Free Form Friday–Game Dynamics and Organizational Behavior



(1) Organizational Behavior: The study of how people work together and how things can be changed.

Organizational behavior studies things like leadership and teamwork.

(2) Blissful Productivity: A happy feeling of creation.

Work here shouldn’t feel like work. It should feel like blissful productivity.

(3) Performance Measure: Something used to check how good the work or worker is.

Our basic performance measure is the sales number, but customer satisfaction, and team member satisfaction are also important.



1. What is the progression dynamic?

a. The good feeling that comes from completing all the steps

b. Becoming a higher level

c. The slow push of games to do things

2. How can companies use the status dynamic?

a. To increase competition

b. To punish employees

c. To motivate employees

3. Why might it be bad to motivate employees with game dynamics?

a. They won’t enjoy their job

b. They’ll play all the time

c. They’ll worry more about the game than doing good work

7 ________________________

Free Form Friday


Pottery_game_players By Jeremy Schaar

This week on the blog I’ve been featuring game dynamics. Today, I’ll review the topic and talk about using it to manage people. You’ll learn some good vocabulary, specifically with organizational behavior.

Game dynamics are the things that make us enjoy playing games. When we’re not playing games, they’re the way we can turn life into a game. One example of a game dynamic is progression. Progression is the idea that we like to complete something–especially if there are many small steps to completion. A web designer might use the progression dynamic to get people to complete a sign-up form. On the website, they’ll add a progression bar that says the percentage completed. People like to move the bar to 100%.

Another example of a game dynamic is status. To get status, people work to achieve a higher level than others. In a game, you try to level up. Marketers can use game dynamics to get people to buy a product. For example, this airline has “gold level members.” Those are the people that buy many tickets.

Another use of status is in managing people. On Wednesday, I wrote about Six Sigma and status. Basically, the program gives the status of green belt and black belt to people. The higher status makes people want to become a black belt. And that helps the program succeed.

So, here’s a good question: are game dynamics useful in organizational behavior?

Some say yes. Traditionally, companies motivate employees with three things: money, status, and interesting work. We can think of all of these as game dynamics if we want. Money is a prize. Status is a level. Interesting work is also a game dynamic. It’s called “blissful productivity”, which just means that you’ll keep playing a game because it’s fun.

Management might motivate with game dynamics. They could give out bonuses not based on sales, but rather on completing challenges. Or a manager could use a time dynamic and reward employees for doing something at a certain time or before a certain time.

Is this all good? Well, maybe not. First, is everything really a game? Is it a good thing to think of work as something that you can win at?

Second, if you have too many game dynamics, employees could stop trying to work hard and simply try to win the game. That is, they won’t focus on the company goals. They’ll focus on meeting the performance measures that get them rewards.

What do you think? As always, if you have any questions, please post them on the blog, Facebook, or Twitter.


Answers To Today’s Questions

A, C, C


You Can Do It All Yourself But You Dont Have To

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