Can a computer beat you at Jenga®?

September 24, 2016

 

 

"Jenga® is a game of physical and mental skill. Built on the simple premise of stacking blocks... Players take turns to remove a block from a tower and balance it on top, creating a taller and increasingly unstable structure as the game progresses."

 

 

Description credit: Jenga.com. Image credit: Hasbro.com

 

 

Now that you are familiar with the game I propose an interesting question: Can a computer with knowledge of the game help me to choose the perfect block to remove and where to place it? My hypothesis is yes it can. You are now asking: What does this have to do with Process Tempo? I ask you to please read on.

 

A couple of assumptions: the computer is able to study the tower as it is initially built. In other words you describe to the computer the order and placement of each block as you build the initial tower. It will also be necessary to let the computer understand the physical characteristics of each block: height, width, length and weight.

 

Armed with this information it becomes a simple physics exercise. The computer would know which blocks would create the least impact on stability if removed. The computer could even suggest the appropriate direction and application of force to remove the block and the best position to place the block on top of the tower to maximize or minimize instability depending on the player's strategy.

 

Is this too far fetched? If so, please comment. Now for my analogy:

 

Today's businesses are very much like awkwardly leaning Jenga® towers. They require very careful handling to prevent toppling and because of their complexity any attempt to change a part of the business can be very precarious. Many a career has been tarnished by mis-guided decisions - the moving/changing/replacing of parts of a business without having the proper knowledge of the impact.

 

If business leaders could better understand the implications involved with change they will time and time again implement better change. Enter Process Tempo and it's ability to map a business and stack the blocks in such a way as to make a business that much more stable

 

 

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