The Deloitte Tribalization of Business Study, which I discussed in my previous post, identified that “the biggest obstacles to creating successful communities are getting people to engage and participate, and getting people to keep coming back.”
I’m a big believer that incorporating game mechanics into the design of social business systems can have a significant catalytic effect.
Making business fun, makes for better business.
Ultimately, if designed right such systems can achieve the required inflection points – critical mass, etc to overcome the obstacles noted in the Deloitte study.
Let’s play a game. I’d like you to watch the following video. While you do think of an analogy and follow a linear narrative.
The stairs at the start of the video represent a business before it’s been optimized for social business: functional, static, requires effort. People grudgingly use them.
The escalators are installed. They’re shiny, they move fast and require little effort. Everyone jumps on board. But after a while they lose their soul, they’re just as boring as the stairs were. No-one smiles.
This represents a business that has had social media tools installed without following a systematic design process. At first it seems awesome that you can have a wiki, “Hey look, I’m talking to my other colleagues in sales”.
“It’s amazing. I set up not just one blog, but one for every day of the week!
The company sees the light. They decide to go back to their core business functions – the stairs – and design them right. They integrate game mechanics into their social business systems.
Everyone loves them. People leave work with a smile on their faces. They don’t mind a bit of effort, because they are loving doing it. The system (stairs) now allow people to express themselves creatively.
The business has got its soul back!