The Following is a Guest Post by Martin Bråkenhielm, CEO and founder of BizPart Engage
What’s Your Perfect Engagement Platform?
Starting my own company was always the obvious choice. I was raised to look up to entrepreneurs as successful and independent visionaries. I set out to help people to realize the potential of cloud- based services and founded Alien Interactive in 1999. Almost 14 years ago, it was not an easy task. But my vision was bigger than that. I wanted to find a way to offer people what games and sports had offered me; the enjoyment of motivation, determination and deep engagement. The word gamification was not yet heard of but I was fascinated by the thought of making an engaging game out of less exciting work-days. But almost 14 years ago, without the adoption of technology we see today, it was even harder for people to understand that idea than the potential of cloud services.
My entrepreneurial ambition spawned, and still does, from one fundamental stance: There is no reason why work shouldn’t be a thrilling experience. By adding a well-designed engagement system to our enterprise-environment we can take advantage of the elements of games and sports to truly engage users, employees and partners.
The environment needs to differ from person to person, because we are different and have different drivers. In order to successfully engage everyone we have to take advantage of new technology and offer a dynamic system which revolves around each individual user, perfectly designed to suit their needs. This includes everything from the selection of game elements, structure of challenges, pace of progression, ways of giving feedback and to offer the right tools to move further. Some may enjoy the social elements and get a boost from sharing their knowledge and learn from others. Others may be triggered by competitions and use contests as a way to motivate themselves and to see the results from their efforts. A third group may thoughtfully plan their development, focusing only on their own progression and aim for the pure thrill of learning.
It’s the same principles as I remember from my golfing days (I was aiming for professional career). However, I’d like to think bigger; to imagine one step further. Even if video-games and sports contexts offer autonomy, structured challenges and a good feedback-loop, which are vital elements for any gamified context, they are still static in the sense that they don’t adapt based on the complex aspects of what we enjoy. The perfect system should know everything about you. What makes you tick, what your long-term goals are, what activities you find intriguing, the pace of work you prefer, etc. Furthermore, it should collect data about what mood you’re currently in, what you think is important at the moment and what external circumstances that affects your decisions. A system that really knows you may dynamically provide exactly what you need, when you need it and how you need it.
Imagine you coming to work and logging in to the perfect engagement platform. It would instantly collect data about you, combine it with your history and previous progress to plan the day’s activities to optimize your well-being. E.g. it may know that you feel social and competitive today and suggest that you should make some sales calls. Additionally it sets up a contest with your colleague to trigger you to action. The next day you may be feeling a little bit under the weather and the system gives you some well-needed back-office work to do. In this way, a system which is perfectly aligned with you would not only optimize your well-being, but also your productivity, personal development and innovative capabilities.
Today, we see several tendencies that points in the right direction. Content is more personalized, automated suggestions are better than ever and human focused design is gaining ground. In combination with the acknowledgements of the power of gamification, I’m certain that we are looking for a future where technology goes one step further as a vital part in engagement management.
The benefits gained at an organizational-level from such system would be immense. If people always are motivated to do the task at hand managers can optimize the output from employees, partners and customers. By tweaking and balancing the system one can set long- and short term goals and make everyone work in a unified direction. Not because they have to; because they want to. Gamification is already proven to be a powerful tool to increase productivity, spur innovation and facilitate collaboration. The full potential is however untapped. Advanced technology, better understanding and a willingness to let this new way to engage permeate deeper into our organizations, will make it a vital element to keep up with competition.
Our platform, BizPart Engage is not there yet, but we believe that we’ve taken a step in the right direction. By combining Social, Learning and Incentive features we take a 360 degree approach to engagement management and provide a platform which promotes structured progress, tools to reach the goals of the individual and the instant feedback that boosts motivation. However, we are constantly developing our portal to find new ways to deepen the experience on our path to create the right environment for flawless engagement management.
Martin Bråkenhielm, CEO and founder of BizPart Engage, which handles the Engagement Management for the Nordic Sector of one of the biggest conglomerates in the world.
Flickr Image by Adam Kuba