Encourage Business Ideas Through Gamification

Linda D. Garrow

Chief Solutions Architect for Visibility Corporation. Ex-CFO, now helping Engineer-to-Order companies learn about Visibility’s ERP system.

When was the last time you were specifically asked for ideas to improve your business, or when was the last time you asked your team for new business ideas? Are new ideas encouraged at all employee levels at your company?

There appears to be an upward trend in the gamification of company training. In one survey, 83% of employee respondents who underwent gamified training were more motivated at work. What if you combined the quest for fresh and useful business ideas with gamification?

Here is an example: When I worked for ULVAC Technologies, the Japanese parent ULVAC Inc. used gamification to encourage the sharing of good, proven business ideas. Each year, there was a contest among 50 or so international subsidiaries to present to a team of judges a good idea that was recently implemented at your individual company. The judging criteria included was its applicability to all group companies around the world, on the positive bottom-line impact of the idea.

The ideas were not limited to top management. Everyone was encouraged to initiate proposals for new ideas before receiving approval for implementation. Once a new idea had a measurable improvement in the business, it could be used in a persuasive presentation.

I whole-heartily supported this annual contest because it was a chance for people to think of new ideas and to be rewarded for doing so. The reward was recognition and feedback on the ideas from co-workers from around the world. Winners received a trophy from the CEO of the parent company. There was also a monetary gift that was often used to buy everyone lunch and report back on the contest. As the CFO, I was grateful for the opportunity to help encourage participation at my company and take a management role in making sure we met deadlines and had good company participation.

In the future, this could all be documented in a blockchain to include NFT awards that commemorate the idea and the person or team behind the idea. Instead of the classic employee-of-the-month plaques on the walls in your corporate office, they could be memorialized digitally in the metaverse with a cryptocurrency token award.

I believe in constant business innovation called Kaizen in Japanese. I have followed this practice even prior to working at a Japanese-owned company. Early in my career, I converted a paper ledger for tracking a daily cash balance to a software spreadsheet program that pre-dated Excel called Lotus 1-2-3. Innovation is crucial for many businesses to not only succeed but to prevent failure. This was an idea that I was proud of since I used technology to greatly improve efficiency. It is a trend that continues to bring me success in my career.

I have always been motivated to find better ways of doing things. I believe technologies like AI and blockchain are exciting opportunities to make business improvements in the future. I study and encourage others to learn about these technologies that have world-impacting possibilities.

If your business culture does not openly encourage ideas, think about adopting an annual event where the people who think of ideas and the specific ideas are celebrated. If this is important to your company, select a champion at your company who can implement this effort and make sure this business idea is supported by company management and specifically your HR department.

You have learned about my successful corporate initiative on business idea gamification, but there is a risk of this effort failing in your company without enough proper planning, internal support and adherence to deadlines. Give your employees ways to feel valued by your organization. Encourage people to share ideas and try to make improvements to your business. By doing so, you will help boost their self-confidence. People should feel that their contributions to the business are appreciated. Gamification of business ideas could be a helpful step in that direction.


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https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesfinancecouncil/2022/04/20/encourage-business-ideas-through-gamification/

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