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Gamelearning: our take on Gamestorming

About five years ago Dave Gray, Sunni Brown and James Macanufo released the bestselling business book “Gamestorming” – check it out if you haven’t.
In it, they presented unique approaches to creating environments for creative thinking and innovation through the use of games.

They provided over 80 different games for improving collaboration, communication, engagement, problem-solving and other common team challenges. They offered plenty of evidence showing games can play a key role in business, and we agree – especially when it comes to learning.

We often think about different use cases for game-based learning, and while someday we might write a book about it, it’s good to consider a few that may be less obvious but perhaps more interesting. Here are just a few of those ‘Gamelearning’ use cases.

Quick – the Marketing department just asked for your help with communicating the launch of a top-secret new product. Since you are the L&D expert, they want you to get everyone in the company up to speed on the new product, its key features and who the target customers are. How are you going to train your entire company on this new product when you only have a few days notice? Think Gamelearning. In a few hours you set up a game for the entire company to play. The theme is the new product, players compete to see who knows the most about it, you issue challenges between departments. Sure, marketing should get all the brand questions right, but do they know the features as well as the development team? By the end of the game everyone’s on the same page and there’s some new buzz leading into the launch. Very cool.

End of the year is coming up and it’s time for the mandatory health and safety course for all employees. You know most folks click through the eLearning module as quickly as possible and the pass/fail quiz at the end is the extent of the evidence of who knows the material (and who does not). Time to pull out Gamelearning. This year, it’s the Health and Safety game, including trick questions to keep everyone on their toes. Top scorer earns a gift card at the local spa, and anyone who doesn’t score above 700 by the end of the month has to take the online course. Everyone plays the game, gets above 700 and is happy they don’t have to do the course. The real winner in this case is you: obtaining a complete record of when staff played and what questions they got right/wrong. You incorporate this data into your on-boarding and manager training programs. Very smart.

Your CEO dropped by your desk to let you know that the company is about to acquire a small software development firm in another country. You’ll need to on-board them so they can hit the ground running. Ah-ha, Gamelearning. Whip up a game that covers the key facts and figures about your company. When it was founded, where are the offices, significant customers, management team, and some of the essential HR details they need to know on their first day. Bonus points for knowing about the current product and services line-up. Even better, flip it around and have existing employees play a game based on details of the team that is coming on board. Joining a company through acquisition is challenging for both sides, so ease the nervousness and streamline on-boarding with a game. Game on!

So that’s just a few unique cases where games can help deliver and assess knowledge within an organization. How about you? Where have you used Gamelearning? Share in the comments section so we can all play too!

BTW, we have client case studies detailing how games were used to enhance learning in their organizations. You can find those here.

Posted by Dave Kruis

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