The Blitz Brainstorming Gamification Tool Creates Speedy Innovation
If creativity is a muscle, then gamification is the bench press. Much of workplace frustration stems from being stuck on day-to-day problems that arise such as optimization of a large workload or maximization of quantified metrics such as sales. Organizational creativity is in great demand for companies, and Blitz—a speed-thinking process that brainstorms innovative solutions—may be the gamified answer to the knot in the creativity muscle.
Dr. Ken Hudson, former marketing director of American Express, created Blitz as a fast, easy way to bring people out of a production rut. The main idea is to create as many as nine ideas in about two minutes. He found that when he gave managers less time to generate novel ideas, not only could they do it, but also they did it in inspired ways. Blitz’s rules and platform combines energy with creativity and production to drive innovation.
Suppose there was a business meeting on a topic such as changing the procedures in the production development cycle. The 5-step process of Blitz could help alleviate any frustration due to cognitive paralysis. To start a Blitz, the rules are:
- To Start a Blitz, start one by yourself or up to six people
- No more than 20 minutes per Blitz session
- Build upon each other’s ideas and Connect ideas in logical or random ways
- Evaluate ideas upon criteria such as speed of creation or level of impact
- Complete an action that takes top ranked ideas and builds plans to act upon
At the end of the process, points are awarded to participants to gauge innovation practices within a company.
The gamification principles strengthening Blitz stem from the basis that time-constrained thinking sessions provide a game with minimal rule-based stipulations but plenty of play. The game created from brainstorming as many ideas as possible in a short amount of time is based of the research done on speed and variability thinking by Emily Pronin.
Her research claims that speed thinking on a diverse range of ideas leads to mood elevation, and Dr. Hudson employs Pronin’s findings to Blitz to help teams of people generate many ideas by including everyone’s variable speed thinking into an idea database. This database uses a connect feature to randomly connect ideas so as to invent new stimuli for people to use for solution-generation. Feedback in this form keeps information fresh, and a basic point system keeps all contributions accountable.
Speed and variability are the elements that are incorporated into the mechanics of feedback and points to design Blitz. Other benefits this structure brings is that it reduces meeting times and it can identify new talent. Since everyone has a voice in the organizational creativity, it may be seen that the marketing guru on your team has excellent wisdom on operations management. Exploring new talents can be a dynamic catalyst to a workplace because sometimes people get caught into repetitive roles on the job.
Creativity is a skill, and constant practice of that skill will strengthen performance. As a mental workout, Blitz provides the key ingredients to solve the inefficiencies of processes similar to employee suggestion programs. In theory, they may work well, but reality sees leaders running out of energy, employees getting frustrated from lack of attention, and companies coming to a disconnect between desired outcomes and contributions.
The team component to Blitz encourages introverted/extroverted people to inclusively contribute ideas towards one topic so everyone is on the same page. The speed component avoids the problem of over-analysis, and the 5-step process provides a loose structure with an end action as opposed to many brainstorming sessions that end in, “huh? So, what next?”
Blitz is in open beta, and it can be used for anything from studying for an exam, preparing for a presentation, or solving efficiency in the workplace. The software is synced across mobile, desktop, web, and social, and this digital integration of Blitz shows how powerful gamification works with big data. Sometimes it is important to play a little game to get the creative juices flowing. Why not try Blitzing?