can inform my game of Work skills...making “stones” work efficiently while remaining flexible in response to changing situations, timing, analyzing…I think I’ll give Go a try.