#GamifyHR Gamifying IBM

I still need to post on most of day 2 of Fleming’s Gamification in HR Summit, but while I’m still processing the information and my learnings from this (as well as day 3) here is a short summary of one of the most provocative sessions (in terms of what may be possible) from Phaedra Boinodiris at IBM.

We heard about a number of things they are doing including micro quests to challenge peoples’ behaviours in different area for example around sales.

However to me the most interesting application was applying gamification to think more creatively about capability assessments.  This is something that IBM have been doing together with Gravitalent developing a game to test personality and behaviours for problem solving, work attitude etc, and the multi player version also assesses cooperation vs competition.

The important point is that this is a using a serious game test to understand peoples’ competencies rather than just asking people about them or testing them in a traditional way.  This allows people to retest and improve their behaviours rather than just providing a fixed view of personality.

IBM’s dashboard allow people to see how their competencies need to or have changed in response to shifting requirements or career opportunities.  For example they use the rotating leader model where they ask who might be the right leader for a particular role and where the role moves as a project or something develops (as in World of Warcraft Guild leaders).  But it should also provide something like an internal stock market for talent, linking assessment, meeting development needs and evolving potential.

An interesting aspect of the dashboard is the idea that the system provides an avatar which changes as someone’s competencies change.  So project managers or individuals can compare the differences between eg a green swan and a red dragon etc.

(Sorry I know this is a bit confused – this bit was delivered rather quickly.)

We also had a look at some very funky serious games including one which was linked in to a client’s real business processes (not HR though) so that learning in the game would have a direct impact on the business.  Ie you can teach a skill and optimise a process at the same time.

And we heard about some more complex game and gamified approaches.  In particular IBM run Grand Challenges to involve staff in learning about new technology challenges and wanted to use gamification to support their next grand challenge around their social business platform and came up with a virtual reality game and facilitated conversations on the platform to show the value of social collaboration and the platform.
I thought these examples were the best that we covered in terms of the full possibility of gamification, and the sort of process we’d been considering during day 2 and that I still need to post on.  And that also showed how a serious game can be the output of a gamification approach, linking these two things together more closely than we’d managed to before.
But it’s also clearly well beyond the capability of most firms, and probably most vendors, for some time to come.  It’d have been good to have had more example of programmes like this from some more typical companies.  I know there are some…

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I graduated from Imperial College, London in 1987 and joined Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) as a systems development consultant. After ten years in IT, change and then HR consulting, I joined Ernst & Young as an HR Director, working firstly in the UK, and then, based in Moscow, covering the former USSR.More recently, I have worked as Head of HR Consulting for Penna and Director of Human Capital Consulting for Buck Consultants (the HR consultancy owned by ACS).


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