December 2014 | Innovation
Nano Tools for Leaders® are fast, effective leadership tools that you can learn and start using in less than 15 minutes — with the potential to significantly impact your success as a leader and the engagement and productivity of the people you lead.
Contributor: Ethan Mollick, PhD, Edward B. and Shirley R. Shils Assistant Professor of Management, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Explore new ways to motivate employees and customers using techniques from game designers.
In 2013, people spent over 11 billion person-hours playing the game Angry Birds — and they paid for the privilege of doing so. Imagine if you could motivate your employees or customers to show the same devotion to your company. That is the promise of the concept of gamification: applying techniques developed by game designers to serious work in order to make it more engaging, productive, and meaningful. Gamification provides companies with a new way to relate to customers, train employees, spur innovation, and encourage productivity.
There are two ways to approach gamification. The first is to redesign your work processes to incorporate the lessons of games in order to incentivize employees and customers. Doing this right involves carefully balancing the art of game design with your business goals — it’s a tricky process and is best left to professionals.
However, the second approach also offers robust benefits, and isn’t nearly as complicated. Employing simple techniques drawn from games can help you better engage employees, and even rethink work to make it more meaningful and fun. The basics of gamification also offer a great tool to think about how to better engage customers.
Nano Tools for Leaders® was conceived and developed by Deb Giffen, MCC, Director of Innovative Learning Solutions at Wharton Executive Education. It is jointly sponsored by Wharton Executive Education and Wharton’s Center for Leadership and Change Management, Wharton Professor of Management Michael Useem, Director. Nano Tools’ Academic Director is John Paul MacDuffie, Wharton Associate Professor of Management, and Director of the Program on Vehicle and Mobility Innovation (PVMI) at Wharton’s Mack Institute for Innovation Management.
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