Recently, I read an interview between Bernie DeKoven (who has aliases as varied as: Major Fun, The Shaman of Play, and more) and Barry Joseph (Associate Director For Digital Learning, Youth Initiatives, at the American Museum of Natural History). While the whole interview is delightful, and I recommend it, I was particularly struck by the game called “The Out Blessing Game” or “Endless Blessings.”

Watch Bernie describe it.

I can’t wait to play it with my family.

And, I also thought, “What a wonderful game for Closing a Retrospective!” In a team room variation.

In this version, after the team has selected and committed to an improvement experiment/action for the next iteration, the retrospective leader moves on to Close the Retrospective: a brief review of the meeting and commitments, a story card to take the action/experiment into iteration planning, a discussion of what to keep posted on the walls, a team wrap up, and a brief retrospective on the retrospective.

In this instance the team wrap up activity would include the blessings. One person on the team begins the blessing by saying, “May our team...” and completes the sentence with something they fervently wish the team would receive as a blessing. Then the next person adds more, and the next adds more until someone declares the team totally “out-blessed” (or out blissed!). Then another team member begins a new blessing, and so on, until everyone on the team has out-blessing-ed the last at least once, and there are no team members left to think up a magnificent team blessing.

I can imagine many ways the blessings might start. “May our team support Joe as he.....” “May our team find a path to...” “May our team learn to...” “May our team’s relationship with....” and so on.

Try it at the end of your next retrospective. I plan to. I think it would work for virtual teams as well.

Bernie DeKoven, may you have the best job ever and may it spread playful joy all around the world!