HRExaminer v3.46 November 16, 2012
Table of Contents
Gamification isn’t a term you want to use in polite society. Serious game designers will laugh you out of the room. Appropriating the serious science of game design for use as a business buzz word is an affront to their work.
It doesn’t sit all that well with non-gamers either.
I had one of the most heated conversations of the decade a couple of weeks ago. My conversation partner was a well established training expert who paid his early dues with deep study of Psychology and time in an assessment company. He’s the real deal.
The subject of gamification lit him up It was something to do with the way that games generate flow states. He was particularly concerned about the fact that games might create the expectation of a constant flow of positive feedback. He painted a dark picture of workers failing because they’d become dependent on their work for stimulation and self-concept.
It made me stand back and think. I love it when that happens.
Gamificaton, the new emphasis on analytics and all of the forms of Big Data are symptoms of an underlying shift in the way we work and the way we think about the world. We are understanding more about the world and it’s beginning to learn about us.
The change is being driven by data.
Each of the strategies for dealing with data is an attempt to deal with a new reality that is very hard to describe. It frustrates our best efforts to put it in a box and to try to contain it. But it is already changing everything that’s in its path.
Part of what’s happening is that data is becoming omnipresent. Where it was once expensive to get data about things in the world, everything is monitored. The very essence of the mobile revolution is that sensors are everywhere all of the time. Harnessed properly, this means that feedback can be instantaneous.
It’s a serious threat to old school management with its dependence on routine and administration.
Games have four key pieces:
- Feedback Loops
- Voluntary Participation
Abundant data makes it possible to have real time feedback loops in workplaces that used to deliver worker feedback annually. That, in turn, makes the accelerated learning and participation of the game world available on the job.
Gamification is just a way of talking about the fact that fast transparent feedback enables workers to become deeply engaged in goal achievement.
Gamification Resources (More Than Five Links)
- Deloitte: Gamification
Deloitte listed Gamification as one of its key tech trends in 2012. They talk about the ability to solve business problems in game environments.
There’s a video and a white paper. “Gamification allows for the more rapid solving of problems”
- Economic and Cognitive Principles of Gamification
Very short presentation that identifies key principles:
Goal Setting, Status/Affirmation, Reputation, Norms of Reciprocity, Deadlines, Scarcity, Reinforcement, Loss Aversion, Set Completion.
- The Engagement Economy
This short paper from Deloitte gets quickly to the heart of the matter. “Gamification is about taking the essence of games—fun, play, transparency, design and challenge—and applying it to real-world objectives rather than pure entertainment. In a business setting, that means designing solutions for everything from office tasks and training to marketing or direct customer interaction by combining the thinking of a business manager with the creativity and tools of a game designer.”
- Enterprise Gamification: How Gamification will Make the Social, Collaborative Dream a Reality
“our existing enterprise business culture and its processes and technology have ill-equipped us for supporting the kind of ad hoc collaboration that we need in order to take business efficiency and effectiveness to the next level. Nor are we able to use new social media and collaboration tools to force fit this requirement into the enterprise. Why? Because, fundamentally, we don’t know how to collaborate in this wild world of unstructured, ad hoc, highly interactive, always-on and highly virtual people-to-people-to-enterprise connectivity.”
- Enterprise Gamification: Will It Drive Better Business Performance?
Dion Hinchcliffe is one of the most important voices in the world of large company software. Here he examines gamification. “Gamification has the potential to greatly optimize the way humans are connected to and go about their work. Like social media, and usually closely integrated with it, gamification is an emerging new field that’s still difficult to broach in many management circles because of its perception that it’s not an appropriate or serious enough business topic. Yet a growing number of impressive outcomes as well as a burgeoning set of supporting tools and technologies are making it increasingly likely that gamification will find its way into a workplace near you over the next couple of years.”
- Gamification and Its Discontents
Great presentation that illuminates some unintended consequences of gamification.
- Gamification: How Effective Is It?
Research based presentation on the use of game mechanics in business. Marketing focused. Good for workplace insights.
- Gartner Predicts Over 70 Percent of Global 2000 Organisations Will Have at Least One Gamified Application by 2014
- How to Use Gamification For Better Business Results
Makes the often repeated point that much of gamification ought to be called ‘pointsification’.
“In a nutsheel, gamified systems must:
1. Give users motivation to do something (emotional investment, promise of reward, etc.).
2.The ability to complete the action.
3.And finally, a trigger or cue to complete the action
- Internal Enterprise Gamification
Short article that focuses on the use of gamification as a way of getting the message communicated in onboarding, technical training, training for policy and compliance.
- Principles of Gamification
This article covers gamification as a marketing technique. It includes a design guide.
“Like many other types of marketing, gamification seeks to work by altering and changing the behavior of the consumer. Television adverts have been doing this for decades now, but through the use of meta games and actual participation, the ability to change consumer behavior has allowed for unlimited opportunities. Through a number of clever concepts, gamification works by enticing consumers to behave in a certain way with regard to the product or brand the meta games are related to. By engaging consumers repeatedly, and thus on a long term basis, it helps increase product loyalty which in turn helps elevate the success of a product or brand.”
- Quora: Gamification
A list of all of the conversations on the subject in Quopra. Best single place to stay abreast
- The Rules of Gamification
From Razorfish. The key ‘lenses’ for gamification are: Challenge, Recognition, Tracking, Competition and Cooperation.
- Quick Gamification Tutorial
Quick presentation that positions gamification as a way to make things fun.
“Gamification is the process of using game thinking and game mechanics to solve problems and engage users.”
- Unconvinced About Gamification
“The idea behind gamification is to adopt some of the aspects of games – especially online games – into enterprise applications in order to teach people how to use them, increase user adoption and/or increase engagement. Sarrell defines gamification as, “The use of game mechanics in non-gaming applications, products, and services.” It is not, he notes, “simply a cosmetic add-on to an existing business process.”
- Which Principles of Gamification Could Be USed To Improve Governement?
This quora conversation illuminates a number of principles very clearly.
- How Three Businesses Scored Big With Gamification
These examples are all about using gamification to improve the productivity of websites. It’s not pure business process stuff but presents a set of ideas that would be particularly useful in things that are executed on line like referral programs and other aspects of recruiting.
- Target Gamifies Cashiering
One of the most frequently cited examples is the Target cash register gamification process which resulted in higher productivity and quality on the front lines.
- This article examines whether or not age/demographics plays a part in an employee’s sense that the Target Game is actually a game
- Top 10 Gamification Executions
Consumer facing engagement examples.
- Badgeville: The Behaivior Platform
Check their white paper “Learn How Gamification Benefits“
In particular, see their ebook: Using Gamification To Create an Engaged Enterprise
Putting game mechanics into code outsourcing.
Proof that gamification is a way for advertising agencies to enter the work design universe
Indian company with the most sophisticated approach to enterprise gamification
A Detroit startup rooted in the Salesforce.com App ecosystem.
Uses gamification to increase engagement and company performance. A variant on performance management.
Embeds game mechanics in enterprise software to increase engagement.
by William Tincup
When Stealing Is Okay…
I recently sat in on a presentation where the speaker had clearly stolen shit from me. That’s not just my ego talking… they used phrases of mine, ideas that only I speak about. There was no question they ripped shit off from me.
Insert Appalachian Trail of Grief…
At first I was mad. I felt violated. Then I wanted revenge… that stage only lasted a few minutes though. Then I felt sorry for them… that only lasted a few minutes too. Now, I’m at a place where I can talk about it objectively.
Here’s how the real world operates…
- People & Things have rights
- Ideas & Thoughts do not have rights
The first point is pretty damn clear. If you want to borrow my car, you have to ask me first. If you want to write an article on my blog, you have to ask me first. If you want to throw a football with my son, you have to ask me first. Pretty clear, right? The act of permission. Really easy when it comes to people and things.
Now ideas, thoughts, phrases … that gets more and stickier every day we inhabit the blue planet.
I’m not talking about the law… lawyers talk about the law. But I can’t understand most of them, and I’m interested in reality.
Here’s the deal, nothing you come up with is new. Nothing. Every thought you think is unique can be tracked back to some other place, some other person. You might not realize that you are borrowing, but you are. No such thing as new Art. No such thing as a new idea or thought. We’re all borrowing… ahem stealing from others.
Case in point. Anyone who vaguely knows me knows that I care deeply about user adoption of HR software. It is known. You’d have to be living under a rock or partially retarded to NOT know this. That said, I’m not the only person on the planet that cares about this subject AND I wasn’t the first. Many (I wish more) great people care about this particular subject. I realize that for the concept of user adoption to really gain momentum, it has to take on mass market properties… meaning, everyone needs to know what the fuck it is. Currently and sadly, it is a nuance inside of a nuance. For the literary inclined, think Oscar Wilde.
If you really care about your particular “truly unique” idea and/or thought, give it away. Gleefully give it away. Make it easy for folks to consume, borrow and share.
This might seem counter intuitive. The main reason for this is our haphazard love affair with credit. The “it’s mine” mentality.
That works with People & Things but not Ideas & Thoughts.
Now, back to the presentation that kicked off my awakening. I think a rule of thumb in borrowing should be… if you promote an idea as yours – then 80% of that idea should be things that you’ve assembled and/or thought up. And the other 20% should be attributed to whomever you are borrowing from. This is especially true when the person that you borrowed from is in the room. But I’d attribute even if they weren’t in the room. I’m thinking of starting most of my presentations in the new year like this… “I’d like to thank Johnson, Johnson and Johnson for pioneering this topic.”
A hypothetical example of this… let’s say that I was asked to give a social media presentation about the blur between professional and personal. I have some rather interesting and unique things to say about that. No doubt I would also find a way to talk about Jason Seiden’s concept of Profersonal. Rather than knock that off as my own, I should find a way to attribute that back to him. Give him credit for raising our collective conciseness about the subject.
You get the idea, right?
Probably the most important lesson I learned was to stop taking myself and/or anyone else so seriously. Our thoughts and idea aren’t curing cancer, poverty or ending wars.
PS. If you decide to write about idea borrowing, please make sure to linkback to this article. (sic)
Donna Ballman is an employee-side employment lawyer who has been practicing 25 years. She knows her stuff. Best of all, she can write.
Ballman completely won me over a few years ago with her blog post Top Ten Employment Laws You Think Exist–That Don’t. The mythical rights include free speech, privacy, and that employers must treat employees fairly.
The way I explain it is: In all 50 States and Canada, it is perfectly legal to be an asshole. Ballman is more polite.
Her new book is Stand Up for Yourself Without Getting Fired: Resolve Workplace Crisis Before You Quit, Get Axed, or Sue the Bastards. Okay, she’s only slightly more polite. (FTC Disclosure: her publisher sent me a free copy of the book to review. I didn’t promise to be nice.)
For employees, the book explains employment law in straightforward, practical terms. It gives real life examples, and walks employees through the risks and difficult choices they face when working with weasels.
Attorneys often have legal myopia; they can only see how the law applies. Ballman sees beyond the purely legal issues to the real problems employees deal with everyday–like eating and paying the heating bill. She asks all the right questions, and evaluates the choices. Sometimes, she even recommends letting valid claims go because they are too difficult or expensive to pursue. She never loses sight of the big picture and the practical effects of each choice.
I wish more lawyers were like Ballman. I wish they could see the bigger picture and what the best approach is for both the company and employee. You’d be surprised how often they are alligned–including when someone should go. (For more on this, read Jay Shepherd’s great book Firing At Will.)
Stand Up for Yourself is also a great resource for HR and managers. Ballman transforms difficult legal ideas into clear practical choices from the interview to the exit, and explains exactly what it is like to be the employee instead of the boss. If you haven’t worked for a weasel in awhile, it’s a great refresher course in why work is a four-letter word.
Ballman’s clarity, common sense, and wisdom is a gift to employees, employers and employment lawyers.