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Author's profile photo Sanjay Abraham

Understanding Enterprise gamification through Chess & Wei qi

Chess is a game, we in the business world could easily relate with. After all it’s a game about planning and making the right moves to defeat the opponent and win the game. The phenomenon is closely like what people do to win in the business world too. No wonder chess is the favorite game of the business leaders.

Mentors who coach managers on business strategy also use the analogy of chess in their sermons and leadership programs. The game of Chess teaches the right tactics business leaders need to succeed.

While Chess is about tactics to win, a relatively lesser known game Wei qi, (often called as ‘Go’) having its origin in China is about strategy. In Wei  qi, the two players alternately place “stones” on the vacant intersections . The object of the game is to use one’s stones to surround a larger total area of the board than the opponent. The game ends when both players pass, and players pass when there are no more profitable moves to be made.

The chess player aims for total victory. The wei qi player seeks relative advantage. Chess is about winning. Wei qi is about having the larger ‘territory’. Chess is about short term win. Wei qi is about long term engagement.

People often misinterpret business to be a war to be won or lost. No it is not. Business is much more than absolute wins and losses. It is not about a decisive battle but a prolonged campaign. It is not about defeating the competition but to have relative advantage over it. The focus is not to elbow the competition out of the race but to have the competitive advantage through better engagement & long term relationships with the stakeholders.

Remember, just like Wei qi, business too doesn’t end when either of the companies (players) is defeated but it is only when there are no more markets or customers left to win. What do we want our employees be doing? Defeating each others to win individually or collaborating to win collectively. Business is about collaborative learning, group efforts, mutual support and collective success. This could be made possible through better engagement loyalty. This could me made possible through initiatives like Enterprise Gamification.

Enterprise Gamification is about using game mechanics into non gaming contexts.  It could be an effective means to build a competitive platform for stakeholders to perform better. We know distracted & disengaged stakeholders could translate into huge losses in terms of productivity & revenues. Gamification is not just about winning more badges, ascending higher levels or be on top of the leaderboards. It’s the secret sauce to engagement loyalty….a motivational ‘booster shot’ for people to excel in what leads to business success. Enterprise gamification ensures engagement so that success doesn’t slip through the cracks.

If engagement loyalty matters to your business. Enterprise gamification is the way to go.

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