Two terms I was unfamiliar with which I discovered I was doing after the fact
Gamification – use of game thinking and mechanics in non-game contexts
Arbejdsglaede – Scandinavian term for work gladness/joy or happiness at work
Not found in other languages. Japanese has a word, karoshi, which means death by overwork, but that’s moving in the wrong direction.
In English, job satisfaction is the nearest equivalent, but somehow seems lacking…
If you had to fly here, there’s a good chance you flew on an jetliner built by my employer
So what does this have to do with gamification and arbejdsglaede?
Well I give you this as background to show that if arbejdsglaede could happen at my workplace, you could make it happen in yours as well.
Now Boeing’s a big company, so don’t get the idea that just because I’m doing this all of Boeing is doing it. But, I can talk about what we’ve done in our little corner of Boeing.
Let me give you a little background on the primary way I’ve been involved with gamification at Boeing
Now I’m a believe that work should at least be kind of fun and if it’s not, look for ways to make it fun. So throughout my career I’ve tried to inject some fun in simple ways into the work environment e.g. acronyms (EGRET), names (Agile Support Group), mnemonic devices (cartoons), process diagrams as commute map, Variation of buzzword bingo in virtual meeting et al
Given my history, not surprising that I gamified our Agile Training Camp…
So there we were in 2008, 4 members of Boeing’s IT department who passionate about rolling out an Agile software development approach within IT We’d just successfully piloted an Agile version of our standard Application Development process and were trying to decide what’s next We reasoned that we needed to provide training in Agile so set out to create and approach and content that would show and tell Agile Somewhere along the way I got the idea of having a football theme for the class Outside of work, I was teaching a children’s Sunday School class that was set in the context of a movie studio theme which involved games and friendly competition. I wondered what would happen if we tried something similar in a corporate adult learning environment
So we did. We didn’t really know what would happen or how adults would respond to this theme, but with some trepidation We tried it. It was scary the first time we asked students to get out of their seats and kick a football at a goalpost target on the Wall, I mean this stuff just wasn’t done in our environment. But they played along and we discovered that adult students are A lot like kids. Adults like to play games too!
The class we came up with incorporated a number of elements tied together by the football theme.
The way the class works is we divide the students into two teams, X’s and O’s. Teams earn yardage by answering questions, completing exercises and enforcing class rules. Teams earn points by accumulating enough yardage to move their helmet down the field and into the end zone. Additional points are earned by kicking extra points and throwing a football at a target in endzone on a field laid out on the classroom floor.
The trick is to balance the serious content with the theme so that the theme doesn’t overwhelm the intent of The class and augments the learning by providing micro breaks and rewards participation.
Surprises Recognition Take trivial things seriously Allegorize Relationships Simple - Low overhead Voluntary (as much as possible) Theme integrated with work Non –interfering with actual work Mindset of having fun is OK Courage to try Have fun with culture, but don’t be demeaning