Humanize the Enterprise for Innovation


Harnessing the Power of Engagement to Drive Innovation

The negative impact of the global economy has created barriers that prevent organizations and individuals from realizing their maximum potential.  Today’s business leaders are required to do more with less, a lot less.  Reducing costs and increasing productivity take top priority during these difficult times.  Innovative thought leaders are optimizing all business assets to remain competitive.

The most important asset to any organization is the people.  These people include employees, partners, and customers.  Organizations that survive the current transition phase and thrive in the future are the ones that harness the power of engagement.

Achieving higher levels of engagement that establish emotional bonds will create a smarter, more powerful workforce and accelerate innovation for the Enterprise.  The IBM Connect tag line says it all, “Get Social. Do Business.”  People can learn more about the benefits of Social Business from the videos and resources created by thought leaders from the IBM Connect Conference.  Evidence about employee engagement or lack thereof was presented by Jane McGonigal.  Her compelling story warns us about the losses incurred from lack of employee engagement and she shared ideas on how to fix the problem.

 “Unengaged workers cost U.S. companies $300 billion annually” – Gallup 2012

Employee Engagement Jane McGonigal

“71% of U.S. workers are not engaged” -Gallup 2012″

Jane McGonigal Employee Engagement

State of Flow, the Engagement Sweet Spot.  The state of Flow is achieved when the person is so engaged in an activity to the point that seems to alter space and time.  According to Csikszentmihalyi, flow is completely focused motivation. It is a single-minded immersion and represents perhaps the ultimate experience in harnessing the emotions in the service of performing and learning. In flow, the emotions are not just contained and channeled, but positive, energized, and aligned with the task at hand.

This part of Jane’s presentation describes how we could harness this level of engagement and harness the power of “Crowdsourcing” to accomplish objectives and achieve desired goals.  She went on to explain how much time gamers spend in the state of flow and how that compares to the time invested into creating Wikipedia.  The value of creating emotional bonds has great rewards.

WIKIPEDIA Level of Effort

The Engagement Economy

Scalable collaboration and participation is powered by the Engagement Economy.  Enabling mass participation from people with a variety of skills and abilities fuels the engagement economy.  Fostering an environment that supports fluid collaboration and eliminates barriers to participation releases innovation.  Incorporating the principles of “Game Design Thinking” can help people achieve the State of Flow during the collaboration process.  Implementing Enterprise Gamification to support fluid collaboration can accelerate innovation.

“In today’s engagement economy, where time and attention are becoming increasingly scarce and resources precious, people are likely to gravitate to activities that are authentically rewarding and filled with the opportunities to achieve, grow and socialize. The lessons that can be learned from games and game designers are one set of tools to help us increase our return in such an economy.”   The Engagement Economy How gamification is reshaping businesses by  Doug Palmer, Steve Lunceford and Aaron J. Patton (Deloitte).

The Engagement Economy

Fail Forward Fast

We learn best from our failures. Gamers spend 80% of the time failing.  The path to success includes adopting the mentality of Gamers to overcome our fear of failure.

“It is far better to have sloppy success than to have perfect procrastination. It is easy to get caught up in the endless tinkering and perfecting of a project. It is true some things require perfection – most simply need excellence. All need action today!”

“Do you find yourself waiting to launch important projects? Are you forever splitting hairs about elements that are not mission critical. Do you spend hours and hours on details that don’t matter much? “

“Start your day with action! In taking action you may fail – but even that failure will move you forward toward ultimate success. Pick a project you have been putting off and begin today to take the action which will accelerate your path to achievement. “

- Tom Peters

Fail Forward Fast Jane McGonigal

Time to Humanize the Enterprise

Creating emotional bonds that establish deeper engagement will create a more powerful workforce and accelerate innovation for the Enterprise.  Technology trends come and go, but addressing basic human needs will withstand the test of time.  Most people have a deep desire to feel connected and will do extraordinary things when empowered by emotional bonds.  Organizations that master creating Emotional Bonds will crush their competitors that don’t.

Emotional Bonds Humanize the Enterprise

Super Empowered Employees

Most of us have heard stories from people that have witnessed super human strength.  Some of these stories include seeing a frail woman lifting a car off a child.  We wonder how can this small person do a seemingly impossible feat.  Then we discover she is a mom saving her child.  Her emotional bond empowered her with super human abilities.  These kind of stories show us that we have extraordinary abilities.  Certain conditions can cause the body and brain to work differently.  Creating conditions in the organization that empowers people to be extraordinary should be the ultimate goal for the Enterprise.

Jane McGonigal wrapped up her session with a great tip about getting a vast collection of research and resources from her website: “Show Me the Science“. Nigel Fenwick (FORRESTER) shared his thoughts about her presentation in The Gamification Of Business.

Super Empowered Employees Jane McGonigal

Jane McGonigal at IBM Connect

You can use the slider to fast forward to the 39 minute mark of this video to see Jane’s presentation.

Watch live streaming video from ibmsoftware at

Achieving the Next Level of Social Business

The current economic conditions, culture shifts, and technology advancements are culminating into the perfect storm set to trigger an innovation explosion that will launch us into the future prepared to solve the world’s most complex problems.  Innovation is the “secret sauce” of business success. Implementing Innovation models in the organization should be a top priority in the Enterprise.

Social Business Innovation

Connecting with Thought Leaders can ensure Social Business Innovation success.  Here are a few important events scheduled in the near future:




The Social Business of Enterprise Gamification

Social Business Gamification

Unlocking New Levels of Innovation through Collaboration

Enterprise Gamification is the use of game dynamics within organizations to support a collaborative culture that aligns with business objectives.  This creates an agile social business model that can increase chances of success in current competitive markets and future markets.  Applying Enterprise Gamification and implementing game mechanics in enterprise 2.0 platforms plays a very important role in it’s event-driven architecture for capturing the REAL value of enterprise 2.o solutions.  This REAL value is realized by lowering barriers of participation and showing the relationships of people, ideas, and things.  Implementing enterprise gamification strategy should be a part of the complete social business strategy.  Learn more at “The Secret Social Science Sauce of Gamification“.

Demystifying Enterprise Gamification for Business

Gamification describes a series of design principles, processes and systems used to influence, engage and motivate individuals, groups and communities to drive behaviors and effect desired outcomes. Originating from the video game industry, many of these pioneering concepts now play a key role in driving incentive and behavior management for both brands in the consumer world and internal scenarios in the workplace. Enterprise gamification is a user experience (UX) and consumerization of IT (CoIT) trend that will take the market by storm in 2012. Constellation believes that by 2013, more than 50 percent of all social business initiatives will include an enterprise gamification component. Learn more at “Research Summary: Demystifying Enterprise Gamification For Business

Ray Wang @rwang0 of Constellation Research Inc. shares his thoughts about the value of Social Business Gamification in this video from the IBM Connect event.

It’s great to see Ray’s work on gamification over the course of time, all bundled up into a great presentation!  He makes a good point about how Enterprise Gamification is about engaging and influencing behaviors to drive outcomes that support business objectives.  He also includes some gold nuggets about points and virtual currency, along with how Business Models are changing.  The part about the impact of applying game mechanics to Human Resources (32minute mark in this video) is priceless.

Watch live streaming video from ibmsoftware at

Demystifying Enterprise Gamification – Presented by Badgeville

Constellation Research, Inc. believes that by 2013, more than 50 percent of all social business initiatives will include an enterprise gamification component. Brands and enterprises know that motivation and incentive programs can help produce revenue and productivity gains among internal users and external communities. These business leaders also know it can be time-consuming and difficult to streamline, manage and implement such programs. Join Constellation Research, Inc. CEO, R “Ray” Wang @rwang0 and Badgeville @badgeville for an exploration on how organizations can leverage game mechanics to turbo charge engagement, loyalty, and profitability.  Register for this free webinar today.

Purpose Driven Social Business

The Power of Organizational Purpose

Accelerating Innovation with Engaged Employees

Would you use this device for listening or speaking?

Organizations that harness the power of “Social Business” with engaged employees driven to add value to their market will increase their levels of success moving into the future.

During one of OpenText’s Exploring Organizational Purpose events, I had an opportunity to talk with Scott from OpenText about real innovation in the Enterprise.  I don’t have the authorization to write about all of his amazing thoughts, however, I can summarize it in one word.  The single word that summarizes real innovation in the Enterprise is, “Connected“.

Breakfast with Michael Edson

Michael Edson ( @mpedson ) gave an entertaining and intelligent presentation at the Exploring Organizational Purpose #purposeBiz event in Washington, DC.  Michael is a living example of “passion with purpose”.  He shared his ideas about the “power of now” and how to fan the flames of passion in organizations to fuel real innovation.

His presentation along with additional text and links is available here.

Michael also shared additional thoughts about “Crowd Accelerated Innovation” and Openess here.

Marisa Peacock (@marisacp51) wrote about this event in her article, “Going Boldly Into the Present with Michael Edson“.

Breakfast with John Seely Brown

John Seely Brown ( @jseelybrown ) is Co-Director of Deloitte’s Center for the Edge. His research and insight into how we as a society are learning to live in an age of constant flux is masterfully structured and presented. [more]

I am a huge fan of John Seely Brown’s work and believe you will discover many tips and ideas you can apply to your organization in this video, “Collaborative Innovation by John Seely Brown“.

The hotel where this event was hosted had internet issues, but John’s video should be available soon. In the meantime you can see John sharing how tech is changing education and society in this video.

Breakfast with Andrew McAfee

Andrew McAfee ( @amcafee ) coined the Term Enterprise 2.0 five years ago. Since then, he has researched, written and reported widely on the capacity of individuals and teams, the types of problems collaboration can solve.  This event scheduled for November 1, 2011 will sell out fast, so RSVP now.

What If?

These events sponsored by OpenText show us the future of Social Business.  Organizations that seek to deeply engage with their community will emerge as leaders in their field.

What if every organization offered events where people can connect and share ideas?

This could unlock real innovation to solve problems in our everyday lives.

Current Social Business Innovation Twitter Game Board

Diversity fuels innovation. Sports fanatics have their fantasy football teams. This is my fantasy innovation team. This Social Business Innovation twitter game board represents people focused on Innovation in Enterprise 2.0 and Social Business now.

[twitterusers @mpedson @deb_lavoy @jseelybrown @mixtmedia @amcafee @bhc3 @lovisatalk @jimworth @dhinchcliffe]

Healthy Behaviors with Gamification of Health

Gamification for Healthy Behaviors

“It’s not the technology, it’s the psychology”

Anyone that has ever been on a diet or has worked on creating healthy lifestyle habits can tell you that changing behavior is not easy. The path to success usually involves positive reinforcement from within and others. Negative behaviors from within or others can easily keep us from achieving our goals. This human behavior also applies to “Motivational Design”, as in the use of “Gamification” to help guide players through desired behaviors to achieve goals.

sunrise over water

It’s not the technology, it’s the psychology

Innovation Gamification

Gamification combined with Design Thinking can help us think differently about innovation. Leveraging this process with Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) provides new levels of engagement for supporting desired behaviors. The seven phases of design thinking and a video about teaching design thinking through gamification are available here, “Design Thinking Gamification for Accelerating Innovation“.

Beyond Gamification of Healthy Behaviors

Gartner predicts that by 2015, more than 50% of organizations that manage innovation processes will Gamify those processes, “The Gamification of Innovation in the Enterprise“. Gartner also added Gamification in their 2011 Technology Hype Cycle report. Gamification does have a lot of hype, but can also be used for good.

Robert Scoble recorded an amazing interview with keasAdam Bosworth that goes beyond Gamification for healthy behaviors. Adam candidly talks about the jagged rocks of failure scattered along the curves on the road to success. He also mentions numerous stats and facts, this within itself shows the value of understanding your audience and measuring what is important. There are a LIFETIME of lessons packed in this 41 minute video.

Quick Quotes

  • “Never start a web project as a platform problem”
  • “What are we really trying to do?”
  • “It’s not the technology, it’s the psychology”

Powerful Persuasive Points

  1. Help Solve Real Problems
  2. Positive Reinforcement is Powerful
  3. Make. Measure. Modify.
  4. Surface Specific Steps
  5. Think People Over Technology
  6. Seek First to Understand
  7. Practice Persuasive Design
  8. Group Size Affects Engagement
  9. ???

How Gamification of Health Works

The “Power of Play” guides behavior and changes attitudes about goals. See how keas works and why gamification of health is important in this video.


Twitter Gamification Gameboard

Gamification and the art of Motivational Design are complex topics, but there are many smart people and organizations willing to help. Here are several people and organizations on Twitter that are focused on Gamification, Game Mechanics, and Game Theory for engagement on this Twitter Gamification Gameboard. People can also connect with others by following this Gamification Twitter List.
[twitterusers @marigo @Seriosity @mbjorn @gzicherm @dingstweets @amyjokim @mich8elwu @mmartoccia @GrahamHill]

Creating Persuasive Experiences

Adam Bosworth talks about creating persuasive technology during the process of creating keas in his video interview. Persuasive Technology is broadly defined as technology that is designed to change attitudes or behaviors of the users through persuasion and social influence, but not through coercion (Fogg 2002). Such technologies are regularly used in sales, diplomacy, politics, religion, military training, public health, and management, and may potentially be used in any area of human-human or human-computer interaction.

Here are a few resources for developing a strategy on creating persuasive experiences.

Stanford Persuasive Tech Lab: By empowering millions of people to create persuasive experiences with technology, we will have thousands, and perhaps millions, of forces working toward the better in the world.

Stanford Behavior Design: The best design solutions today change human behavior. Yet despite decades of research, challenges remain for people who design to influence. First, “persuasion” seems a dirty word. It shouldn’t be. We should now embrace that we’re in the business of behavior change. Next problem: conceptual confusion. The landscape of persuasion can be disorienting, muddied by impractical theories and over-hyped techniques. Our new work provides a clear view of behavior change, including language that is simple yet accurate.

Stanford Game Theory: Game theory is the study of the ways in which strategic interactions among economic agents produce outcomes with respect to the preferences (or utilities) of those agents, where the outcomes in question might have been intended by none of the agents.

The Gamification Summit NYC is the must-attend event that shows you how to use the power of games to create breakthrough engagement with your customers and employees. Companies like Gilt Groupe, Google, Microsoft, NBC/Universal, MTV, Recyclebank and Aetna have leveraged gamification to transform their businesses, and will share startling insights, statistics and hands-on workshops at GSummit NYC.