It’s common for businesses to hit a bump in the road at some point in their journey. Often, it’s because communication between teams has broken down, employee motivation has run dry, or leaders have become less able to produce imaginative ideas. But what if there was a fun way to get the cogs of the company turning again?

This is where gamification comes in – applying the principles of games to a non-game context/ beyond being simply entertaining, games are highly interactive, inclusive, and immersive. They can help business goals to unproductive meetings – and create a powerful learning experience for managers and employees – here is why:

Games facilitate learning
There is a simple explanation for the growing popularity of business games: they work. Overwhelming scientific evidence confirms that the use of games and simulators improve the learning process. Why? There are at least three reasons:

1. Learning by doing. The secret to the success of business games resides in their capacity to represent real-life problems and afford the direct practice of knowledge and skills via simulators. Learners are given a safe environment (therefore lacking economic risks) to immerse themselves in the same corporate issues that company executives face regularly, responding and interacting with them from the very beginning.

2. Interactive learning. Another key aspect of business games is their capability to capture learner engagement and participation. Numerous studies demonstrate that our brains remember knowledge better if we actively participate or interact when learning it. Compared to classroom-based or video lessons, business games bolster the direct participation, including emotional involvement, of the learners.

3. Cost reduction. Even though developing a good business game requires time, knowledge and money, once created, economies of scale entail an enormous competitive advantage. Unlike classroom lessons, these business games can be quickly and securely implemented anywhere in the world. Many of the best business games currently available only require learners to have smartphones and an Internet connection.

Create an identity for your company based on core values with the Align game.
Picture this: you’re the founder of a tech company that’s expanded to multiple European countries. So far, things have been going well. Your product has been easy to sell and your growth has been rapid. So, What could go wrong from here?

Well, a few things. For starters, working with international clients means that your teams, which are spread across different countries, will need to work more collaboratively and cohesively. Secondly, as multiple competitors enter the market, your need to frequently improve your product, increase customer satisfaction, and ramp up sales will become even greater. What’s more, amid all of this growth, your employees could start to become disconnected from your original vision for the business, which will affect their motivation.

One standout game that helps individuals get more comfortable with collaboration is LinkXs.
LinkXs is a game developed for groups to practice with collaboration, personal leadership, communication and the distribution of available resources. The game is all about skills and attitude, not about knowledge.
Which themes can be addressed by playing LinkXs?
• Collaboration within and between teams and from different locations
• Communicate openly, honestly and clearly
• Show personal leadership
• Switch between thinking and doing
• Collaborate vs. competition
• Share successes

The game evokes recognizable and natural behaviour. Participants get the opportunity to reflect and become aware of their own behaviour. This reflection provides valuable insights for their daily practice.

Use elements of play to optimize your business meetings.
Anyone who has worked for a business has probably had to endure their share of uninspiring meetings. An array of organisational goals and strategies are being thrown in the air, but they’ll probably be forgotten about by the time everyone leaves the room. The majority of attendees aren’t participating directly in the conversation. People’s viewpoints will likely be left out and the most sleepy attendees will miss out on key information.

While words are powerful, they’re not enough to identify and solve the problems an organisation is facing. What businesses need are concrete tools that help them take action. One such tool is the Meeting Design Game. The Meeting Design Game is a new innovative way to improve the planning of your meetings and conferences. The Game helps you design outstanding events that will create value for both meeting owners and participants.

Get unstuck and generate new ideas with Innovate and Dinosaur.
Innovate and Dinosaur? The name may sound bizarre, but this collaborative game helps weary organisations that are fresh out of inspiration unlock their innovative potential.

How? Well, that becomes clear when you consider the reasons businesses get stuck in a rut. It’s easy to become fixed in our thinking. When we get used to thinking of things in a certain way, our neural pathways become wired accordingly; our brains automatically ignore information that doesn’t align with our existing thinking patterns.

The good news is that we can rewire our neural pathways quickly – and Innovate or Dinosaur is a great way to do it. The game is played in two parts. The first is played on the Explore board, where players are challenged to outline key problem areas in their organisations. They then receive several different cards – determined by rolling dice – and these prompt them to purpose innovate ideas for tackling the problems.

In the second half, Explore board is exchanged for the Evolve board, and participants are asked to refine their ideas, put them into action, and note how much effort that took.

Innovate or Dinosaur shows players what it really takes to make a business idea a reality. It also builds the capacity of employees to innovate in their working lives, preventing them from sinking back into dinosaur thinking.
What steps does your organisation take to ensure its managers have the skills required to fulfil their management role?

There are a wider range of tools and techniques available to develop the skills and capabilities of staff. Games are consistently perceived by the participants as more interesting than traditional instruction methods and this perception leads to increased engagement and better retention of the information.

All managers, whatever their area of operation, need some essential skills. They need to be able to plan the work of their team, delegate the work to the most appropriate person, communicate the plan and other contextual information, build relationships and solve problems.

Management games provide the perfect opportunity for new managers, existing managers and those in supervisory roles to develop their management skills and their self-awareness in a safe environment.