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In This Issue
Early Bird Warning: IG in Chicago
Reed Elsevier Signs On for Enterprise License
From the Blog
BuyerZone Plays Product Box
Knowsy at No Cost
Cyberspace Roundup
Save on Agile Games 2011
We're Growing Again!
Meet the Team
IGO Tips & Tricks
Quick Links
Play a Game!
Join Our Mailing List

This is your Early Bird Warning!

IG Book
Many of you have asked when we were bringing Innovation Games back to the Midwest. Well, ask no further. Luke Hohmann and  Lowell Lindstrom will be teaching an Innovation Games course on Feb. 21-22 in Chicago. 


The 2-day class is interactive, case study-based, and promises to make you ready to put Innovation Games to work the moment you step back in the office. Luke & Lowell will cover in-person & online games -- including our new iPad game Knowsy

-- facilitation and presentation skills and much more.

Click here to register and save $300! But don't wait! Early Bird ends 1/31/11.

Creativity Cruise

Join Eileen Doyle et. al. on Feb. 7-11, 2010 for a Creativity Cruise in the Caribbean.

Play4Agile Unconference

Several IG Trained facilitators and other influential members of the Agile community have joined forces to bring an unconference on agile games to Rückersbach, Germany on February 18-21, 2011. For more information and to register, click here.

IG Master Class for Consultants

Join Luke Hohmann for a 2-day Innovation Games course designed especially for consultants. The March 17-18 class covers both in-person and online games, along with information on structuring engagements, marketing and selling the games and more. For more information and to register, click here.

Innovation Games Training in Belgium

Join Maarten Volders, an Innovation Games Qualified Instructor, for a 2-day Innovation Games class in Meche
len, Belgium
on March 17-18, 2011. Early Bird rate ends March 1st; register now.

Coming Soon! Paris Innovation Games Class

Maarten Volders, an Innovation Games Qualified Instructor, will be teaching a 2-day Innovation Games class in Paris, France the end of March. Stay tuned for details.

IG Class Comes to Boston

Join Luke Hohmann  for a 2-day Innovation Games for Customer Understanding Course in Boston, MA, on April 12-13, 2010. This two-day interactive class covers both in-person and online games--including our new iPad game Knowsy--along with facilitation and presentation skills. For more information and to register, click here.

Agile Games 2011

Luke Hohmann is keynoting the 2nd annual Agile Games Conference, Agile Games 2011, in Boston on April 14.  For more information and to join their mailing list to stay informed, click here.

May Days: Innovation Games Class in Belgium

Join Maarten Volders, an Innovation Games Qualified Instructor, for a 2-day Innovation Games class in Meche
len, Belgium
on May 30-31, 2011. Early Bird rate ends April 30; register now.

Bay Area IG Class

Join Luke Hohmann  for a 2-day Innovation Games for Customer Understanding Course in Mountain View, CA, on May 19-20, 2010. This two-day interactive class covers both in-person and online games--including our new iPad game Knowsy--along with facilitation and presentation skills. For more information and to register, click here.


Welcome to latest issue of Your Next Move!, our monthly newsletter covering the latest news, events and announcements from the Innovation Games®

Innovation Games at Work
Reed Elsevier Doubles Down with Enterprise License

We've worked with Reed Elsevier since 2009, having trained more than 100 of the company's employees, and we can honestly say that Reed Elsevier is full of true "Innovation Gamers." In fact, Reed Elsevier recently decided to extend the use of Innovation Games® to the entire company by signing an enterprise license for our online game platform Innovation Games® Online (IGO). This partnership will allow Reed Elsevier to gather deeper customer insight in all sectors, around the globe.

Jeff Honious, Reed Elsevier's Vice President of Innovation,
Jeff Honious, Reed Elsevier

Jeff Honious, Vice President of Innovation, Reed Elsevier

took a few minutes out of his busy schedule to explain how IGO is being put to work at Reed Elsevier.

Why do you use Innovation Games?
At Reed Elsevier, we strive to innovate to improve outcomes of the professionals we serve. True innovation requires deep customer insights, and we've found Innovation Games to be a great set of tools for gaining those insights.

How long have you been using Innovation Games?
We've been using Innovation Games to engage both internal stakeholders and external customers since mid-2009. More than 100 Reed Elsevier staff members have been trained as Innovation Games facilitators, and these staff members have been very enthusiastic about their experiences with the games. They've found that the games and techniques taught by The Innovation Games® Company are quite applicable in all our diverse work environments.

What kinds of questions are you exploring via the games?
We use the Innovation Games to define and refine customer requirements for our product offerings, to determine stakeholder prioritization and preference with regard to enhancements to existing solutions, and to solicit feedback on internal policies and work environment issues from staff. The games are fun and easy to set up and run, and can be tailored to a variety of situations.

How are you using the games online?

Due to our global presence, groups in Reed Elsevier often work with people in geographically diverse locations. Using Innovation Games Online means that we can host games -- with minimal set up and facilitation -- to connect customers and stakeholders across the globe. This online capability is unique in the world of innovative tools, and is a truly valuable differentiator, and we plan to increase our use of the online tools significantly in 2011.

From the Blog
Engaging Citizens Through Games
Luke Hohmann
Luke photo 

Like many city, state and national governments, the City of San Jose, CA, is facing a significant 2011 - 2012 budget deficit. In this post on how Innovation Games® can be used in to engage citizens and improve democratic processes, I'm outlining our plans for a specially designed Buy a Feature game that The Innovation Games® Company will be producing for approximately 100 San Jose neighborhood community leaders on Jan 29, 2011. My hope is that community leaders, motivated citizens and public service employees will find inspiration and ideas that they can leverage to create effective and meaningful conversations about the issues that shape our lives. I also compare our approach to other games and puzzles that have been created to address similar problems, such as the NY Times Budget Puzzle, the LA Times California Budget Balancer and the Next10 Budget Challenge. By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of our respective approaches, we can choose the approach that is most likely to produce actionable results.

Big Budget Deficits Are Big Problems
I'm not the right person to argue for or against the various reasons that our governments have incurred such big deficits. The reality is that we've got them. And we have to deal with them. Which sounds easy. But we all know it isn't.

Balancing San Jose's budget will be a tense, arduous task that will involve significant negotiations between often competing interests of many constituents. Sacrifices and tough choices will likely rule the day.

Click here to

Innovation Games in Action
BuyerZone plays Product Box

We just got a note -- and pictures -- from Rose Grabowski, Product Manager at BuyerZone.com, detailing BuyerZone's first Innovation Game. Rose attended our November 2010 BuyerZone Product Box 1 training in New York for Reed Elsevier employees and didn't waste any time putting her training to use:

"Just wanted to let you know that we ran our first Innovation Game at BuyerZone today -- it went really well! We played Product Box with our internal Online Marketing group to better understand what kind of analytic/business intelligence tool would be useful to them in managing their business. It absolutely brought out some interesting and new insights, which we're excited to act upon -- plus, we got feedback that the participants enjoyed the game and found it useful, themselves. We're planning to play Buy a Feature with a larger team to do some product map prioritizations in the next couple weeks."
Price Drop
Knowsy at No Cost

We recently decided to offer Knowsy, our choice modelingKnowsy iPad Games game for the iPad, for free, so now there's no excuse for you iPad warriors not to check it out. Also, be on the lookout for a white label version of Knowsy. It's coming soon to the App Store and you'll be wowed.
Cyberspace Roundup
Matchmaking, Game Adaptations, Product Box for Product Launch and more


It's been a busy month for Innovation Games in cyberspace. We've selected a few of the more interesting posts here for your reading pleasure.

A Match Made in Heaven: IG & Marketing
Paul Dunay, Avaya's Global Managing Director of Services and Social Marketing, recently wrote in his blog "Buzz Marketing for Technology" about his experience in our December 2010 class and how he believes Innovation Games can be used to solve real world marketing problems. From 20/20 Vision to Speed Boat, Paul lays out several scenarios that anyone involved in marketing will recognize -- and then explains how Innovation Games can get you better results.

Prune the Product Triangle: Adapting PTPT
Ripple Rock's Jesse Fewell shows the power of collaborative Prune the Product Trianglegames in this post on his experiences using an adaption of Prune the Product Tree to help his team determine its own risk management. Instead of a tree, Jesse uses a triangle and sticky notes, and the team works collaboratively to determine which quality techniques they'll use in the current sprint. To read more and see the game in action, click here.

Product Box for Product Launch
Tom Eismann, Professor of Business at Harvard, includes Product Box in his latest post outlining recommended reading for launching Tech Ventures. Tom recommends Product Box as way to "elicit product feature ideas from consumers." To read the complete post, click here.

Innovation Games for Distributed Teams
Dumas Lab's Dimitry Bekinin recommends Innovation Games as one way to humanize the distributed team experience, pointing out in particular Innovation Games Online's usefulness for team retrospectives. Read more here.

Sterling Barton Adds Innovation Games Training

Chris Sterling and Brent Barton, Innovation Games Trained Facilitators, have added introductory Innovation Games training to their Certified Scrum Product Owner courses. Check out their training schedule for complete details and dates.

IG Proud to be APLN Sponsor

The Innovation Games Company has a long and deep relationship with the Agile community, and we're proud to be the first corporate sponsor for the Agile Project Leadership Network. The APLN is an active use or Innovation Games, and we're thrilled to continue to partner with them.  

Save $75 on Early Bird
Agile Games 2011

We've secured an extra 19% off the Early Bird rate for

Agile Games 2011 for the Innovation Games community. To be held in Boston on April 14-16, the conference is an exploration of how concepts like serious play, collaboration, and experiential learning apply to the field of Agile software development and project management. Luke Hohmann will be the keynote speaker on April 14, and expect to see many of the local Innovation Games Trained Facilitators attending and speaking at the event.

Click here to register and get your discount.

We're Growing Again!
Know a Great UX/UI Developer Who Wants to Change the World?

We're adding to our team and are looking for an experienced user interface/user experience developer who can help us change the world through serious games. We're not looking for any developer. We're looking for the rare combination of brilliant technical skills, acute design aesthetic, playful and yet passionate developer that cares as much about the craftsmanship of his/her internal solution as the colors of the buttons presented to the user.

The right person will get the chance to leverage cutting-edge web technology and mobile devices to create new kinds of interaction models. If you've seen IGO or Knowsy, you have some idea of the type of work, but we have so much more planned. If you're interested in finding out more-and learning about what's it like to work with us, click here for the complete job description.


Meet the Team
Developer Santiago Zavala

This month the Hot Devz Blog has done my work for me and profiled our developer Santiaga Zavala. Santiago, along with CTO Dan O'Leary, is responsible for development of our iPad game Knowsy, including a white-label version that's testing now, and Innovation Games Online, our online game platform. Read on to learn more about our own "Hot Dev".

Santiago Zavala: Creative Developer behind Knowsy

Like an elegant diver, he jumps right into the ever-floating opportunities of life. He is not afraid to jump, even if the dive

Santiago Zavala, Developer, The Innovation Games® Company

is sky high. Since childhood, he has made courageous decisions and acted autonomously. In fact, like his favorite Star Wars characters, he tends to add adventurous nuances to whatever he does. In his 20s and he already has accumulated an impressive track record of creative self-started projects, such as enterprise social networks, online communities and cofounding the Super Happy Dev House in Mexico. "It's all about creating," he says as he intensely looks at the latest game app that he developed for the iPad. "Being a hacker and an entrepreneur has always been in my blood."

Click here to read more.

IGO Tips and Tricks
Editing Invitations for Online Games

It's important to write a "good" email invitation letter for your online games -- one that includes all the essential information needed for your players to access and play the game. Our default invitation letter includes tags that auto-populate the letter with game information like player name, planner name and the game link. However, most of our game producers and facilitators often tailor the invitation. Here are some tips on how to make successful edits, along with an explanation of tags and which ones must be included in the invitation.

First, let's review with the default invitation letter for a Buy a Feature game:

Dear %name%,

%plannername% has invited you to play the Innovation Game® %gametype% to better understand what you're looking for in future products and services.

To play the game, click on the link below. This link will open a website that will present you with a list of features. Each feature costs a certain amount of money. You will be given some money to spend on the features that you want to purchase. Since you probably won't have enough money to purchase everything you want, we encourage you to collaborate with other players to purchase features that you can't afford.

Here are the details of the game.

Game: %partyname%

Date: %date%

Time: %time% %timezone%

Click on this link to play the game: %playlink%

You have been registered for this game with the following e-mail address: %email%. Please use this e-mail address when you join the game.



Words bracketed with % symbols are called tags. Tags are replaced by the system with information before the email is sent to your players.

Click here to read more.

Have any news about the Innovation Games® community?  Email us at info@innovationgames.com.


Can't wait for the next newsletter? Do you have to know what's new with Innovation Games®, right now? Find out what's happening with us at Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, our blog or at Games for Democracy


Tami Carter
Director of Community and Training
The Innovation Games® Company
Save 25%
Save 25% on an Innovation Games for Customer Understanding course taught by Luke Hohmann and organized by The Innovation Games Company, when registering with the code WELCOME. For upcoming courses click here. Offer excludes one-day courses and the Innovation Games Master Class. This coupon is transferable. Please share it with interested parties.
Offer Expires: Feb. 28, 2011