Is Gamification Right for Your Company?

If you’ve ever received a lollipop after an unpleasant visit to the doctor, or received a gold star in Kindergarten for good behavior, then you’re already familiar with the concept of gamification. On its face, it can be considered complex and unapproachable, but in fact, its basic premise has been around longer than we think. Now, gamification can be found in many different capacities, from game-based simulations for environmental science to monitoring and tracking employee wellness across various industries. Gamification has the ability to inspire excellence and promote internal transparency, but it can also create an unhealthy level of internal competition. Depending upon how it is integrated and supervised, gamification can either become a burden or be just the right motivator to push your company to the next level. Could gamification work in your industry? Here’s a few examples of companies who have successfully pulled it off. DevHub Launched in … Continue reading

Innovators: Beware the Hindsight Bias

HindsightImagine you’re testing a new innovation to see if it can work for your business. You’ve been told by experts that there’s only a 20% chance that it’ll work in your situation. But, something inside tells you it might work. You say, hey, it’s worth a try. Let’s go ahead.

Sure enough, it works! You’re thrilled, and you so say “I knew it all along!” This is good news, and you know that your boss is going to love it, too. So you rush in and sell the idea to the boss and the rest of the team.

Everyone’s excited about the roll out of the new concept. You’ve spent a lot of time and money, and today is the big day. Then, the unthinkable happens. It doesn’t work. How could that be. You try it again, no good. You keep trying it over and over. It works a few times, but for the most part, nothing.

When you look back at all your attempts to use the concept, you realize that it worked…only 20% of the time, exactly what the experts told you.

So what happened here? You were guilty of a bias that we all have called The Hindsight Bias. Hindsight bias, also known as the “knew-it-all-along effect”, is the inclination to see events that have already occurred as being more predictable than they were before they took place. Hindsight bias causes you to view events as more predictable than they really are. After an event, people often believe that they knew the outcome of the event before it actually happened.

Hindsight bias can cause memory distortion. Because the event happened like you thought it would, you go back and revise your memory of what you were thinking right before the event. You re-write history, so to speak, and revise the probability in hindsight. Going forward, you use that new, higher probability to make future decisions. When in fact, the probabilities haven’t changed at all. That leads to poor judgement.

Hindsight bias can make you overconfident. Because you think you predicted past events, you’re inclined to think you can see future events coming. You bet too much on the outcome being higher and you make decisions, often poor ones, based on this faulty level of confidence.

To avoid hindsight bias, keep these pointers in mind:

  • First, the future is not predictable. When you start to think you can predict it, remember, everyone else thinks they can too. Someone is always wrong.
  • Make decisions based on what the data says is likely to happen, not based on what you think is going to happen.
  • If you make a prediction, and that prediction comes true, don’t revise the odds because of the outcome. The probabilities haven’t changed.
  • Finally, always lay out a plan of action before you start any initiative. Include in that plan any data or expert advice about possible outcomes for the initiative. That’ll help keep you honest at those times when you think you have a magic crystal ball.

Older consumers are generally more brand loyal while millennials seek innovation

Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 5.32.20 PMTargeting innovation-hungry millennials?  We ought not forget our more established customers, who tend to purchase their tried and true products. Here is an interesting article I found by Andrew McDougal on Cosmetics Design- Europe.

He writes that while there is a big focus on attracting millennials who seek innovation right now, older consumers’ preferences become more established as they age suggesting that as they age, they become more brand loyal.

Check out the article here:

Six Essentials to Cultivating an Innovation Culture

Six Essentials to Cultivating an Innovation CultureA decade ago, I was invited to coach a group of Nokia’s fast-rising superstars. Thirty-five “high potential” managers flew in to Palo Alto, California to network, sample local wines, and focus on innovation. At the time, Nokia seemed unstoppable. Growth was in the double digits. “The company sells five phones every second,” gushed Fast Company in a profile. Continue reading

34 Awesome Quotes on Leadership

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1. "Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things." - Peter F. Drucker

2. "If you don't understand that you work for your mislabeled 'subordinates,' then you know nothing of leadership. You know only tyranny." - Dee Hock

3. "A leader is best when people barely know he exists. When his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say 'we did it ourselves.'" - Lao Tzu

4. "The led must not be compelled; they must be able to choose their own leader." - Albert Einstein

5. "The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why." - Warren Bennis

6. "The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you." - Max DePree

Why I Moved to Vegas, and What It Can Teach Us About Innovation

I've fallen in love with living in Las Vegas, but most people think I'm crazy to move here. I may well be, but in my defense, there is a huge difference between the Vegas I know, and the Vegas that automatically springs to most peoples minds. This disconnect between what most people think Vegas is, and how I think of it illustrates two really important biases that can impact innovation, and business productivity as a whole. One is the confirmation bias, the other is the illusion of understanding. Continue reading

The Five Hottest Innovation Trends

Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 5.18.04 PMThe start up craze. 3-D printing. Uber, AirBNB and the unstoppable On Demand Economy. My friend Robert Tucker has been reporting on these and other driving forces of change:

Only a year ago, we were just hearing about the “sharing economy” (since renamed the On Demand Economy), today the mainstream media reports on these trends constantly. Check out these top five I-Trends:

1. The Start Up Trend Goes Global.

On recent swings thru the Middle East and Africa, I heard less about turmoil in the region, and often about the increasing number of startups sprouting. Today’s breed of entrepreneurs are discovering that funding is available, customers are receptive, technology is cheap and scalable, and many a market’s incumbent players are vulnerable to new business models that offer fresh solutions. The secret is to have a good idea, and the old adage “find a need and fill it” still applies. Winning entrepreneurs seek to solve problems people have that they aren’t solving particularly well, and are open to change.  Serial entrepreneur Richard Barton, whose startups include Zillow, Expedia, Glassdoor and others, says he gets ideas by repeatedly asking a simple question: “what piece of marketplace information do people crave and don’t have?” In sum: the startup boom, and lower fuel costs, is providing much needed oxygen to the still-strained global economy and will likely spread (Iran’s startup culture may lead the growth). The impact on the corporate world is clear: better disrupt yourself or someone else will.

  1. Additive Manufacturing is Nearing a Tipping Point.

According to Gartner, a technology becomes mainstream when adoption levels reach 20 percent, which is approximately where this nascent industry is today. As predicted in InnovationTrends May 2014, practical uses of 3-D printing are exploding, as more and more creative people use the new devices to solve problems and create opportunities. NASA uses 3-DP to rapidly prototype at lower cost. Stage set designers on Broadway are using 3-DP to churn out sample sets overnight. Ships at sea are using 3-DP printers to make replacement parts, doing away with costly backup inventory. Charities worldwide are creating 3D-printed prosthetics for those who could never afford them otherwise. UPS is building on its existing third party logistics business to add 3-D printing mini-factories for just in time deliveries. But the real tipping point comes when failure to adapt to the Additive Trend starts becoming a necessity to survival. According to Dartmouth’s Richard D’Aveni, (Harvard Business Review, May, 2015), “The U.S. hearing aid industry converted to 100 percent additive manufacturing in less than 500 days, and not one company that stuck to traditional manufacturing methods survived.”

Read the rest at Robert’s Innovation Resource blog:

The Five Hottest Innovation Trends

Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 5.18.04 PMThe start up craze. 3-D printing. Uber, AirBNB and the unstoppable On Demand Economy. My friend Robert Tucker has been reporting on these and other driving forces of change:

Only a year ago, we were just hearing about the “sharing economy” (since renamed the On Demand Economy), today the mainstream media reports on these trends constantly. Check out these top five I-Trends:

1. The Start Up Trend Goes Global.

On recent swings thru the Middle East and Africa, I heard less about turmoil in the region, and often about the increasing number of startups sprouting. Today’s breed of entrepreneurs are discovering that funding is available, customers are receptive, technology is cheap and scalable, and many a market’s incumbent players are vulnerable to new business models that offer fresh solutions. The secret is to have a good idea, and the old adage “find a need and fill it” still applies. Winning entrepreneurs seek to solve problems people have that they aren’t solving particularly well, and are open to change.  Serial entrepreneur Richard Barton, whose startups include Zillow, Expedia, Glassdoor and others, says he gets ideas by repeatedly asking a simple question: “what piece of marketplace information do people crave and don’t have?” In sum: the startup boom, and lower fuel costs, is providing much needed oxygen to the still-strained global economy and will likely spread (Iran’s startup culture may lead the growth). The impact on the corporate world is clear: better disrupt yourself or someone else will.

  1. Additive Manufacturing is Nearing a Tipping Point.

According to Gartner, a technology becomes mainstream when adoption levels reach 20 percent, which is approximately where this nascent industry is today. As predicted in InnovationTrends May 2014, practical uses of 3-D printing are exploding, as more and more creative people use the new devices to solve problems and create opportunities. NASA uses 3-DP to rapidly prototype at lower cost. Stage set designers on Broadway are using 3-DP to churn out sample sets overnight. Ships at sea are using 3-DP printers to make replacement parts, doing away with costly backup inventory. Charities worldwide are creating 3D-printed prosthetics for those who could never afford them otherwise. UPS is building on its existing third party logistics business to add 3-D printing mini-factories for just in time deliveries. But the real tipping point comes when failure to adapt to the Additive Trend starts becoming a necessity to survival. According to Dartmouth’s Richard D’Aveni, (Harvard Business Review, May, 2015), “The U.S. hearing aid industry converted to 100 percent additive manufacturing in less than 500 days, and not one company that stuck to traditional manufacturing methods survived.”

Read the rest at Robert’s Innovation Resource blog: