How to Gamify Innovation Guide – Innovation Gamification

While monetary prizes and material items are popular and useful carrots for getting people in the game, they are decreasingly effective motivators of participant behavior in the long run. Innovation gamification – recognition and other nonmaterial perks are “levers where the value to the individual is greater than the cost to the company”, a consideration that becomes ever more important to companies dealing with a tough economic climate. They are essential to the incentive structure of a well designed innovation process.

Innovation events and programs have a game element and games have to be fun. This innovation gamification guide provides a high level description of game design and offers recommendations for developing a highly engaging rewards and recognition model.

Key game design elements for innovation gamification and to make creating and developing ideas fun and engaging are as follows:

  • Understand the players:
    • User profiles, demographics, skills, experience and interests
    • Who will participate in submitting ideas (can be just about everyone including your employees, customers and partners), reviewing them (subject matter experts and moderators) and who will follow up (managers) and complete ongoing action items (whoever is assigned to work on a phase of the idea or experiment)
  • Point system (also called experience points): develop a point system that measures any action taken by the user based on its value
  • Levels and badges: decide whether you will award badges and design levels that show who are the most engaged and expert participants
  • Rewards: Define and promote soft and stuff rewards for innovation activity
  • Measure results, redesign if needed and take action based on the stats

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