How to gamify a business? Thoughts on team building game ideas

January 7, 2016 - 7 minutes read

Some time ago I claimed that best way to gamify business processes in a startup is to do it the good old way – by not doing it. Not worrying about communication and measuring progress, but rather just giving it a go. Enjoying the process not the outcome.

This might be a cool in for starters, but at some stage there will be a need to communicate your business objectives and measure progress and just have fun with your team (when just having fun in business is not enough). Then you need to do something about it.

Believe that everything you do together as a team will build the team. Yep, going to lunch together will do that. Yep, nights out together will do that. So does walking about 1000 miles or playing games together. Doing these things will help you learn about others and open yourself up.

So as far as teambuilding is concerned, games work as well as anything else. And small works better than big. Want to build a team? Keep your events small, do them often and make sure there is variety.

As a corporation, you tend to want more. You want to make people think about the business from new angles, you want everybody on the same page with values, you want better work processes etc. To drive these things, it takes focus (like a workshop) and games work wonders here.

A few ideas 

1. The most obvious is to somehow include your mission, vision, KPI-s, values, short and long term goals etc. into games. Lets be clear about this; an entire game about this will suck, but adding some variety will work wonders. Think about this; people are sitting in a classroom and you ask them “which of the following are our company values”? And then you list 10. You will probably witness embarassing silence. However, posing this question to people in a game in the middle of nowhere after they have just finished staging photos about the „bravest person on Earth” is a whole different ball game. Add a timer to the mix, and everybody will speak up instantly.

2. People. Companies are made of people. And with some planning it is possible to make people think about and talk to other people. Work related or not. Somebody is shy? Ask a fact about them. So that others need to find it out. Somebody has cool hobbies that help the business? Ask about those. Ask how many John’s are working in the company. Asking about people in the company is fun and conversational also after the game. You probably should not build your game solely on those, but make sure you have more of those than mission-vision-values questions.

3. Company history, activities and heritage. While it might seem like the 1st point all over again, it is not. These are cool facts about the company that might or might not be widely known. It is a great way to show where the company has come from. Questions like that are especially great conversation starters if you have a chance to mix old-timers and new-comers in a team. But please do not ask when the company was started or what is the product code for any of the products. It is way more cool to ask about the hobby of the founder or the purpose of the product. Something that drives stories.

4. Industry. It is cool to put in the industry point of view. Who are the main players? What is the best selling product? When is the season? This would give a good framework for people who are not dealing with markets constantly. Please use sparingly.

5. Everything is not about facts, so creativity and photo assignments will make a game more fun. Some of those are already available in the Loquiz Question Library, tagged as Photo assignments. Check these out.

6. Local stuff. If at all possible, add local knowledge. Something that people see all around. I know it is not directly related to your business, but it works to connect the whole experience to the place you are at. If you have hired an event organizer, then this is their work to do; coming up with cool info, legends and questions about most interesting objects around. Event companies using Loquiz have built up the database of these in their respective locations, so they can easily spice up your game with those.

7. Do not do any of this alone!  Ask for input. In Loquiz there is collaboration feature that allows anybody to enter questions into the game. So if your event provider is making the game, ask for the collaborator possibility. If you are doing it yourself create a few collaborators and ask different people to give input there. It makes the process and game so much better!

8. Still missing content? Check the  Question library in Loquiz PRO. There are factual questions, logic puzzles and teamwork assignments you can use in your games. They can be seamlessly added to any game anywhere in the world. Just know that, while cool, they will not substitute the questions you can make yourself.

gamify business

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