Daniel Green, co-founder and CTO of Wikistrat, spoke at GSummit 2014 on an intriguing topic: How Gamification Motivates All Age Groups: Or How to Get Retired Generals to Play Games Alongside Students and Interns.
Wikistrat, a crowdsourced consulting company, leverages a worldwide network of experts from various industries to solve some of the world’s geopolitical problems through the power of gamification. Wikistrat also leverages fun, training, mentorship, and networking as core concepts in their company.
Dan (@wsdan) spoke with TechnologyAdvice host Clark Buckner about Wikistrat’s work, origins, what clients can expect from working with Wikistrat, and how gamification correlates with big data and business intelligence. Listen to the podcast and read the summary below:
Wikistrat aims to solve a common problem faced by most governments and organizations when generating strategies: “groupthink.” Such entities can devise a diverse set of strategies, but they always seem to find their resolution in the most popular answer.
In order to break group thinking, Wikistrat carries out geopolitical simulations that work around “collaborative competition.” The process involves:
Securing analysts: Wikistrat recruits a diverse group of analysts who are experts in certain fields and located in different strategic places.
Competing with ideas: These analysts are placed in an online environment where, instead of competing with each other, one analyst contributes an idea, then other analysts create 2-3 more ideas based on the initial idea.
Breaking group thinking: Now the competition becomes only about ideas. People champion the ideas they care about rather than arguing with other analysts. That’s when Wikistrat breaks group thinking and helps their clients discover ideas they may have never considered before.
Gamification occurs when analysts create different scenarios for a specific angle or question the client raises. Plus, Wikistrat’s global analyst coverage is so good that they tout having at least one expert in every country. They accomplished this by allowing anyone—not just four-star generals—to register as an analyst. However, applicants must submit a resume and a writing sample, as well as pass a face-to-face interview.
Mr Green said that ideal analyst candidates are those attracted to:
interacting with other people
Wikistrat’s geopolitical simulations are not only fun, engaging, intellectually challenging, and revenue-generating, but most importantly, analysts are actually trying to solve real-life problems.
As incentive, Wikistrat further gamifies its Massively Multiplayer Online Consultancy (MMOC) platform by offering its analysts badges, points, and cash prizes. Analysts are also given a minimum revenue guarantee, which can sometimes increase two- or three-fold depending on an analyst’s marked improvement or if the client likes and purchases a particular analyst’s report.
When asked about how to create data-driven decisions and implement useful gamification mechanics, Dan explained that Wikistrat comes from a more qualitative approach, since sharing ideas can’t necessarily be distilled to specific data points. However, he said that gamification can certainly be used to encourage people to fill out these data points, and that big data has a large role to play in terms of determining what behaviors might be most effective.
For more information on Wikistrat or to apply to become an analyst of their gamified geopolitical simulations, visit wikistrat.com. For a sample simulation executive summary report of a Wikistrat client, read “Who Smuggles What in 2050?”
This interview was provided by Gsummit media partner TechnologyAdvice, an Inc. 5000 company that is dedicated to educating, advising, and connecting the buyers and sellers of business technology. Interview conducted by Clark Buckner.