{de=82062134374, language: de, masterId: 28078095851}
{de=Mit Gamification neue Innovations-Gipfel bezwingen de, id: 114594447206, slug: de/blog/open-innovation-challenges-with-gamification-rd}

Conquering Open Innovation Challenges With Gamification

No company can successfully facilitate ingenuity without facing a few open innovation challenges. It’s like they say, you gotta break a few eggs to make an omelet. There are several ways to ease the growing pains of your innovation operations. However, one particular method has piqued the interest of more industries than ever before: gamification. So follow along as we guide innovation leaders through open innovation challenges—with games!

What Is Gamification?

Gamification occurs when game mechanics are applied to non-game contexts (like innovation management!) This strategy originates from the advertising and entertainment scenes but has since proven effective across a broad range of industries. Gamification incentivizes engagement not only amongst employees but in the consumer base too. Primarily, three concepts make up the gamified approach, which are:

  1. Competition - Most people have an innate urge to compete, which the video game industry has capitalized on for decades (We will take anyone on in a game of Mario Kart). The same way high scores and unlockable characters drive competition in games, incentives to participate can kickstart your innovation program. 
  2. Community - One of the most common open innovation challenges that companies face is the lack of collaboration. This setback stems from the fact that collaboration can’t thrive unless a sense of community has been established. The bottom line—games are fun. People are more likely to let loose and feel comfortable collaborating in a stimulating (and less stuffy) environment.
  3. Achievement - The sense of accomplishment can be highly fulfilling. After all, the best part of playing a game is winning. The innovation process isn’t always exciting. Sometimes, projects may come to a screeching halt due to complications. With so many trials and errors involved, it can be challenging to keep motivation levels high. Presenting awards to those who reach your company's goals helps people feel appreciated and strengthens their knowledge of the innovation process. Acknowledging your team's achievements is also an excellent means of boosting morale.


How Can Gamification Impact Open Innovation Challenges?

Despite the contrast in business models from industry to industry, many open innovation challenges are shared. Things like low employee engagement, confusing business processes, and lack of organization can be detrimental to an innovation manager's efforts. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, but gamification gets pretty close. Gamification fosters inclusion by lowering the barrier of participation. It is a fun and simplistic way of motivating people to join and reduce stress in the workplace. So, by combining the elements below, you can address the stumbling blocks in your innovation business processes in one fell swoop. 

Community Building

As mentioned above, gamification can help strengthen your company's sense of community. Concepts like community building are often easier said than done, so we'll save the spiel and give you two examples instead. The first example will showcase the effects of innovative gamification amongst clientele, while the second will focus on employee engagement. 



The Lego Ideas website allows "fan designers" to pitch their ideas for new lego sets. The site hosts contests with exclusive prizes, activities to stimulate creativity, and a platform to share commentary and show support. Lego posts a new challenge for fans to submit creative ideas to each week. If an idea is selected and moved to production, the designer receives a percentage of net sales. This low-risk, high-reward model is the gold standard of gamification in innovation.




Not to toot our own horn or anything, but we've got innovation down to a science. Don't believe us? Just ask our peer community of KICKBOX users. The rready KICKBOX is an innovation management solution that combines coaching, software, and gamified methodology to help companies stimulate intrapreneurship. Stimulating collaboration within a company is great! But we wanted more. So, we built a community out of our KICKBOX users where they can share ideas, receive coaching, and even launch cross-corporate collaboration projects. Validation and effective communication are two key components that make KICKBOX successful within a company. Extending those values to the entire community of KICKBOX users has created a support system where innovation thrives.

Guidance for Intrapreneurs

Setting up a reward system that aligns business goals with personal goals is fantastic for engagement, but it doesn't end there. As any experienced innovation manager knows, the innovation pipeline can be pretty erratic. Therefore, business process transparency and the right platform to support your efforts are essential. Nonetheless, motivated participation can seem like an uphill battle. 

Incentivizing progress not only facilitates the warm fuzzy feelings of achievement, but it helps solidify the understanding employees have of the innovation timeline. It's always easier not to do something than it is to do it. Accordingly, those in leadership roles should prioritize making participation as gratifying and straightforward as possible.  

Cultural Rejuvenation

Can we be open with you for a moment, reader? Cultural shifts are tricky. Of all the open innovation challenges, culture can be the most stubborn area to improve upon. These difficulties can stem from the fact that efforts to align with employee values must be genuine. 

Unfortunately, this means that gestures like ordering lunch or giving away branded water bottles won't cut it. Gamification appeals to the human emotions that games invoke—for example, the confidence that achievements provide or the sense of belonging that a common goal can inspire. This approach sets a foundation for the authentic cultural shifts required to succeed. 


Potential Setbacks of Gamification

At this point, you might be wondering,"  what's the catch?" There doesn't have to be one if you play your cards right. Many of the potential issues with gamification are a result of design flaws. Below, we've outlined a couple of things to avoid when approaching open innovation challenges with gamification

  • High-risk competition - Innovation leaders should tread carefully when engaging employees or consumers in a competition that could result in negative consequences. For example, suppose your company posts a public leaderboard that displays each member of the organization’s place in a competition. Employees ranking low or last on the leaderboard may feel less inclined to participate due to the public nature of losing. Although some may view the competition as “just a game,” some may be deterred by the fear of publicized failure. 
  • Overly immersive activities - Let’s be honest, most of us have lost a few hours playing candy crush or scrolling our news feeds at some point. Make sure the addictive nature of games doesn’t come on too strongly in your gamification efforts. Although your company may be prioritizing innovation, unrelated business operations must carry on as usual. An overly immersive, ongoing game or competition may cause employees to lose focus in other areas of their work. Make sure the behavior that’s being rewarded is desirable.


Create a points system that encourages team members to interact with one another’s ideas on your innovation platform. 


Implement an activity that requires employees to devote an excessive amount of time to it (think luck-based games that require repetitive actions like spinning a prize wheel.)

rready equips businesses with the support they need to launch an innovation program that creates value. Conquer your open innovation challenges and join the KICKBOX community by contacting us or schedule a demo below today.                                                          Get started today