Jenga is a balancing game played with 54 slender wooden blocks. It challenges the players mental skills and agility. To begin, all the wooden blocks are stacked on top of each other (this is not the challenging part) three to a tier until it is 18 levels tall. Once the tower is built, the game begins and each player takes a turn choosing a block to remove. The goal is to remove a block from the guts of the tower without it toppling over. After that, the player is then required to place the block they removed on the top of the stack, again, without the tower falling down. As the game progresses the tower becomes less and less stable, when eventually it falls over.
I’ve talked with clients in corporate America who feel like their jobs are becoming an endless game of Jenga. As people are “tapped out” of their jobs and not replaced, workloads become increasingly hard to balance. The remaining workers must deal with the overwhelming instability, as it takes a toll on their ability to do their jobs well. Although the tower hasn’t fallen for most of corporate America, the precariousness is felt throughout the company as job duties grow beyond a fair balance.
But, what about those Jenga blocks that are added to the top of the wooden pile? What are they representative of?