How to Use Game-based Learning to Fuel Innovation Culture

With digital disruption transforming workplaces and sparing no industry, the pursuit of innovation culture has become the holy grail of business. At its best, culture unifies people. It creates shared attitudes and behaviours that lead to the success of an organization. On the contrary, culture can also become a limiting force in achieving an organisation’s objectives. So the burning question is what does it take exactly to foster a culture of innovation? Let us present our take on the topic. As game-changers, we will also discuss how using game based learning will help fuel innovation culture.

”84% of executives considered their future success to be very or extremely dependent on innovation.”
Accenture 2015 US Innovation Survey

”To build willingness, leaders must create communities that share a sense of purpose, values, and rules of engagement.”- Harvard Business Review

”Culture is the net effect of shared behaviours, and therefore adopting innovative behaviours must come first. You change the culture by becoming more innovative; not the other way around.”- strategy+business

To build an innovation culture, build innovation mindsets

Companies are not just leading by example, they’re innovating by example

Organizations around the world are facing radical, sweeping changes in what they do, how they do it, and even why they do it. Booming globalization and new technologies demand new approaches to foster talent. To thrive in this environment, employees need to keep acquiring new skills and foster mindsets that are open to learning, growth and change.

Dr Brett Richards in his book – Growth through Disruption explained that mindsets represent how we think, how we feel and how we act as individuals and as organizations.

Mindset is an active and dynamic expression of an organization’s culture and collective consciousness, in that it taps into underlying values, beliefs and assumptions at play, with it.
Mindsets shed light on an organization’s unique active cognitive stylistic preferences, which shapes strategy formulation, and the way in which resources and talent actively engage with the world and are harnessed and maximized.
~ Exercpt from Grow Through Disruption: Breakthrough Mindsets to Innovate, Change and Win with the OGI

Why using game-based learning fuels innovation culture

Game-based learning in corporate education is often understood as digital games building skills from language learning to customer service methodologies. Yet, these are often games that teach players to memorize things or learn the right answers to closed questions.
However, there is another category of game-based learning. World of Insights is specialised in participative, creative learning processes that help participants explore new mindsets in practice, and develop deeper dialogue around questions that matter. Additionally, team learning is also a key element – the focus is on creating engagement rather than listening passively to an expert.

To give an example, take a look at how our Unicorn Innovation Game works. The players work in teams to create new innovations – combining business models of successful tech companies to new offerings and global megatrends. The creative input is then translated into short pitches, using storytelling and design thinking methodologies to understand human-centric innovation. By simulating real-life experiences, participants get to experience what it feels like to step into the shoes – and the mindset – of a startup entrepreneur.

3 how-to tips to fuel innovation culture with game-based learning

#1 Focus on the questions, not answers

Teaching innovation mindsets is about building curiosity and understanding the possibility of questioning and digging deeper, not looking for the only right answer.

#2 Build on the power of team learning

Some learning activities (like reading books) are better done alone. Organisational cultures are embedded in the relationships and the habits of how people interact and what they do together.

#3 Use storytelling and metaphors

It may be a good idea to build a learning simulation where people are faced with an alternative, ideal or opposing reality in order to ignite a mindset or a culture change. Using this kind of storytelling and help people understand reality from a different perspective and open minds to new ideas.

We would love to hear about your experiences and challenges around building innovation cultures – what are your key insights?

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