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In This Issue
Save 20% on Training
Budget Games 2012
From the Blog
IGO Copilots
SxSW 2012
Game Spotlight
Cyberspace Roundup
Meet the Team
Quick Links
Play a Game!
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Save 20% on Innovation Games Training  

IG Book
Register and save an additional 20% our March Practitioner class! Join IGQI Deb Colden for a two-day Innovation Games class in Mountain View, CA on March 22-23. The class will teach you how to plan, play & post-process online and in-person Innovation Games, in addition to covering facilitation skills.  


Mar. 22-23, 2012

Mountain View, CA 

Register here

Cost: $716*  


*(Your Next Move Discount plus Early Bird Discount; offer ends Feb. 24, 2012) 

Innovation Games in Amsterdam

IGQI Jonathan Clark is teaching 

a two-day Innovation Games for Customer Understanding Class on February 6-7, 2012 in Amsterdam. This in-depth and interactive course prepares you to plan, play, facilitate and post-process both online and in-person games. 


When: February 6-7, 2012  

Where: Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Cost: 895 Euros 

More information & Registration here.

Innovation Games for Consultants

Join Luke Hohmann for a 2-day Innovation Games for Consultants course on February 16-17, 2012 in Mountain View, CA. This in-depth and interactive course is designed especially for consultants and includes a module on structuring engagements and marketing and selling the games, in addition to instruction on all phases of both online and in-person games. 


Feb. 16-17, 2012    

Mountain View 

Cost: $500*

More information & Registration here.


*This is not a public course; attendance is limited to professional consultants.   

Innovation Games Training from Bevill Edge

Scotty Bevill, CEO and Founder of Bevill Edge, has added a series of Innovation Games for Customer Understanding courses to Bevill Edge's training offerings. The two-day classes are 1 across the Midwest.


Chicago, Feb. 9-10, 2012


Indianapolis, IN, Feb. 23-24, 2012


Chicago, March 8-9, 2012


Indianapolis, IN, March 15-16, 2012

Scandinavian Developers Conference 2012

Luke Hohmann, founder and CEO of the The Innovation Games Company will be speaking on Innovation Games and Product Roadmapping at SDC2012 in Göteborg, Sweden on April 15 and 16. The 2-day conference is one of the leading developer events in Scandinavia. For complete details and registration, click here.

Innovation Games Training in Stockholm

Join Luke Hohmann for a 2-day Innovation Games for Customer
 Understanding course
on April 18-19 in Stockholm, Sweden. Hosted by Crisp.se, one of the leading agile training and consulting organizations in Scandinavia, this in-depth and interactive course includes instruction on all phases of both online and in-person games. 


April 18-19, 2012  

Stockholm, Sweden 

Cost: 14,000 SEK Early Bird  

More information & Registration here.


21apps Brings Innovation Games to Share 2012

If you're heading to Share 2012 in Atlanta, GA, check out Ant Clay's SharePoint Innovation Games Workshop for Requirements
Ant's in-depth workshop will explore how techniques like Innovation Games can help Sharepoint implementation succeed by making sure you truly understand user requirements. 


Share 2012

April 23-26, 2012

Atlanta, GA


Innovation Games Comes to Vienna

Maarten Volders will be teaching an Innovation Games + Gamestorming
class on May 7-8, 2012 in Vienna, Austria.  Hosted by Die Projektur GmbH, one of the leading agile an innovation training and consulting organizations in Scandinavia, this in-depth and interactive course prepares participants to put Innovation Games and the tenets of Gamestorming to use as soon as they return to work. 


May 7-8, 2012  

Vienna, Austria

Cost: 1,095 Euros Early Bird  

More Info &


IG Training Coming to the Big Apple

We're teaming up with Gearstream to offer a two-day public Innovation Games of Customer Understanding course in New York on May 2-3, 2012. Registration will open soon, so local folks should mark their calendars.


May 2-3, 2012  

New York, NY

Cost: $895 Early Bird; $1195 General Admission 

More info &
Registration will be posted




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


IG at Work

San José Citizens Play Innovation Games to Prioritize 2012-2013 Budget Proposals

On January 21, 2012, more than 100 community leaders from San José, CA, played a specially designed version of Buy a Feature, dubbed  Budget Games, to reveal their priorities for the City of San Jose's 2012-2013 Budget. This is the second year that the city of San José, CA, has worked with The Innovation Games Company to bring citizens, community leaders and city officials together for a priority setting session to kick off the six month budgeting process.
San Jose Fire Chief
Fire Chief William McDonald answers questions from citizens during the event.

San José, CA, like many cities across the U.S., is facing another year of budget shortfalls, with an anticipated deficit in the General Fund for 2012-2013 of $80.5 million. The city faces difficult choices as it starts the budgeting process and wanted input from its citizens on what city programs and services matter, along with feedback on cost-savings and revenue-generating proposals to fund those services. Not satisfied with surveys and other traditional market research techniques (click here to read about Feedback Fatigue), the Mayor's office asked The Innovation Games Company to once again create and produce a serious game that would enable the city to get actionable, rich information from its citizens. 

Budget Games vs. Buy a Feature
The Budget Games played by San José citizens work much like a typical Buy a Feature game--with one difference. In a traditional Buy a Feature game, players have a set and limited budget and reveal their preferences through purchases during gameplay. The Budget Games adds in the ability to increase the budget for all players through unanimous votes for cost-savings or revenue-generating proposals like a 1/4 Cent Tax Increase or a reduction of staffing at Fire Engine Companies. This mechanism allows city officials to gauge the community's priorities for city services, along with their tolerance for initiatives to fund those services.

Click here to read more.

From the Blog

Audacious Gaming    

Luke Hohmann
Luke photo 

The Jan/Feb 2012 issue of the Harvard Business Review (HBR) caught my eye with a series of short articles on audacious ideas. Some of the ideas are really audacious, and challenge you to think differently about the world. Others strike me as pretty mundane. And others could go much further with a dose of Innovation Games®. And not to be denied, in this post I'll also add our own audacious idea on using Innovation Games can change the world.


Pay for Performance

I understand -- and generally agree -- with Bruno Fey's and Margit Osterloh's assertions that "pay for performance" compensation models have serious flaws. However, sometimes there is no other way to accomplish an organizations' goals without some kind of "pay for performance" scheme. Consider my company. The excellent growth we're experiencing in Europe suggests that we should hire a European Business Development manager. Since we sell mostly to executives, that person must be experienced. Which means he will want a fat salary that he is likely 

worth  -- and one we can't afford. 


Performance-based pay to the rescue! By offering a commission plan based on results, we can safely grow our business. And sales people love simple plans that put money in their pocket. So, for me, the more audacious idea, which is surprisingly not all that audacious, is to thoughtfully approach job and compensation-design with an awareness of what your company can safely afford and what truly motivates your workforce.


Patient VCs

Bruce Gibney and Ken Howery from Founder's Fund have an entry about how venture capitalists should  "learn patience" and invest in companies that show real progress. While their article sounds nice, I don't believe a word of it. I think VCs are just like any other buyer: They buy with their heart and they justify with their head. If they see a start-up they like, they find a way to fund it. If they don't like the idea, no amount of demonstrated growth or proven results will convince them otherwise.


Click here to

IGO Update

Introducing Innovation Games® Copilots


Innovation Games® Online version 2.8.4 was just released into wild this week, and the latest version includes a cool new feature for folks trying out our Instant Play Games. Whileplane visual collaboration games can be played alone, it's often more fun and productive to play with others -- and a big help to have someone show you the ins and outs of the interface. 


Now, new IGO users have the option of asking for guidance from a skilled Innovation Games facilitator when playing an Instant Play Game, by clicking a checkbox on the lobby door. When the check box is ticked, our "Innovation Games® Copilots" are notified by email that a new user would like them to join the game. 

The new user can then grant the Copilot access to the game when the Grant Access Dialogue appears in the game. Once the copilot joins, she can show the new user how to get the most out of his game experience. 

Want to try it out? Just sign up to play one of our Instant Play Games and tick the Copilot checkbox. Want to be a Copilot? Send me an email

IG Face-to-Face

Come See Us at SxSW Interactive! 


Are you coming to SxSW Interactive this March? If so, you should stop buy one of the two sessions featuring Innovation Games and say hello. 


On Sunday, March 11 at 9:30 AM, CEO and Founder Luke Hohmann will be talking about Budget Games, our adaption of Buy a Feature for governments wanting input from citizens on the budget process. The talk, "Fixing Broke(n) Governments through Serious Games," will cover our 2011 and 2012 Budget Games for the city of San Jose, CA, along with giving participants a chance to see how they can use Budget Games in their communities.


On Tuesday, March 13, at 9:30 AM, Mei Lin Fung, Michael Dinneen, Ahmed Calvo and Col. Brian Masterson will be on a panel entitled "Health as a Team Sport,"which will cover how the Military Health System used Innovation Games Online to promote Health and improved Health Outcomes through collaboration and teamwork. 


We're also thrilled to included in the SxSW Screenburn Programming as a highlighted gaming session.


Click here to read more. 

Game Spotlight

Start Your Day: Uncovering New Product Features & Opportunities


The Innovation Game Start Your Day excels at giving you rich data on how your customers use your product or service -- by allowing you to focus on "when" the product or service is put to use. When often defines the How, but Start Your Day isn't just a tool for discovering the current state of your product's use. As our partner 21apps reveals, Start Your Day, can surface game-changing opportunities for extending your product's use. Chief Strategy Officer Ant Clay's post focuses on Sharepoint, but the technique is applicable for any product or service.

Maximise SharePoint Value using "Start Your Day" Game

I recently ran a very quick overview presentation (find it on SlideShare) of Innovation Games® to the East Anglia SharePoint User Group.


The aim of the one hour session was to give a little insight into where SharePoint project challenges are and how, through the use of Serious Games techniques, such as Innovation Games® and Gamestorming we can break the vicious cycle of poor requirements gathering, unhappy users, SharePoint Celery and conflict between IT and the business teams.Start Your Day Sharepoint adaption


I planned to cut the slides to a minimum and focus as much time as possible on actually playing a couple of games ( Start Your Day and  Product Box). When it came to planning and prepping the resources for the session earlier that day, I found I didn't have one of the right graphical templates for Start Your Day, so I made my own. (You can get the templates for the Start Your Day Posters here.)


Click here to read more. 

Cyberspace Roundup
Gamification in Business, Sail Boat/Speed Boat, Product Box in Brazil, Instant Play Games for Getting to Done & much more... 

Innovation Games continue to help people around the world and in different industries get real work done. Read on to see how designers, product managers, Scrum adherents, management consultants and more are putting Innovation Games into practice.

Not Everyone Wants to Play Games
Jennifer Doctor's latest post is about the business world's current fascination with gamification and game theory. A fascination that Jennifer isn't quite sold on, writing, "I'm all about having more fun in my interactions with technology, and can truly appreciate making the more mundane less so; but, I believe sometimes we have taken the concept of gamification too far." Jennifer advocates that companies need to talk with not just their customers, but their markets when making changes or additions to their products, and suggests Innovation Games as a method to understand whether gamification, among other improvement would be welcome. Click here to read the complete post.


The Fun Way to Get Customer Insight!

Mark McGregor, research director for Bloor Research, recently wrote on IT-Director.com about how Innovation Games are an effective and fun way to gain greater insight into customers and users--a critical part of getting to successful BPM and Process projects. McGregor posits, and we agree, that we learn more through play than by analysis. He continues, writing that "truly successful games need to deliver both concrete outcomes and learning. The outcomes ensure that you are making good use of your time and getting business value, while the learning ensures that your people continue to grow and develop." To read his full post, click here.

Getting to Done with Circles and Soup 
Click on the image to play Circles and Soup online.

Getting to Done isn't as easy as it sounds--especially when not everyone has the same definition of done. In this post, Ryan Cromwell advocates using our Instant Play version of Diane Larsen's Circles and Soup game to help Scrum teams create an initial Definition of Done--or just focus their energy. Cromwell writes, "You should control your own destiny as best as possible.  How can a team ever feel at all confident in their own forecasts otherwise." To read the complete post, click here. To play Circles and Soup and find your Definition of Done, click on the image above.


Speed Boat/Sail Boat

Speed Boat has become one of the defacto games for helping agile teams assess what worked and what didn't in an iteration, and we love hearing about how people are adapting it in practice. Mark Summers writes 

Sail Boat

about his adaption, Sail Boat, complete with his drawings of a Viking and Pirate-inspired ships. "The team is on a boat," Mark writes. "And on the right is the Promised Land, the best development environment they can imagine." Sticky notes are opportune winds that propel the team forward, anchors that are holding them back, or, my favorite, rocks or Pirates that can sink the ship. 


Product Box Everywhere

Product Box is always in the top five of most popular Innovation Games -- and not just because everyone loves stickers. The act of making the Product Box, and selling it to your peers, surfaces the "must-have" features for any product/service. We love hearing about how people are putting Product Box to use and this month, we have entries from Germany and Brazil. 


Tonio Grawe, an engineer and product manager for Advicio, writes about how he puts Product Box to use in his CSPO and requirements management classes, extolling how the "fun" of Product Box helps participants get to the must-have

Product Box in Brazil
Attendees of TDC2011 in Brazil pose with their Product Box
(Post is in German.) 



Wagner Santos, a senior consultant at OCTO in Brazil, wrote about attending an Innovation Games conference session at TDC2011 in Sao Paolo, Brazil. The attendees tried their hands at Product Box, Remember the Future and the ever popular Speed Boat. Read Wagner's complete post here.

Meet the Team
Our Newest IGQI: Focus to Grow's Teicko Huber 

We're tickled pink that Teicko Huber has signed on as our newest Innovation Games® Qualified Instructor. Teicko is the founder and president of Focus to Grow, an inbound marketing and sales agency in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Teicko's background and experience in marketing automation and sales process engineering make him a great addition to our team, as he works to introduce the value of Innovation Games to that community.


What is your favorite Innovation Game?   

Remember the Future. It must be the Activator that likes driving to getting stuff done.  


What makes you smile?  

My kids, Sophia, Olivia, Fiona and TJ. Pretty much 80% of the stuff that comes out their mouths has me cracking up.

What is your favorite place on earth?  

The Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica 


What did you have for breakfast?  

One apple, and two eggs over easy on low-calorie wheat bread, with 32 ounces of H2-O.


What has been your proudest moment? 

Pretty much every time I come home and my kids actually want to hang out with me and wrestle.


If you could meet any historical person, who would it be? 

Harriet Tubman: She went from slave, to free, to freeing others.  


Who do you want to play Knowsy with? 

My biological father; I'm adopted.


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 and our blog.    



Tami's signature

Tami Carter
VP, Marketing
The Innovation Games® Company
Two Months Free!   
Sign up for any Innovation Games Online subscription  and get the first two months free with the promo code YNM0112. The subscriptions include access to all the games, including Design Your Own visual collaboration game and Buy a Feature, public and private games, advanced analytics and more. This coupon is transferable and is good for upgrades. Please share it with interested parties.
Offer Expires:
Mar. 1, 2012