The best gamification tool is the manager

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In short : gamification is the answer to many managerial challenges. But, if we sum up all that’s expected from it, it looks like the best gamification system is management and that we’re once again trying to fix human issues with technology.

After an umpteenth post on the limits of gamification and the need to find the right balance, the right design to make the most of it, one of my twitter followers asked me a very apt question : “what is ‘good’ gamification ?”.

My spontaneous answer was like :

Gamifying is not managing

– it’s the one that helps to make sense of things, that helps to understand that a given activity matters and is worth one’s time

– the one that gives perspective : it makes people discover and try things they wouldn’t have naturally or they did not know, but not to the detriment of more essential things. It’s a matter of balance.

– the one that gives recognition in and through work : how is it possible that doing one’s work is not self-satisfying ? Why should we add a badge ?

– the one that values people on their engagement and results.

– the one that brings pleasure at work, that makes people happy to do something.

My manager is a badge

Hey. Wait a minute. Don’t you think that all the points above are the manager’s call ? Sensemaking, perspective, recognition, valuation, happiness at work ?

Does that mean that be best gamification system is a good management ?

That once again we’re trying to use technology to solve human issues.

That a good gamification needs to work with good management, not instead of it.

 

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