OFMOS - A Powerful Tool in Business Education, Executive Training, and Beyond


Note: This article was an excerpted from the Detailed Instructions for the board game OFMOS in October 2017.

The overall game mechanics are rooted in a theory that explains, at a high level, how companies behave over extended periods of time. It is an abstract model that views companies as dynamic collections of virtual business worlds, called ofmos. Visible to the mind’s eyes only, yet persistent, these entities encapsulate the organization’s activity, each generating a stream of profit (or loss).

Using human behavior as a foundational block and then building explanations for how organizations and societies evolve, the theory is fundamental in nature. It transcends time, geographies, and circumstances, providing a set of basic dynamics that can describe any company. Furthermore, this underlying theory unifies the top-down, intended approach to running a company with the bottom-up, emerging approach — a significant problem facing business executives every day, as the environment tends to constantly change.

Bringing key contributions to the field of management, OFMOS has the potential to significantly impact the process of business management education, formal and informal. The game could be used as instructional scaffolding or as a knowledge-unifying umbrella, or both, becoming a valuable tool in business classes for high school and college students, in workshops for executive and corporate training, or even at home by parents sharing their experience with their children.  

Instructional Scaffolding

For those who are new to the discipline of business management, the game could serve as a mechanism for turning the process of learning upside down. Instead of the traditional approach of starting out with narrow concepts that keep accumulating without a clear, comprehensive big picture, the learners start with the abstract model embodied in the game and use it as a skeleton or scaffolding, on which all subsequent business knowledge can be meaningfully placed. Furthermore, the game can be easily used to help structure a learning path that makes the education process even more cohesive.

Knowledge-Unifying Umbrella

For those who already have experience in the business world, or even formal business training or education, OFMOS can be used to structure and meaningfully bring together all of their knowledge. The game can serve as a knowledge unifier by providing a framework for the business big picture. And for those who are still active and deeply involved in the process of business management, it can even help them develop and refine their approach to various management tools, such as scenario planning and strategic narratives.


Toward a Better Society

By gaining a deeper understanding of how businesses work, all those involved (i.e., founders, investors, employees, customers, government) can translate this knowledge into a better understanding of how economies work. The notion of creative destruction, according to which healthy economies are characterized by a smooth ongoing replacement of old industries with new ones, becomes easier to grasp and more tangible, when seen from the new perspective. That, in turn, can lead to better decisions that shape a healthier society, sustainable in the long run.


Image 1: Sloan Group International (http://www.sloangroupinternational.com/executive-coaching-service/)

Image 2: The board game OFMOS, played in the Scenario Mode


This article was first published here.


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Cristian Mitreanu