Sunday, September 29, 2013

Seven Ways to Bring More Playful Productivity to Your Work

Seven Ways to Bring More Playful Productivity to Your Work


Is play really the opposite of work? What if your most creative, productive & effective work was actually accomplished when in a state of playful flow? This article explores seven ways to make your work more playfully productive.

1.     Re-examine your assumptions and beliefs about work and play.

2.     Uncover your core passions and connect them to your business mission and values.

3.     Schedule at least one, if not a few, “non-screen” times during your day.

4.     Schedule regular daily or weekly play time with your co-workers, peers or friends.

5.     Create a comfortable play-space or lounge in your workplace.

6.     Bring more of your personal, creative, playful life into the workplace.

7.     Do some more reading and research on this subject.


Taking the Work Out of Work


Global, social, technological, and demographic shifts alter the competitive landscape for businesses across the globe. The impact on organizational behavior is significant. Creativity and innovation are paramount – keystones for 21st century competitive relevance. The speed of business and the pressures of competition require unprecedented agility. At an organizational level, employees are pulled in every direction, asked to perform unreal acts, and pressured for new ideas at a level well beyond the greatest minds in history. Yet, high unemployment levels, globalization, offshoring, outsourcing, contract work, crowdsourcing and a burgeoning population mean uncertainty and insecurity for everyone. A lack of trust and uncertainty around job security inhibit creative undertakings by employees. How do we partner to foster creativity while maintaining a competitive edge? The answer is to create a culture of play and games in the 21st century workplace.© Ross Smith



Ross Smith

DIRECTOR OF TEST, Skype Division

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FW: Episode 60 – Bubbly Bubblers in Gamified Buildings

Phaedra, Michael and Michael were delighted to be accompanied by Ross Smith, Director of Test in the Skype division of Microsoft for this show, centered around games for employee engagement.
Ross described the recent work that he and his team have done with giving personality to buildings and using the building itself as the ‘game master’, to orchestrate and facilitate employee engagement.

Games for health

Saturday, September 24, 2011

How Gaming Transforms the Workplace | Casual Connect Seattle

With widespread access to broadband, social networks and multiple connected devices and tools on a daily basis, people are increasingly engaging in a fully connected and often gaming-centered digital world. This digitally-savvy population is also entering the workforce in larger numbers than ever — inciting vast changes in the workplace and re-defining our very understanding of how work “works”. Gaming and applied game elements, in particular, can make a dramatic impact on the quality of productivity, management, and even team-work itself. Whether you’re talking about making key personnel decisions, motivating employees, setting objectives or facilitating collaboration – these new ways of working will continue to shape the 21st century. Join Microsoft’s Ross Smith as he describes his experience and vision around how “productivity games” can help shape our working lives.

Delivered at Casual Connect Seattle, July 2011.

Monday, May 30, 2011

How Gamification Works

How Stuff Works

"Gamification" describes turning real-world situations into games. Gamification is a neologism -- a newly invented term that's becoming commonly used. The word gamification was likely born in the realm of casual conversation to convey the idea of turning something into a game. People like entrepreneur and author Gabe Zichermann, though, have given gamification its own unique definition. Zichermann, a respected authority on gamification and its applications, defines the term as "the process of using game thinking and mechanics to engage audiences and solve problems." In short, he describes gamification as "non-fiction gaming."

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Ribbon Hero 2

Clippy is back!

Ribbon Hero 2 uses game mechanics to teach players how to use Office.

Download here

CNN coverage is here

The storyline with Clippy keeps a theme across levels of learning.

"In Ribbon Hero 2, you'll hop on board Clippy's stolen time machine and explore different time periods. With each time period, you get to explore a new game board with challenges you must complete to get to the next level."

YouTube video here

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Crowdsourcing Can Help Companies Find Scarce Data Analysis Skills

IT Business Edge

As Darren Vengroff, a former lead researcher for Amazon's recommendation engine, said in a Forbes article, Netflix "spent the same amount and got thousands, probably millions of engineer-years."

So it's not too surprising to see other companies trying to attain similar R&D returns by offering big bucks to folks who can help figure out the answers to complex data analysis questions.

As The Wall Street Journal reports, California physicians group Heritage Provider Network Inc. is offering $3 million to the participant who develops the best model to predict how many days a patient is likely to spend in the hospital in a year's time. Contestants will receive "anonymized" insurance-claims data to create their models.

Heritage executive Jonathan Gluck says the goal is to reduce the number of hospital visits, by identifying patients who could benefit from services such as home nurse visits.