Diversity and Innovation – A Perfect Team

div n innov

Please, not another business imperative! Every time I open a journal or glance at a blog it seems as though the panacea to all business ills has just been discovered and is waiting for me to embrace it! One minute I’m being told to hire for cultural fit, the next to increase diversity. It’s no wonder that employee engagement is falling because if I’m being pushed from pillar to post then it’s not surprising that my people are confused……

Which of us can honestly say hand on heart that thoughts such as these haven’t slunk through our heads in the wee small hours of the night; when we should be resting but our minds are busy with the imperative to do more, be more, and to drive our organisations through to success. And the problem with dark thoughts in the middle of the night is that they come singly, they present themselves as completely individual challenges which have to be conquered one by one.

      1. Collaborating for greatness

Don’t just take the market, shape the market or create entirely new markets”.

So hiring for cultural fit and promoting diversity together can strengthen business prospects. Let’s think for a moment about one of the key elements of a culture of innovation, namely collaboration.

For full Article about Diversity and Innovation- A perfect Team visit Innovation Management

Also have a look on our upcoming topics of Online Learning Innovation Programs and varipos Innovation Process.

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Three Megatrends that will Affect Everybody’s Business

The future is hard to predict and a lot of “experts” regularly get it wrong. However, there are some facts so important and trends so inevitable that leaders would be ill-advised to ignore and not try to anticipate. Here are three of many future megatrends that will not necessarily determine what will happen, but will most likely have a big impact on everybody’s business in the coming years to decades.

Changing demography

This is one of the only indicators that cannot lie about the future: Tomorrow, we will all be older than we are today!

Some of the major changing tides of demography may have important political, economic, and potentially military consequences. For example: what are the implications of Russia having a life expectancy of 59 versus 61 for Bangladesh?

Infrastructure will need to be redone and rethought, creating a lot of openings for building and technology innovators.”

Looking to another part of the world, a number of analysts are betting that China, the most populous country on the planet, will take up some demographic slack and be the growth engine of the future. I wouldn’t be so sure about that. While today’s generation may be relatively prosperous, the country’s one child policy is beginning to take its toll; smaller numbers of the next generation will have to support a much more massive pool of aging citizens just like in the so-called developed countries.

Here is not the end. Read full Blog here>> Three Megatrends that will Affect Everybody’s Business

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Innovation Stakeholder Management: Gain Success From My Failure

The first article in this series focused on approaches to innovation stakeholder management. In that article I contrasted the approach outlined by Mitra Best in her HBR article titled “Get the Corporate Antibodies on Your Side,” where she suggested that you needed to get all stakeholders fully on board for your innovation efforts, in order to drive success. My experience says that this approach is unworkable within a corporate context, and that you need to focus efforts on the stakeholders that are both most likely to support your thinking, and are in a position to influence others towards your goals.

In today’s article, I want to focus on a couple of examples where in former roles I tried to generate broad support for my efforts, with varying degrees of success.

Example #1: Trying hard, but losing time

I worked with an organization where I was trying to launch an employee-focused innovation training and engagement program. Unlike today, where this kind of activity is well understood, this was a relatively new type of thinking, within an extremely conservative, political and consensus-driven organization. Not an ideal innovative environment, but large organizations rarely are. I was advised to gain support by the 15-members of an executive steering committee before proceeding with the launch of my training effort.
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Game-changing Innovations are Right in Front of You, So Why Don’t You See Them?

In scientific terms, habituation is the process of becoming desensitized or unresponsive to non-threatening stimulus because of repeated exposure to it. That annoying mark on the wall that you stopped seeing; habituation. That annoying clock tick-tocking in the background that you don’t hear; habituation. That horrible odour your colleague left behind that you no longer notice; habituation. That billion dollar frustration which you could easily solve but no longer notice; habituation.

Habituation is an amazing form of learning. It has been shown in essentially every species of animal (Jennings 1906). So it must be essential to every species’ survival and have arrived early in the evolutionary game. It allows us to save energy and reduce stress by not wasting full-blooded survival antics in the face of a gust of wind. It also plays a role in less life threatening things such as when you’re eating, giving you the feeling of being full when you’re not (Raynor & Epstein 2001).

Read Full article at http://www.innovationmanagement.se/2015/04/13/game-changing-innovations-are-right-in-front-of-you-so-why-dont-you-see-them/

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New Report: Leaders Driving Innovation in the Enterprise

Imagine if you could listen to the daily conversations of world-class online learning innovation program leaders. How would you use that information to deepen your thinking about innovation and what it takes to really implement it, organization-wide? In a new report from Leadtail and Brightidea you can review social media insights from 40 top innovation program leaders to help you better understand, learn from, and engage those professionals responsible for driving innovation programs at the enterprise.

About their approach

  • The executives have a mix of corporate roles and work in different industries, yet all wield significant influence over the strategy and execution of innovation programs at their companies.

  • These innovators all actively participate in social media to discover content, conversations, and people in a way that informs and inspires their passion for innovation.

  • Though we analyzed individual Twitter handles (vs. brand handles), many of these influencers use Twitter to engage friends, colleagues, brands, and media on behalf of themselves AND their brand.

  • Unlike survey data, this report summarizes behavioral data – what the executives we studied empirically DO:

Read More at http://www.innovationmanagement.se/2015/04/01/new-report-leaders-driving-innovation-in-the-enterprise/

  • who they mention, what they share, and how they engage

7 Ways For You To Be the Best Leader In Your Entrepreneurship

To be the best leader in your entrepreneurship one should know various ways and techniques which are necessary for your business success. To achieve this the top most company officials have a lot more to plan & discuss in their plate. After a healthy discussion & planning companies need to implement highly innovative online learning programs within the organization, so that individuals develop their level of professionalism and can easily become a good leader for your team. There are various ways to be the best leader in your entrepreneurship and out of which there are 7 ways which are very important to achieve this.

As an entrepreneur, you are the de facto leader in whatever it is you want to do. This might seem like a difficult conceit to believe in but it can really be a good point to explore. You need to use a few concepts when looking for ways to become the best possible leader that you can be.

1. Hire people that you know are right for your job

The people that you choose to employ must be people who are capable of working well for you and understand whatever it is you want them to do. Only hire people that are sensible and understand your goals. If you hire people who get your needs and have the resources to bring your business to the next step then you will feel much happier about your work. You’ll have people on hand who actually want to help.

2. Be aware of your flaws

No one in the world is perfect. You should stop trying to think that you are perfect yourself. Instead, focus on what you can do in order to keep your business afloat while building a team of employees who can fill in the blanks in your life. Having workers who will cover your flaws will help you attain whatever you want to get. You will not have to worry for far too long when coming up with solutions either.

3. Make sure the promises that you make are ones that you can actually keep

Don’t ever think that you have to make lofty promises when trying to go somewhere. Only make promises that you know you can follow through on. If you stick with difficult promises that are impossible for you to meet then it will be hard for people to actually take you seriously.

4. Let any ideas that you come up with evolve

While you might think that your current entrepreneurial ideas might be smart and attractive, you have to allow those ideas to change over time. Don’t be afraid to let your ideas move forward and change after a while.

5. Talk with other leaders in your area

If you get in touch with other entrepreneurs and business owners in your area then you can do more than just form good partnerships. You can learn from those who are looking to be successful just like you. You can learn about the right ways for leading a business and what you can do to change your business’ prospects and move forward.

6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if needed

You should never assume that a good leader is someone who will go far without asking for help. The odds are you might need help in some way. You must ask for help on occasion if you’re going to actually get anywhere and stay successful. If you ask for help on occasion then you will not only get certain problems in your work resolved but you will also receive the admiration and appreciation of others in the workplace. Everyone will know that you’re human and that you are always on the lookout for help as needed.

7. Challenge yourself to do new things

You could really become more successful and proficient in your work if you are willing to challenge yourself to do new things. You can challenge yourself by questioning your skills and trying new activities that will test just how far those skills can go. You may want to think about these skills if you want to change your life in some positive manner.

Your entrepreneurship will be easier for you to manage if you think about your leadership skills. You must be willing to work as hard as possible to maintain your leadership skills so it will be very easy for you to go far and do the most with your efforts.

Photo : Business leader rescues by Shutterstock.com

10 Commandments of Effective Crowdsourcing

The central idea behind this piece is to compile a practical list of tips which can help executives make their crowdsourcing initiatives work and get the most out of them: Some of these ideas are new; but to a surprising degree the most important ones are the old things, that we probably tend to forget as we are bombarded by countless applications and ideas in the crowdsourcing space.

These tips are based on the result of a multi-year study and discussions with some of my colleagues in management consulting industry, academic friends and executives who have had a positive or negative experience with crowdsourcing. They also cover observations of more than 50 regular winner-takes-all challenges as well as online multi-stage competitions which I refer to as “innovation tournaments”. I hope this will become a starting point for our online community to share and discuss their views and enrich our mutual understanding of the emerging best practices for running effective crowdsourcing initiatives.

So without further ado, here comes the 10 commandments:

1. Make sure the nature of your problem is crowd-friendly:

Companies face many challenges and these challenges can certainly be crowdsourced. But that doesn’t mean the crowd can solve all those problems on time. There is an inherent uncertainty associated with crowdsourcing in the sense that companies don’t know if they are going to get an answer by the end of their campaign.

Therefore, it’s better for mission critical and extremely difficult issues to work with a smaller group or a  “controlled crowd” or alternatively have a plan B in place in case the crowd can’t come up with a solution on time.

2. Define your problem at the right level:

Companies can decompose an issue into smaller and more abstract problems to a level digestible by the crowd.

At its raw form, crowd might not be able to solve certain problems. Think about the optimization of a sub-system software for a satellite which might look scary for many participants in a crowdsourcing community. However, companies can decompose an issue into smaller and more abstract problems to a level digestible by the crowd. In case of the satellite example, this can be a math problem which in essence addresses the optimization challenge.

3. Make sure high performers are definitely involved:

The number of solvers participating in a crowdsourcing effort matters: It is certainly a good thing to generate a high number of ideas, but the quality of the ideas coming out of the challenge is even more important. These quality ideas typically come from high performers and experienced experts. Since in many settings, the high quality solutions are the only ones which are being picked up by the company, it is essential to involve high performers to increase the likelihood of high quality idea generation.

4. Link your problem to real value:

Often time companies launch crowdsourcing campaigns just to generate ideas. The result if a long list of ideas which are not used at all. This is a complain I have heard from many executives – They don’t like crowdsourcing campaigns to be done just for the sake of doing it.  Ideally the problem at the heart of the campaign should be aligned with issues facing the company. These problem typically come from non-innovation executives and if the focus is on such issues, the solutions will be more likely to be implemented by them.

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http://www.innovationmanagement.se/2015/01/07/10-commandments-of-effective-crowdsourcing/

7-Tips To Consider Around Your Innovation Training Efforts

In recent years an increasing number of innovation professionals have been exploring opportunities to training, connect and engage employees around innovation skills. As this competency becomes more established, chatter and analysis is generated (just see many of the great articles on Innovation Management) and, perhaps inevitably, vendors create some interesting solutions. It is pretty exciting.

Before proceeding further, and in the interest of full disclosure, you should know that I run an innovation training company called Culturevate . However, it may be worth noting that the thinking in this article is based on my experience in creating and running a successful innovation training program at BNY Mellon. So I may have some bias, but it is based on corporate experience, which perhaps is a bias in and of itself. Anyway, I am getting too meta. You get the idea.

So training employees around innovation skills is no small feat, with lots of details that can (and likely will) go wrong. With that in mind, you really do want to get this kind of activity right, driving the most value to your organization and making you look like a champion in the process.

So, what are some important elements to consider as you explore innovation training for your organization:

1) Alignment of training approach to existing processes

There are many different approaches and methodologies to innovation. It is important that the training aligns with the organization’s existing processes and approaches. In my experience, this type of training should also incorporate information on Corporate, Business Unit and Innovation Program priorities. Additionally, consider including information around the various channels and tools that are available to employees to assist their innovative thinking.

2) Targeted audience

Be sure that the training you are setting up is aligned with the needs of the intended audience. Too often I see training that is developed for one audience, but shoe-horned into another employee segment (career level, cultural, Business Unit, geographic, etc.). Taken further, think about how training approaches and content may differ by segment. For example, senior leaders may benefit from more personalized, in person experiences, but economic pressures may dictate more scalable, cost effective approaches for junior employees.

3) Engaging format

Is the training going to really engage and educate employees in ways that they can use to create business value? Online training is all the rage these days, but I often wonder how impactful it is in engaging employees. If 55% of online page views are under 15-seconds, how is someone expected to engage with a webpage for 60-minutes? Your training needs to get participants thinking about how the lessons can be applied to their day-to-day role. Hybrid online / offline training models can be ways to address this issue more effectively.

4) What happens after the training?

It is relatively easy to get everyone excited about a new approach while they are in a room with colleagues. It is more difficult to consider what is going to happen to graduates when they get back to their day-to-day role.

Here are some examples of ways to tackle this issue:

  • Booster courses: Getting participants to come back and do another “booster” course can encourage ongoing behavior change and knowledge retention.
  • Network development: Organizations have been developing innovation employee networks, using names such as Intrapreneurs, Catalysts, Champions, etc. for some time now. Training can be positioned as an entry-point into these networks. Networks can also provide ongoing support to trained employees, with a goal of seeding the broader organization for broad behavior change.
  • Technology: Utilize technology platforms to continually engage trained graduates with discussions, new content, tools and templates. Just be aware that these efforts need to be managed over time and it is easy to lose focus on them, while providing a high quality resource.
  • Include participant’s bosses: These people have a big impact on participants before, during, and after the training. Consider how they can be engaged and directed with your efforts?
  • Rewards and Recognition: Encourage behavior change, during and after the training, with some nice recognition carrots, including promoting successes to the organization. More broadly position the training as a desirable value add to participant’s career development.
  • Track learnings: While lots of training efforts track employees during the training, it is equally important to track the retention of learnings once the training is completed. This kind of data can be tough to source, but is really valuable in terms of tracking success.

5) Take the long-term perspective

As I mentioned, these efforts can get complicated really quickly. Even if only looking at a pilot training effort, be sure to take some time to consider some long-term questions, such as:

  • What internal partners do you need to make this effort work?
  • What will training really do for my program and the business overall?
  • How does the training support or link with my other activities and channels?
  • How can these newly trained people be useful to me beyond the training?
  • How can I make this easy for myself?

Of course, there are no right or wrong answers here. It is just important to consider these issues, by yourself and as a discussion with your colleagues.

6) Appropriate metrics

Running an innovation program within a corporation is always a tricky balancing act. You are trying to create a sense of creativity, but at the same time, you need metrics that align with business value creation. While metrics around attendance, session / presenter ratings, etc. are important, more substantive metrics need to be considered. For example, participant perceptions around the organization being innovative, or employee engagement are valuable, especially if tracked over time.

More substantive metrics can come from tracking the business impact of ideas or thinking generated from the training. These kind of harder, more impactful metrics should be built into your training efforts as much as practical.

7) Ranking elements

You can’t have everything, so consider what are going to be the most important elements to make your training a success. Scalability, cost, online / offline, tailored or set content, participant time commitment, management time commitment, perceived value of training entity, etc. It is important that you define what elements of a training program are going to be most important to participants, the organization and your innovation goals.

A couple of other quick points to consider, which are from more of a personal perspective:

  • Focus on what drives value: Don’t get distracted by bells and whistles. Focus on what will drive a positive result for your program and the participants.
  • Personal relationships: You won’t be working with the sales person long term, so ignore them. Focus on the account managers and vendor leadership. What are they like? Are they going to make your training program a success?
  • Consider the real cost: Vendors will talk about costs, but other prices will emerge over time, so make sure that you really understand what the eventual cost of the program.

Training and engaging employees around innovation skills is where both corporates and the vendor marketplace is heading. It is an exciting point to be and I am happy to provide you with my insights. The above list is not exhaustive, so let me know what else you have come across?

Three Common Ways Organizations Trip When It Comes to Innovation

While there are many ways to trip, see if you recognize one of these three common ways in your organization. Fixing them can turn into a fast win and create the momentum necessary to get all the other pieces in sync.

We don’t have problems; we have challenges

“I don’t want to hear about problems, show me solutions.” Sound familiar? There are multiple reasons why different corporate cultures come up with different terms to beat around the fact that problems exist. Some cultures use “challenges,” “hiccups” or “issues,” for example. I’m sure you can think of others. Language both reflects and shapes thinking and behavior. What does this do to the overall culture?

Let me introduce you to Alexej. He has been hired from a startup-gone-bust into product development for a large German corporation. His first weekly report is greeted frostily. He has identified a problem, but merely naming in a report is considered unethical finger-pointing because of a silent consensus on whose fault it was. This bright young man learns this lesson fast. His reports turn into a list of “last week’s accomplishments.” He hides from others the challenges he is working on and stays away from sharing the opportunities for improvement he comes across. This already siloed organization not only loses the creativity and enthusiasm of a highly skilled individual, but also foregoes the enormous potential residing in an all-one-team approach to tackling problems.

Organizations should acknowledge: Human life is problem solving. For people, any level on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs can quickly turn into a problem. Processes and entire departments are there to solve problems: “I don’t know next quarter’s financial results.” Industries solve problems, too: “I can’t communicate with a far-away person.”

The Russian innovation thinker Genrich Altshuller, inventor of the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TRIZ), observed: What sets the inventor apart is his or her ability to spot problems where the rest of us have grown accustomed to living with the hassle. Indeed, at times we don’t even notice that hassle anymore, that is, until someone comes up with the solution. Did anyone have a problem before the wheel was invented?

So firstly, from an organizational perspective, learn to recognize and acknowledge problems at face value, and to value the individuals who spot and communicate these problems.

Innovative = creative = good

To many of us this equation of “innovation = creative = good” appears right. Innovation being a loosely defined term, though, it is full of traps. To a cognitive psychologist, “innovative” is just one way of being creative. In this view, naming the creation of novelty “innovation” under-appreciates all other styles of being creative.

With the Kirton Adaption-Innovation (KAI) instrument, you can reliably measure people’s creative problem solving style on a continuum from highly adaptive—like Edison—to highly innovative—like Tesla. All too often, though, people confuse style (“How am I creative?”) with level (“How creative am I?”). Obviously, problem solving teams need problem solving diversity. Yet, taking a different style for an inferior level can lead to disastrous results. Unfortunately, the working together of and the later rivalry between Edison and Tesla is not the only example. People can be creative in so many ways—if only they acknowledged and also appreciated diversity better.

The equation “innovative = creative = good” has other implications, too. Have you ever heard the term “corporate antibodies”? They resist innovation. If innovation is good, then that means the antibodies are bad. But wait. We all have antibodies in our bloodstream. Do you have any desire to get rid of them?

First of all, resistance to innovation and change is the healthy reaction of a healthy organism. Your Innovation organization needs to learn to deal carefully with its own immune system. It may stand in your way if you want to implant a new liver, but don’t discard it for that sake. Instead, find ways of creating and dealing with novelty within your organization:

  • Appreciate the many different ways of being creative—from Edison and Tesla to all the rest of us somewhere between them.
  • Overcome the learnt “phobia for innovation” and build your creative confidence instead.
  • Develop your corporate immune system such that risk can be minimized and novelty embraced.

Let’s form a team

While bringing together diverse and balanced teams is important, it’s only important if you actually need a team. We often see organizations over-do the one-approach-fits-all “let’s form a team” solution. All that forming, storming and norming has to be worth it. You can’t just take the “big team gun” and shoot from the hip.

Consider this example from a producer of sophisticated electronic parts. The company had recently branched into the assembly of solutions for customized printed circuit boards, shipping these systems in boxes of 20, 25, 50 and 100 pieces. Every now and then, however, these boxes arrived at their destination with pieces gone loose in their slots. Such “salad bowl” shipments led to mechanical defects and customer complaints. This being a global client-problem, a commensurate task force was formed. Soon after the team members from sales, quality, product management and several other functions started following up—each pressing his or her own case—with the one designer in a remote development center in charge of the new shipment boxes. This over-steering resulted in chaos and stress on all sides.

Luckily, the team understood what was going on and got back to square one, preparing a problem description using the 5W2H approach, in this case. Their insight: Not all “who are concerned” (the first “w” in the 5W2H) need to be involved in finding a solution because the “where” the problem arises (the second “w”) can be narrowly defined. As a result, the designer is freed up from any other task, can meet an expert from the subcontractor who produces the boxes and together they find a simple, viable technical solution which can be sustainably implemented by a broader team.

Once a problem is clearly understood you should ask: Can one person solve this problem alone? If so, then give the problem to that person and only grow the team as more diversity in skills and creative styles is needed.

Now do something about it

Change starts from the very top and with shared clarity. Alan Mulally, who recently stepped down as CEO from Ford Motor Co., found a culture of “we don’t have problems” when he took the reign in 2006. “You can’t manage secrets,” he famously said. As reported at the time by The Wall Street Journal, the moment of truth came when one manager showed the poor performance of his unit. “Great visibility,” Mulally is said to have applauded. Within a month, the organization got to “the yellows and the reds” [traffic lights] on their performance charts. For a reason, Forbes named Mulally as an “innovation CEO for the record books.”

I recently worked with operational excellence (OPEX) organizations in the financial and pharmaceutical industries on formulating their operational innovation strategies. The corporate cultures of these two companies favored adaptive, Edison-like, problem solving. Interviews confirmed that “crazy ideas,” “out-of-the-box exploration” and the questioning of “conceived wisdom” could turn into career killers.

Now what about the OPEX teams inside these organizations? You would assume that people who preach problem solving along the gospel of Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control (DMAIC) would be more Edison-like, right? To everyone’s surprise (even their own), they turned out to be “the Teslas” who had taken refuge from their otherwise more adaptive business climate. Would Edison be happy if Tesla explained to him how to approach things in a systematic way? Is it any surprise that these two OPEX teams felt they had little grip in their organizations? Would the deployment of more “innovation” really be the solution?

Between the HBR book The Wisdom of Teams and the journal of Team Performance Management, a lot has been said on teams and how to make them successful. To get started quickly, consider this: The nature of the problem drives the method for finding the solution. The method drives team composition and team management. Here’s a simple decision tree for forming the right team to address a clearly understood problem:

  • Is a process management system in place? If not, put that in place.
  • Is the solution known? If yes, use classical project management.
  • Is the solution-space well-defined? If yes, use rapid problem solving like kaizen.
  • Will we stay with the same process, product or service? If yes, use Lean Six Sigma type approaches.
  • Is at least the concept for the solution known? If yes, use design-type approaches like Design for Six Sigma.
  • Are we developing a completely new product, process or business model? If yes, then use innovation-type approaches.

Problem description and approach will guide you fast to forming, leading and coaching the right team in the right way.

First, you must address the three common ways of tripping yourself up. Only then will you be well-set for getting in place all the rest it takes to making innovation and problem solving in your organization not only effective but also rewarding and even fun to lead and contribute to.

Innovation Games: Going Beyond the Traditional Creativity and Analytical Tools and Methods

Toys, either handmade or bought, have been most of the times the first tools for toddles to start their learning path. Nowadays we speak about educative tools that help kids to learn the letters, ride a bicycle, with the help of PlayStation we can learn how to play guitar and with Wii, how to dance or play sports. There are lot of different tools available on the market and the offer is continuously growing. Nintendo’s Wii video game console for example says that “brings gaming to people of all ages” so in today`s world games are not just for minors but also to all age ranges.

Regarding the above question, games are part of growing and educational process and their essence relies in bringing pleasure to its users. The secret behind the success is the awareness that has been raised about human psychology, nevertheless of age we tend to respond well to games. In the light of innovation management it is relevant the fact that children are more creative than adults. This was scientifically proved already back in 1968 when George Land (Land and Jarman, 1993) measured the creative performance of a group of children when they were 5-year-olds, at 10 years of age, again at 15 years of age and then compared it to same test performed among large number of adults. 5 year olds showed 98% of natural creativity, 10 year olds 30%, 15 year olds 12% and adults performed only 2% for their creativity.

This is seemingly drastic drop. In that way, innovation games can perhaps well be the most efficient methods to bridge this gap of natural creativity loss. The amount of rules and regulations that one has to follow during the traditional schooling process is considered to vanish natural creativity as we grow up. Nevertheless of the area of everything being connected and the manifested Y Generation overcrowding the digital space (offsprings born between year 1980 and 2000), the original pillars and methodologies of worldwide educational system have not much changed since the study was published so its output is still quite valid.

How can we provoke an individual to engage more during the era of everything already being highly connected?

It is proved that people need social objects to fuel interaction and socialization is all about building this engagement points and human connections. This is also why companies are getting more interested in games. Bringing in psychical engagement elements can nurture motivation and engage their employees more efficiently.

A growing demand for game mechanisms

According to Gartner predictions published back in April 2011, by 2015, More Than 50 Percent of Organizations That Manage Innovation Processes Will Gamify Those Processes. “Gamification describes the broad trend of employing game mechanics to non-game environments such as innovation, marketing, training, employee performance, health and social change” said Brian Burke, an analyst at Gartner.

Gamification is commonly described as practice of employing game mechanism to serious business environments. Gabe Zichermann, the CEO of Gamification Co. explains it as taking the best lessons from the games and applying them to specific situations. By creating alluring online and offline conditions organisations stimulate and hopefully awake the talent in each collaborator. There rests a bit of Maverick in every individual. Sometimes all one might need for unlocking personal virtue and treasures is more casual and laid-back stage to speak up. Virtual collaborative platforms assist in that respect and provide vivid recognition and appreciation mechanics in order to encourage knowledge sharing. In terms of productivity, gamification speaks the digital language of the future generations. Gamification Co., the leading source for gamification news & info, underlines that by understanding what makes games fun on a personal level, young professionals require a shorter learning curve for gamified programs and applications.

Social Games Observer also predicts that Gamification Market to Reach $2.8 Billion in US by 2016. But also according to research conducted by Social Games Observer there is another interesting finding: there is evidence that social games seem to appeal to males and females alike. This is a positive insight for organizations that face workplace gender issues, low innovation climate and maybe even weak talent development. Both, online and offline innovation games are extremely powerful tools. Once the organizational goals are meaningful to the employees, they become engaged at an emotional level according to Gartner Inc. Engagement leads to taking up new challenges in work and when something is done with will, this achievement certainly drives success. Besides, gaming elements allow to build a growth path and in that way employees can feel that they are progressing while the complete another and another challenge, receive achievement after hard work and arrive to the end of next rewording pleasure loop.

Example: Adopting new applications based on games is a global trend among innovation driven organisations. Sweden based international company Uponor Group is currently on a doorstep of starting to implement its roadmap for change. Company Strategic Research & Innovation Manager, Süleyman Dag, identify as main driver for this process the company need to extend and go beyond the current product portfolio. He explains that as for the collaborative platforms prefers social network type of solutions as fun emotion should make it easier to implement and keep it alive.

Promoting games experiences

Creativity and extended knowledge analytics leads to sound innovation solutions. For being a good leader, mastering customer experience strategies and tactics is always a requirement.
It looks war times. Napoléon himself made battlefield analytics. First he tested it by using models to seriously play a war game. Visualization and manipulation of different variables tested in a safe environment mastered his levels of trust and autonomy. Several days of prototyping different scenarios he reach a conclusion and now he will implement on real time, he plan for the right moment. Napoleon engagement levels in relation to the ultimate goal leads towards the victory. He had built strong principles of the battlefield with the help and power of game mechanisms, which was an important instrument of cognitive stimulation.

Operationally, game mechanisms can be considered the interface between real and simulated problems planned and implemented for individuals or groups. With both a dynamic system and intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. Smart gamification is an example of a compelling and fun process, providing a meaningful experience for players.

Gains are both qualitative and quantitative. Concept design and strategies with symbolic games provide a sustainable benefit and ROI [Return On Innovation]. For organizations, the magic of game mechanics relies in the value that it can help to create. Besides the monetary prize situations, companies are focused on social networking as loyalty is becoming virtual too. When we think about marketing campaigns, their viralty is both, a concern and a goal.

Leaders benefit from experiences acquired on games, extending their customer experience capabilities and reinforcing corporate culture. Ronaldo and Messi scores records are absolutely amazing. With innovation games, managers can be the leading team heroes. Design storytelling games rewards learners achieving recognition. Collecting trends in the crowd will be awarded by direct the business to F1 fast lane growth demands, mobile game based skills combined like-minded goals.

Big issues that concern the business world and that directly have a huge impact on society, as the case of agriculture and food, finance, health and wellness, energy and transport, are always good topics for games experiences. The idea of using games mechanisms apply to different services and products and will lead to safe and reliable environment.

Achieve that trust can play thinking, sharing, developing and thus implement a coherent strategic vision. Will be useful to explore the specific practices and obtain an increase in productivity and education of the behaviors that we all want to achieve.

How?

  1. Understand the topic
  2. Identify the content
  3. Define the mission
  4. Play the game
  5. Develop the mechanism
  6. Test, monitor and evaluate

We wish to promote other good examples that connects business requirements to high value innovation games experience. Share with us your valuable insights!