Gamification in ideation focuses on incentives.
In the past, participants in a brainstorming session have been incented in two ways: participants are rewarded based on their individual contribution or participants are rewarded based on the group’s collective output. Neither is ideal. Rewarding participants based only on the group’s collective output encourages “free-riding”—all receive equal credit regardless of their level of participation.
In his award-winning dissertation, “Idea Generation, Creativity, and Incentives,” published in Marketing Science, Olivier Toubia tackled this problem head on. In his research at MIT Sloan, Toubia examined whether carefully tailored incentives can improve creative output in ideation sessions. What he finds is that more and better ideas result when participants are rewarded not only for their own contributions, but by how much their contributions inspire others. He likens it to academia, where a publication is deemed more or less influential by the number of citations it receives in subsequent research.
Gamification techniques strive to leverage people’s natural desires for competition, achievement, status, self-expression, altruism, and closure.
Find out more…New York Times article on gamification, “done right.”