Green Hat Games is a corporate teambuilding and event planning company based in New York and Stockholm that specializes in gamification. The central philosophy of the company revolves around the idea that any clearly defined business goal can be “gamified.” The process can take place anywhere, and it can be created for a wide range of budgets for groups ranging from 20 to 2,000.
For those of you new to gamificaton, the premise is fairly straight forward. Teams are given a challenge that requires them to work together, typically within a certain timeframe, in a fun and educational way that ties to a business objective. Some type of smart phone or tablet is generally used to facilitate the game.
The “fun” part is important butit’s not designed solely to build engagement. It’s also a powerful way to get people to use a different part of their brain to uncover new solutions to traditional challenges.
“The motivation behind the creation of Green Hat Games was initially to make our own lives more unpredicatable and hence more stimulating,” says Niklas Tyllström, sales director. “We realized that, like many people, we’re not looking around our environment that much. We’re just sort of cruising through sometimes, caught up in our work responsibilities…. So we wanted to try and see the world around us a bit more, and work with other people to do the same thing, using technology in a cost efficient manner.”
Green Hat Games was founded in Stockholm in 2006. The New York operation opened in February 2011.
Of course, creating a competitive game during a meeting is nothing new. But within the last few years, changes in both technology and the business landscape have spurred a new level of sophistication. Tyllström says gamification “has absolutely exploded” because of two converging trends.
“The first one is the way of doing business today,” he says. “There’s more of a recognition now that the people in a company are vitally important, and when they’re properly engaged, they’re more motivated to execute what needs to be done.”
This is where gamification thrives when it’s organized intelligently, because people are more likely to take risks because of the spirit and immediacy of the event.
“Second, technology is widely available,” adds Tyllström. “Everyone has a smart phone so it’s much easier to stage these things than it was just a few years ago.”