Ludic Loopiness

Curious about a new term, I recently checked a definition of ludic loop: doing something over and over again because every once in a while you get a reward.


Considering the definition and how it might apply to the workplace, one imagines its usefulness in several situations.


For example:

  • Individual Level: As a manager dealing with a ‘problem employee’ ask yourself a hard question: are you trying to address that problem the same way over and over again? If yes, stop the ludic loopiness.
    • Take a fresh look at the situation and use a new, better approach.
    • Before the next conversation with that employee ends, be certain you have a clear mutual understanding of what is expected going forward.
  • Team Level: Put some time in your next team meeting agenda for a new discussion item with an opportunity for creative problem solving. During that meeting, share the term and come to a team understanding of its definition.
    • Before the meeting ends, ask what is happening within the team that may fall into ludic loopiness.
    • Collect ideas and identify one that seems to grab people’s attention.
    • Use collective creativity to plan for changed behaviors so that particular loop is no longer preventing team success.
  • Self Level: Do you get to the end of too many days without completing urgent items on your To-Do list? That’s another potential ludic loop.
    • What changes will you make to better manage your work day?
    • What rewards will you experience when the loopiness is overcome?


Use these ideas to identify and overcome the ludic loopiness within and around you.