The Learning Future is Bright, the Learning Future is Gamification!

When we think of content we are more likely to associate it with the current noise that surrounds our world of content marketing. But look in a different direction and you can see the emergence of a different ‘style’ of content, but this time in learning and development.

In effect, we’re seeing the strong emergence of a relatively new form of content (in the L&D space) and it’s called GAMIFICATION.

In your organisation, how often is the training and development, knowledge and learning programme shaped around a push model – in effect, being told what you need to know and learn and delivered by someone standing up in a room, talking most of the time and off a powerpoint. Perhaps a sweeping generalisation, but some truth perhaps.

The learning and development challenge for us in the workplace today is compounded by the impact of ‘digital’ and its wider effect and influence on business transformation. How do we engage and develop our teams through a more engaging programme of learning, how can we harness the use of technology and interaction and how do we keep that interaction and learning process fresh and relevant.

The new role of learning and development is to engage with our teams through interaction, participation and ‘competitiveness’ by weaving traditional methods with gaming.

There’s certainly a place for the trainer and his/her associated presentation toolkit, but the opportunity to weave in gamification content will make the learning experience more enjoyable and more likely to achieve motivation drivers amongst individuals and teams in your organisation (and importantly wider business objectives and understanding).

But, and it’s a big but, the focus or purpose should not be centred on just creating gaming solutions, but rather on determining what the business objectives are FIRST and only then determining whether gaming can provide a solution or indeed, has an appropriate role to play.

Of course there are other important factors that should be considered: what sort of gaming content is required to fulfil the training, has it been planned effectively, is it relevant, will the ‘gaming’ experience provide effective learning, what is the plan to continue and build on learning and development, how will you keep content fresh and relevant and to serve its purpose of building value for your organisation through your individuals and teams.

So what might ‘gamification content’ look like in a learning and development programme:

  • It could be weaved into an organisation’s objective to provide its teams with a more detailed and inclusive way to understand the vision, ambition and strategy of the CEO – how to get the message(s) across effectively, how to get the strategy and plan understood and then acted upon.
  • It could be used to bring teams together following a merger or an acquisition. Through gamification, get newly connected teams to work together to solve some challenges following a merger and so activate new collaborations and new cultures.
  • It might be applied to new product development initiatives by creating business games to provide teams with ‘what to think about when creating new products/markets/opportunities’.
  • Or perhaps a way to engage with ‘new starters’ in a new business or existing individuals in existing teams – to understand the basics of operations, marketing and finance – not by ‘telling’ but through an imaginative and relevant ‘gaming’ experience.

The learning future is certainly bright and it’s here already, through gamification.

Gavin Miller. Managing Director. Dialogue