CEO Ed Wollman On:

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Talking. Planning. Thinking. Creating. Gamifying. Training. And more. Here are some thoughts our experiences have taught us about how to Command Your Brand.

Seriously, Start Playing Games

Imagine motivating someone to experience a competitive urgency to win, to advance, to beat the next obstacle. It’s easy: just think about playing a video game or watching a sporting event. But now imagine simultaneously motivating hundreds of people in the same room to change how they think and act. To modify their behavior, adjust their habits, and learn something new. To master required shifts in perception, attitude, or action.

Sounds like a dream, right? Wrong. It’s gamification, which uses typical game thinking and mechanics in a non-game context. It’s as if all of mass-market entertainment’s toys—with their striking visuals and electronic, cool sounds—finally grew up to meet the challenges of American business. Think Lara Croft from Tomb Raider dressed up in a suit and tie.

Like the video games that inspired it, gamification works its magic by sticking close to intrinsic human motivators: presenting choice and offering rewards. These deeply embedded motivating factors are so powerful they lead us to overcome human nature’s strong tendency to resist change.

So “gamifying” an event starts with systematically examining the desired behavior change. Then it’s about developing an experience that directly dramatizes your value equation and provides feedback loops to increasingly engage your audience. Finally, it’s about cranking up the experience to a fever pitch, putting it all into the hands of hundreds who are all in the same room at the same time, all playing to the tune of thunderous energy and contagious excitement.

Gamification works from management to marketing, from the board room to the training seminar, sales meeting, or recruitment initiative. And as the field continues to mature, its range of applications will keep expanding. Our advice? The right kind of games are all winners.