As companies struggle in over contested markets full of customers looking for the best deal, other companies are arriving first in new markets and gaining territory in current markets. Finding new markets or even making gains in old markets is not easy and requires forward thinking, leadership and focus. What many have found these focus areas produced the best results:
1) Customer value focused goals and supporting actions,
2) Reaching beyond current markets and existing demand in both products and services,
3) Setting priorities and activities based on value, goals and opportunities,
4) Using and encouraging innovation to reconstruct market boundaries,
5) Overcoming internal and external organizational hurdles and
6) Executing and controlling tailor strategies and tactics that lead to success, new opportunities and improvements.
Innovative companies are stimulating and unifying their stakeholders towards new opportunities by using competition and rewards. This, as it does in sports, encourages improved results from value-focused activities. Workplace Games are being used to engage stakeholders, increase customer loyalty, motivate participation, and improve knowledge of products and services. And importantly for the business, drive results in production, efficiency and customer satisfaction.
Somewhat remarkably, especially today where our businesses compete on a global scale, business results and improvements from gaming can happen very quickly. These results can affect everything from internal and external operations and sustainment of services, to marketing that can cause the business to become more easily shared amongholders, employees and customers. Simply stated, Workplace Games motivate everyone and leads to open collaboration of the business to the public, your customers and potential customers, through or because of the game.
Already, GAMIFICATION has been seen in private and public businesses around health, education, insurance, science and technology. Gamification leaders have included: NASA, DARPA, Deloitte, Bunchball, Warner Brothers, Adobe and others. Approximately, 70% of large companies will be using Gamification by 2014. While some businesses will use games in various business processes or pieces of their products and services, others will give a top down approach of using games across the entire business. Encompassing the entire business with Workplace Games exemplifies a total business approach where companies share their vision across the business to every activity that supports the company strategy.
While Workplace Gaming may take many forms, the basics of this gaming uses virtual badges for completing activities to "unlock" the next activity or goal and then rewards this progression. This simple, but effective approach leverages ongoing activities while setting up the next activity in the workplace. The game’;s public rewards encouragements friendly competition between stakeholders, this may include both employees and customers. Gaming competition improves the interaction between entities and results in increased performance. This use of competition, awards, virtual badges and points often use public LEADERBOARDS to encourage higher and higher performance.
It is important to stress that rewards should be based on desired results, innovation and value to the business so that less significant awards or badges do not get in the way of desired outcomes. Rewards need to focus on value, efficiencies, opportunity, completing activities and other performance related metrics and critical success factors. And, as with any game, management and fairness of the game should be taken seriously so that animosity or other unwanted competition does not develop between the stakeholders. Managing the game badly, like managing the business badly, will result in unwanted results.
Using Workplace Games and the resulting rewards encourage our companies to self-motivated towards innovation and improvement. This motivation and self-improvement in turn results in individual and organizational behaviors that are based on self-leadership, knowledge, communication, individual experiences and best practices. These powerful organizational and individual attributes then result in product and service differentiation, value and efficiency that save time and other resources.
These approaches are leveraged with public and in-house Social Media, Web Pages and similar tools. These tools lead systematic and reproducible methods and processes. Focus areas for games can include: strategy, vision, mission, service or product value, profit, product functionality and features, customer loyalty, employee loyalty, task or project progress and people proposal. Focus and align game and business efforts on quality control, cost efficiencies and brand management to grow, innovate and gain brand recognition. Even slow growth in your market can become part of the game. Innovative solutions, new markets and hard decisions can then be addressed head on using the game to address real problems. When outsourcing is needed to win competitiveness, it happens because of the increased communication and awareness of problems, solutions and innovative competitiveness. Mergers and acquisitions suddenly are pushed down into the organization and looked at as value added for the purpose of growing the organization or improving the product and service. Funding solutions that match a strategic move made by your competitor become less frequent because the team solution puts your organization on the cutting edge of new opportunities.
Workplace Games can put the necessary focus in a competitive way to the strategic moves that allow you to break away from your competition. Using games that are well grounded in proven best practices can take communication from a frequent worry of your company to a valuable asset that drives success for the company and the now recognized top performers and innovators.