Octalysis – complete Gamification framework

This post is a high-level introduction to Octalysis, the Gamification Framework I created after more than 10 years of Gamification research and study. Within a year of publication, Octalysis was organically translated into 9 languages and became required literature in Gamfication instruction worldwide.

Click the “Continue reading –>” link below to learn about Octalysis.

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How we Design Coins on Octalysis Prime

Creating unpredictability and curiosity

Creating unpredictability and curiosity through a shiny chest of coins seems simple enough. Everyone loves gold. And loves spending it.

But what if you couldn’t spend your hard-earned money?

Collection before utility

The coins on Octalysis Prime were implemented before they could be used.

This was a risk.

Motivationally, you could wonder what to do with these coins. You could discover there is no use for them (yet) and get angry or demoralized. Why do I keep coming back for these stupid coins?

Or, you could be motivated. If there is enough curiosity about what the coins might be used for, you might go on collecting them. Here, the effect is a combination of Core Drive 7: Unpredictability & Curiosity and Core Drive 4: Ownership & Possession.

Meanwhile, though, the user will be ready for feature releases which allow those coins to be used.

Maybe, in a perfect world, the user will even be able to generate ideas on how those coins could be used in the gamified economy. That would be some pretty strong Core Drive 5: Social Influence & Relatedness combined with Core Drive 3: Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback.

Who knows, maybe we will give some of the Octalysis Prime pioneers a say in this coin-based creation!

How to get coins (the mechanics of an activity loop)

The coins are awarded by checking back into the Island after 20 hours have passed. (The chest magically fills with coins after you return from your other adventures on the island 20 hours later, but not a second before!)

Clearly, this is part of a habit-building activity loop. Just for returning to the learning environment, you are rewarded. Hopefully, you continue to learn while you’re there!

To learn how to implement coin-based activity loops and other designs (even before they have explicit utility), check out the ongoing conversations in the Octalysis Prime Slack community.

Why Status Points Matter: Game Technique #1 – Status Points

Game Technique #1: Status Points

Yu-kai wrote Actionable Gamification: Beyond Points, Badges, & Leaderboards several years ago in the middle of the buzz era of gamification. His argument was simple: there is something in gamification (what he called Human-Focused Design) that IS important and useful in designing experiences for humans.

Yu-kai wanted to differentiate the knowledge he had acquired from 10,000 hours of playing and studying games (not to mention his consulting work with hundreds of companies) from other organizations who were jumping on the gamification trend without the expertise.

Thus, the title of the book.

But Game Technique #1: Status Points, still matter.

Let’s start with status.

Status is a huge motivator in many areas of life. Recognition of status stems from our neurobiological ‘settings’ as humans. Even lobsters, who diverged from humans 350 million years ago, have hierarchy and have status in that hierarchy. Once a lobster loses a fight, it won’t fight the same lobster again. In your experiences, you don’t have to make your hierarchies quite so rigid.

Continue reading Why Status Points Matter: Game Technique #1 – Status Points

Octalysis Prime Community Game Techniques: January 2018

Octalysis Prime Community Game Techniques: January 2018

Every week in Octalysis Prime, members share game techniques they find in the wild. 

Each week, a game technique is selected to the Short List for 2018 OP Community Game Techniques.

Here are January’s…

Fog of War

This is an approach to anything represented by a map, a technique used in strategy games and some RPGs.

In it’s most simple form, the entire map starts hidden by the Fog of War.
When the player moves himself or his pieces, the fog disappear, revealing the map underneath.

Adds an element of unpredictability (CD7) and choices regarding exploration with instant feedback (CD3).

Continue reading Octalysis Prime Community Game Techniques: January 2018

Mayur Kapur Wins the Food Heroes Octalysis Design Challenge

The Octalysis Group loves putting design challenges to our larger gamification community because we know a movement is growing around Human-Focused Design and we want to tap into the potential of many designers and thinkers in this community. After the success of the Food Heroes Octalysis Design Challenge, there will surely be more design challenges on the near horizon.

The design challenge was arguably the hardest The Octalysis Group has designed yet. Entrants were required to show demonstration of Octalysis Gamification as well as submit a Strategy Dashboard, Octalysis Ideation/Brainstorming, and visual deliverables such as Concept Wireframes/Storyboarding.

Because of the difficulty, several significant prizes were also up for grabs, including exposure on Octalysis Prime (immortalized design), a Level 2 Octalysis Gamification Certificate, and the potential to interview with The Octalysis Group.

Mayur Kapur was drawn to the challenge after being a fan of Yu-kai Chou’s work for several years. He saw the past work The Octalysis Group did with Food Heroes and JUCCCE and also saw the promise in future work with the Food Heroes program in China. The Food Heroes mission is both about sustainability and making the planet a better place, but also in creating agents for that change in the children we are raising today. And it all starts with the food they eat, and the food their parents eat. The idea is simple but powerful, educating children to take responsibility for what they eat and also for their bodies and health will make the world a better place in the present and in the future.

Mayur learned from previous entries to the Habitica Design Challenge (see Ivan Milev’s Habitica Design Challenge submission) as well as the SuperBetter Design Challenge to ensure his design proposal fit the needs and quality required by The Octalysis Group but also by the Food Heroes team. The Food Heroes team provided several informational interviews to give background on their extensive goals, including specific obstacles to overcome. After all, the winner of the challenge would be able to contribute to the Food Heroes continuing goals of implementing 1) Teacher training to millions of teachers; 2) A 12-month subscription box with food education elements.

The potential impact of such a design challenge was also something Mayur was eager to contribute to, and his expression of this desire was a great start to the interview call with the Food Heroes team. Mayur clearly wanted to win the challenge, and had passionate responses to all questions which showed the depth of his 30+ slide presentation and design but also the detailed and methodical nature of his thought process.

Here is Mayur’s submission.

 

The Octalysis community was not short on great proposals. The other finalists, Simón Duque and Ulric Kenji Kurashige submitted excellent proposals, making it a tough decision.

But Mayur stood out. And it is a pleasure to announce him the Winner of The Octalysis Group’s Food Heroes Design Challenge with Food Heroes and JUCCCE!

So you don’t miss future design challenges, join Octalysis Prime to be the first to know about our next challenge!

Thank you to all participants! And see you next time for another exciting challenge and a chance to showcase your Octalysis Gamification knowledge to the world!

Why Sales Manager Motivation Needs A Makeover

This guest post was written by Jonathan Palay, Co-founder of CommercialTribe.

Why Sales Manager Motivation Needs A Makeover

Use new levers to improve performance

Previously, we explored the core drivers of motivation in the sales organization and why our traditional coin-operated, compliance-driven sales culture may finally be ripe for disruption in Why Seller Motivation Needs a Makeover.

Conventional wisdom suggests that we place more training and development emphasis on the seller. Look no further than the budget spent on training sellers vs. managers. In this article, let’s explore why the frontline sales manager is actually the key to change, their current sources of motivation, and how to disrupt the status quo to build a sustainable revenue generating machine.

Sales Managers’ Complex Task List

Most sales managers started as great sellers. Then, they are promoted into a management position where we expect them to gain a completely new skill set than the one that made them a successful seller overnight. Here are just a few of the common tasks sales managers are expected to perform on a daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis:

  • Field Travel or Joint Calling
  • 1on1s and Team Meetings
  • Forecast Reviews
  • Pipeline Reviews
  • Deal Reviews
  • Account Plan Reviews
  • Territory Plan Reviews
  • Win / Loss
  • Quarterly Business Reviews
  • Performance Reviews
  • Hiring and Recruiting
  • Rewards and Recognition
  • Training

The sales management hierarchy uses Core Drive 8: Loss and Avoidance to drive compliance and ensure these tasks are happening on schedule. Are our reps doing effective discovery? Join the sales call. Forecast needs to roll up. Better vet it. Is a key deal we’re forecasting to close qualified? Deal review time.

We expect managers to perform these tasks. But doing them well…that’s another story. Try sitting in a forecast review and you may be less confident about the forecast, but you will learn more about that particular seller’s upcoming weekend plans!

Don’t Miss Your Quota

Managers, like sellers, are on a variable comp plan. But, instead of being responsible for one quota, managers are responsible for a team quota. The average sales manager gets about 50% of his sellers to goal, but that is not going to cut it. So how do sales managers make plan? Most managers have a couple stars they can count on to overachieve and maybe they even sell a few deals themselves.

The quota system relies on Core Drive 6: Scarcity and Impatience as managers race to capture their earnings opportunity for the time period before it evaporates. It’s no wonder busy sales managers feel justified abandoning some of the tasks we previously explored that don’t help them draw a straight line toward delivering their number this quarter. For everyone in the sales organization, the short-term pressure to hit quota can feel overwhelming. What’s a sales manager to do?

Overreliance on Black Hat Core Drives is Fatiguing

Core Drives 6 and 8 are Black Hat, making us feel obsessed, anxious, and addicted. While they are very strong in motivating behavior, in the long run they leave us feeling fatigued because we feel like we have lost control.

For the sales manager, this often means managing their team feels more like a game of Survivor than a successful career. When half of your reps are underperforming, you have open headcount and one of your best sellers is threatening to quit, it can feel like the job never ends. It’s no wonder managers are left feeling overwhelmed and underdeveloped. As a result, the tasks we expect them to perform to help their team hit quota are either sub-optimized or abandoned entirely.

Getting More Of Your Sales Managers To Plan

The sales manager role has gotten far more complex over the years, but we are still using the same motivational drivers to try to achieve our goals. With today’s millennial-minded sales manager who is looking to be developed and not just hit a number, these forces threaten to either burn people out or churn them out of your organization entirely.

Sales and enablement leaders need a thoughtful plan to counteract these forces that drives long-term engagement and skills mastery. These are known as White Hat drivers. White Hat drivers make us feel powerful, fulfilled and satisfied. It may sound obvious, but consistently getting more managers to plan relies on getting more sellers to plan. And the only reliable way to get more sellers to plan is to develop your sales managers into coaches.

Light The Coaching Fuse

We’ve all had a coach at some point in our lives. When effort meets opportunity it feels like anything is possible. That’s what it feels like to be coached. On the flip side, coaching has its own rewards. Phil Collins said: “In learning you will teach and in teaching you will learn.”

Use Core Drive 1: Epic Meaning and Calling, to help your sales managers realize their higher purpose beyond just delivering their team quota. The best way to tap into their inner Tony Robbins is to coach the coach. Observing sellers in action to provide coaching is commonplace through joint calling or even field travel, but for some reason we don’t apply the same philosophy to our managers. Help them realize their calling by sitting in a one-on-one between manager and seller. Don’t talk, just listen, and then use this observation to coach the coach. Coaching your managers to become better coaches will light the motivational fuse that reminds them why they became a sales manager in the first place!

Give Your Sales Managers A Choice

To many, coaching is one of those disciplines that is way more art than science. But if you are going to democratize coaching for all your managers, you will need to demystify what the best coaches in the world do intuitively.

Use Core Drive 3: Empowerment and Creativity to not only get all your managers on the same page, but also make them feel enfranchised in the process. To do so, look no further than the list of activities expected of sales managers we discussed above. I’m sure you have a point of view on what should happen during those activities. Build a list of criteria.

Now here’s the magic: Put those criteria in front of your sales managers and let them choose which criteria matter to them. What they choose may be different than what you intended but by giving them a choice, they are FAR more likely to use them to coach their teams.

Time for Your Motivation Makeover

The Black Hat core drives that motivate sales manager behavior aren’t going away anytime soon. And even the White Hat techniques discussed won’t be sustained without becoming part of a larger system that makes managers feel like coaching isn’t such a deadlift each time.

Think about what drives motivation for your sales managers. Do you feel like the shoe might drop any quarter? Is it time for a sales manager motivation makeover? Try integrating these white hat techniques into a quarterly plan focused on improving one interaction within the teams workflow. For your sales managers, the goal is to establish a system that puts sales team development on auto pilot.

Jonathan Palay is Co-Founder at CommercialTribe, a SaaS platform to onboard, develop and coach sales professionals.  Read more of Jonathan’s work here.