TrendsSpotting has discussed “Gamification” in previous posts in the context of “collective action” and crowd sourcing techniques.
In this article, we will explore the use of Gamification as a tool for innovation.
Gamification describes the broad trend of employing game mechanics to non-game environments such as innovation, marketing, training, employee performance, health and social change. Game elements can be competition, ranks or role-playing. It encourages users to engage in desired behaviors, taking advantage of humans’ psychological predisposition to engage in gaming. It can help achieve goals that are important for the organizers (developing innovative ideas), or even help complete tasks that are usually perceived boring (such as counting elements, translating words, completing surveys, shopping, or reviewing websites). I love giving the example of von Ahn, founder of CAPTCHA and Duolingo – who uses games to drive contribution in the most boring assignments.
As Online Sharing Platforms are getting more popular, dedicated gamification platforms were developed to address this specific opportunity. The Enterprise Gamification Consultancy researched gamification platforms and identified GamEffective, Infosys, Bunchball and Badgeville as gamification leaders, three platforms (Funifier, eMee, BizPart Engage) as gamification followers, and five platforms (Mambo.io, SAP, Playlyfe, Gamification-Engine, TribeCloud) as gamification contenders.
Gamification tips for effective innovation processes:
Similar to driving innovation campaigns in organizations, games serve as exciting tools for engagement and contribution.
For best capturing innovation via games, we suggest ensuring the following:
1. Clear goals: the game should provide well-defined rules that will help empower players and direct them to desired goals. Engaging narrative: Gamification builds a narrative that can excite participants and encourage their involvement. Efforts must be enjoyable.
2. Achievable tasks: Gamification should provide opportunities for short-term, achievable goals that will not create disappointment or lead to drop outs.
3. Risk free environment: Evaluation should be based on contribution, not on titles or rank. Participants must feel comfortable to introduce ideas with no fear (good feedback is very important). In some situations, it might be worth to consider anonymity of participants.
4. A smooth route from games to business: Gamiification organizer should plan when participants stop playing and start utilizing more rational thinking, which will allow idea adoption and implementation.
This article is part of the new TrendsSpotting Innovation Report: “Organizational Innovation – Implementing Innovation in Organizations. Research Review and Case Studies