Gamification and the Innovation Process

by Jessica Day

Gamification and the Innovation ProcessIt was estimated that $100 million was spent on gamification in 2010. It was also predicted that that number would rise to $2.8 billion by 2016. Here in 2013, when the number has risen to $242 million, it certainly seems possible that individuals as well as more and more organizations will be looking to gamify their open innovation systems (as well as numerous other processes).

But that’s just the result. What does gamification have to do with the open innovation process?

The main goal when applying a gamification strategy to something is to increase engagement, but how much does an organization or program stand to gain when applying gaming scenarios to their innovation initiative?

Consider this:

  • One study by Findlay and Alberts showed that the percentage of contributing members in a community shifted, once a gamification strategy had been applied to the system. Without a gamified experience, 68% of the community was composed of contributors (as opposed to merely observers), once the gamification strategy was applied, however, the number of contributors shot up to 83%. That same study showed the average number of posts per user increased from 1.5 posts/user to 2.3 posts/user with the gamification strategy.
  • The Keas employee wellness program is a system that encourages employees to create healthier, happier lives. When Keas gamified their approach, their user engagement improved 100x (as an order of magnitude).
  • IdeaScale recently launched an enhanced badge gaming system and when the client introduced it to their existing open innovation platform, engagement increased and community members even began changing their nameplates to reflect their community standing.

There are many ways to make open innovation challenge-based or to incentivize player behavior. Although, anyone would recommend exploring numerous paths towards engagement, there was a study that suggested rewarding users for submitting ideas that generate the highest level of interaction actually improves not just engagement, but idea quality by 40%. If there is a way to allow an open innovation community to build on, comment on, or contribute to ideas, then rewarding members who activate that sort of behavior generally improves the ideas as well as engagement. A synopsis of that study’s findings exists here.

How do you improve engagement? Can gamification affect other aspects of innovation as well?

image credit: Creative Commons Flickr

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No comments

  1. Good blog, and here are a lot more examples of how gamification improved engagement and many more metrics:

  2. Thank you for this post! We just wanted to pop by and let you know that this article made our Friday Innovation Links Roundup post for this week!


  3. Thanks fo the post. The link to the study doesn’t work anymore. Is it still somewhere available?

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