Bryan Barringer is manager of enterprise collaboration implementation at FedEx Services. He is focusing his talk on gamification, but he says it’s really about unlocking knowledge by changing mental models.
[These are my notes from the Enterprise 2.0 Conference 2012 in Boston. Since I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]
- Why Gamify?You need engagement, which comes from adoption, which comes from viral growth. How to get viral growth? You need to provide incentives. Gamification helps unlock knowledge. When that knowledge is shared, the more relevant the resource is to users. Gamification also allows you to gather key analytics. For example, they have the statistics to prove that they have been able to reduce email usage by 20%.
- You must know your CultureUse an approach and language that fits neatly with your organization’s culture. Be careful about focusing on the play aspects if your corporate culture is not open to it. In addition, be aware of the average age of your organization’s workforce. That will provide clues as to the right approach. Another great way to investigate culture is to send out carefully crafted surveys. They can help reveal the prevalent mental models.
- The FedEx Program They use a badge program to unlock knowledge. For example, you must blog five times in order to get a badge. Other badges are awarded for following others and for being followed (this is how connections are made). Badges also highlight professional training and certificates, as well as special awards and recognition and compliance activities.
- Some Pitfalls(1) Don’t create barriers to using the tool. Therefore, don’t make a certain number of badges mandatory before a person can have access to key functionality. These sorts of barriers to entry create unnecessary frustration and disengagement. (2) Don’t assume you actually understand your user base — survey widely. (3) Involve Legal and HR early. (4) Use the badge program as a carrot, not a stick. Don’t award a “Scarlet A” for bad behavior.
- There are lots of Gamification ResourcesFor example, check out gamification.org. Or follow Bryan on twitter.