Games are playing a crucial role in many successful businesses—not just in PR and marketing, but as a model for designing business systems and workflows. In this book, Michael Hugos provides compelling case studies that demonstrate how game mechanics enable companies to respond quickly to challenges in today’s real-time economy.
It’s not about giving workers a smiley face for producing more widgets. You’ll discover how game mechanics—particularly popular multiplayer video games—provide field-tested best practices for engaging workers in creative and complex activities. With games, your company can shift from an outmoded top-down hierarchy to an agile network structure that promotes coordination over control.
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Notes from the Author
Author Michael Hugos takes the strategies employed in such Massively Multiuser Online (MMO) games and applies them to real-life situations. A longtime CIO, Hugos has seen these techniques and tips work. Here is a small sampling of his wisdom:
The Engagement Machine
A game is an engagement engine – it attracts and engages players. You can measure the success of a game by the number of players it attracts and the level of engagement it gets from players. Think of a business also as engagement engine – it attracts and engages customers and employees. You can measure its success by the number of customers and enthusiastic employees it attracts. Now think of games that attract you and why – what ideas does this give you for using game mechanics in your own business?
The key element to creating a game is a real-time feedback system that shows people what the score is and whether their actions are taking them closer to or further away from the goal. Games attract players through excitement created by this moment-to-moment feedback. Companies can attract customers and enthusiastic employees through excitement created by showing them what is happening in their business activities in real-time or near real-time and then giving them reasons to care about the outcome.
There are three necessary conditions to create a feedback system and generate excitement in a company or business activity: 1) Real-time or near real-time visibility of relevant data for everyone involved – this is technology; 2) Authority to act within predefined rules to accomplish predefined goals is delegated to everyone involved – this is process; 3) A stake in the outcome for everyone involved so everyone is motivated to act and continue to improve as situations change – this is people.
Choose Your Avatar
Increase your company’s ability to communicate and collaborate with customers, partners and employees by creating systems with features similar to those used in MMO games such as "World of Warcraft" and "EVE Online." Present business collaboration systems rarely go beyond document sharing and video conferencing. Next generation business collaboration systems can use 3D animation, avatars and virtual worlds to deliver levels of performance in business similar to what MMOs do for online game play.
Michael Hugos is an author, speaker, award-winning CIO and principal at Center for Systems Innovation [c4s . He works with clients to find elegant solutions to complex problems with focus in supply chains, business intelligence, and new business ventures. Earlier he spent six years as CIO of a national distribution organization where he developed a suite of supply chain and e-business systems that transformed the company's operations and revenue model. For this work he won the CIO 100 Award, the InformationWeek 500 Award and the Premier 100 Award. He earned his MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and writes a blog for CIO magazine called "Doing Business in Real Time". He is author of seven other books including the popular Essentials of Supply Chain Management, now in its third edition.
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