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Cisco Blogs Get Gamified

December 23, 2011 at 9:34 am PST

So for those who read my blog posts you know that gamification is a topic I am keenly interested in. I have discussed gamification tactics for changing the learning dynamic, disrupting the traditional workplace dynamic, encouraging a healthy lifestyle, and engaging hybrid event attendees.

What I find absolutely fantastic is that all most anything can be improved by appliying smart gamification tactics. See the video below for example:

So imagine how tickled pink I was when I learned we would be gamifying the Cisco blog experience!

The Cisco Social Media team announced the Cisco Social Rewards program today. You can join now via the right hand column social rewards section of this blog. This program rewards and recognizes blog readers for their viewership, dialogue, and word of mouth promotion of Cisco blogs and recognizes bloggers for their video production, writing skillz (yes I meant to have a z on the end ;), and prolific publishing. Read More »

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Get Ready For Gamification: Announcing Cisco Social Rewards

December 22, 2011 at 4:24 pm PST

We are excited to announce the launch of a new program called Cisco Social Rewards! Through gamification, the program is designed to recognize and reward users for their ongoing participation! What is gamification you ask? Gamification is the integration of game mechanics within a marketing campaign, program or tool designed to increase engagement, loyalty, recognition and fun! Sign up for the program via a social connection by clicking on the Join Today banner in the right column of the page and start earning points, badges and a reputation for your activities across the blog site!

Here are just a few activities that you can perform to earn points on the site:

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Events Redefined Part II: Cisco’s Global Sales Experience

October 21, 2011 at 9:13 am PST

In the last post I wrote about Cisco’s Global Sales Experience (GSX) I touched on how gamification tactics and the overhaul of the virtual recognition program were critical to the events success. As promised in that post I am going to dive deeper into these two areas to provide additional insight into why the tactics leveraged were so successful. Before I do I thought I would like to share this video featuring some industry experts on the importance of gamification tactics and why GSX is a great case study.

Several elements of GSX leveraged gamification principles to push the envelope on remote engagement. I am going to dive deeper into one of these areas the Architectures Mastery Program of the GSX virtual environment.

Before the event the team did a critical analysis of previous year’s results and engaged the sales force in surveys and focus groups to help us better understand what is working and what is not with the GSX program.

The Architectures Mastery Program was a result of this analysis. What we saw from metrics reporting was that the live architecture sessions attendance was low but the scores were high. What we learned from surveys and focus groups was that the sales force felt that previous architectures courses were too heavy on the ‘marketing’ message and didn’t provide enough insight into the competitive differentiation and the ROI for customers to adopt an architectures approach.

What was surprising was after we researched the training offerings enabled by the Cisco Learning Development and Solutions group it was clear that these types of trainings did exist but adoption had been low. So the opportunity we saw was to raise awareness of these existing training offerings and up-level the attendance of the live GSX architecture sessions. Hence the Architectures Mastery Program was born.

We created a set of criteria’s regarding the course publish date, target audience, global relevance, length and required attendees to pass an assessment for each course. The attendees had a choice of completing five courses from any of the architectures and attending one live architecture session of their choice. This enabled the audience to tailor the program to best meet their needs, i.e. specialists could focus on one architecture and generalists could pick and choose from amongst the architectures. The content was then packaged in a micro-site that clearly outlined the requirements and the attendee progress towards completion. A badge was created that had six individual components and as a requirement step was completed one of the components would change from black and white to full color. Once the entire program was completed the badge was full color and a “higher learning’ achievement was unlocked.

Post event the attendees who completed the program were placed in a drawing for a prize and an email was sent to them, with their manager copied, notifying them they had achieved architectures mastery with a downloadable version of the badge for their internal profiles and email signatures.

The metrics speak for themselves with over 3k learning modules completed and 2% of the audience achieving architectures mastery during the event.

Virtual recognition is tough , especially when being stacked up against a former in person experience were you got to walk across a BIG stage and shake John Chambers hand. However it is not impossible and can actually enable vehicles to recognize contributions at deeper levels since it is not as time and place constrained as in person recognition.

This year GSX was able to ‘crack the code’ on virtual recognition. Read More »

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Events, Redefined

September 12, 2011 at 1:45 pm PST

Cisco’s Global Sales Experience (GSX) just wrapped up and proved to be ground breaking yet again. The idea of a multi-location distributed hybrid event is daunting especially when it covers 90+ global locations in over 400+ conference rooms with 24X7 broadcasting for three days straight. When the audience represents a blend of in person attendees with virtual attendees creating a stimulating and motivating event experience is a challenge.

In the past GSX has risen to the challenge and this year was no exception. This year GSX leveraged rich content driven digital engagements including GSX TV (an on-demand cable network style of short format programming),  Cloud Story (a video rich engagement highlighting the opportunity Cloud represents), A Matter of Time (a role playing game focused on Cisco’s top priorities) and an Architectures Mastery Program (a gathering of the cream of the crop eLearning courses married with live event technical breakouts) and once again demonstrated that when you align your experience with the fundamental goals of your event and listen to your audience you can truly break new ground and disrupt the notion of what the word ‘event’ means.

Of course GSX would not be possible without the depth and breadth of Cisco solutions available to execute it. GSX deploys a vast array of Cisco solutions to create the event experience for example Cisco’s Enterprise Content Delivery System, Digital Media Signage, and TelePresence. Check out the video below to learn more.

Another new element that proved very successful was the Achievements area of the GSX virtual environment. Read More »

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Play Is a Game Changer for the WorkPlace

June 30, 2011 at 4:01 pm PST

There has been a ton of commentary on the next big trend for gamification being all about the workplace. Game techniques are being called out as a key way to improve internal performance, recruit new employees, promoting employee wellness, and rewarding employee performance.

Some quotes from recent articles that stood out for me are:

  1. Gartner named it among the top CIO trends to watch and predicted that more than half of organizations wanting to encourage innovation would ‘gamify’ their supporting processes by 2015.
  2. Games are “proven to change behavior,” says Shaun Quigley, SVP of Digital at Brunner.
  3. According to author Traci Sitzmann, “One of the advantages of games is that they are intrinsically motivating, resulting in employees choosing to repeatedly engage in game play and mastering the skills.”
  4. Salesforce.com Chief Scientist JP Rangaswami says, “Gamification at the enterprise is not a fad. It is not about providing extrinsic rewards for crap work. If work is crap, let’s fix that problem and not put any lipstick on it. It is tools that allow a significant paradigm shift from hierarchical, linear, top-down decision making work to non-linear, networked, personally selected teams, tasks, and outcomes.”

Some great examples of gamification for the workplace include:

  1. According to a recent article from FastCompany, Adam Bosworth, former Vice President of Product Management at Google, is a fan of a workplace wellness platform called Keas . Keas enables workplaces with a program where individuals or teams compete to accumulate points by completing tasks such as walking to work, eating healthier, or learning about nutrition. Winners earn badges and take home prizes, such as cash and gifts. Bosworth is quick to point out that the small rewards are not the hook, “the one thing that had a dramatic effect on engagement was being a member of a team.” The key was the teams would motivate each other, create a sense of community, and the obligation to your team peers to mutually success shouldn’t be underestimated.

  2. Marriot recently launched a Facebook game aimed at recruiting to fill their 50k open positions around the globe. MyMarriotHotel aims to entice candidates to consider the hospitality industry for their career choice. David Rodriguez, Marriott’s VP of global human resources told Springwise, “This game allows us to showcase the world of opportunities and the growth potential attainable in hospitality careers, especially in cultures where the service industry might be less established or prestigious.” See the game in action below. Read More »

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