Let your dog train you

Is the world conspiring to “gamify” our lives?

This now famous term for trendy corporate management that has us believe we are having fun while working is meant to increase productivity — but does it?

Here is how one website described gamification: 

  • “Gamification is the process of taking something that already exists — a website, an enterprise application, an online community — and integrating game mechanics into it to motivate participation, engagement, and loyalty.”

I sort of remember some of Maslow's hierarchy of needs from my long-gone education. It was one of those mandatory classes where the professor wore a woolly jumper, told a lot of jokes and asked you out after for a beer.

But where was gamification in his hierarchy? Not in there. While we are on it, why does work have to be like a game anyway? 

Let's face it, business is serious and I am a firm believer that if you treat your organization well, you will get the results you deserve.

Don't get me wrong; we should feel fulfilled from work and excited to go to work. We spend a lot of time working, but it is serious business.

Today, I look around me at my phone that “dings” — a lot. In fact, it is really annoying. I find the “pucking” sound even more distracting. It forces you to see who just pinged you. I am sure you can turn it off, but that takes more time than I generally have to figure out. 

I look at people wasting time at work on internal “chat rooms” and I wonder where the increase in productivity comes from. I wonder how anybody gets anything done.

Last year, I installed a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system for one of our businesses that also doubled up as a project management system. It allowed people to “chat” on messenger type services.

It was a young and fresh management tool. It turned into a lack of production nightmare as people sent each other hearts and kisses and pokes, photographs, happy birthday messages, job well done stickers. Well, whatever silly things they could instead of working.
So what has happened to our world, I ask myself? Where is our desire, an in-built genetic desire, to just do a job and want to do it well?

I'm not sure. 

In a similar vein, today, at my wife’s behest, we started dog-training lessons. Really, they were human training lessons, but dogs have kept that a mystery for years.

Anyway, we are removing some of the gamification principles from our dog. He likes to have fun, but we need to get more done in a day rather than always playing with him, picking up after him or repairing the last couch he ate.

So now, we see progress. I have a more productive life because my dog is not allowed to play as much and disturb me. 

I go back to my computer, turn it on, and see three pokes, two emojis (whatever they are), listen to my phone bing, see that 27 of my friends have birthdays or anniversaries today and then LinkedIn tells me 145 people are celebrating job anniversaries and I should congratulate them.

That is when I decide I just want to go back and play with my dog.

What has happened to the world? 

Or is it me? Am I just getting older?


Comments are pre-moderated to ensure they meet our guidelines. Approval times will vary. Keep it civil, and stay on topic. If you see an inappropriate comment, please use the ‘flag’ feature. Comments are the opinions of the comment writer, not of Castanet. Comments remain open for one day after a story is published and are closed on weekends. Visit Castanet’s Forums to start or join a discussion about this story.

More It's All About . . . articles

About the Author

Mark has been an entrepreneur for over forty years. His experience spans many commercial sectors and aspects of business. He was one of the youngest people to be appointed as a Fellow of the prestigious Institute of Sales and Marketing Management before he left the UK in 1988.

His column focuses on ways we can improve on success in our lives. Whether it is business, relationships, or health, Mark has a well-rounded perspective on how to stay focused for growth and development.

His influences come from the various travels he undertakes as an adventurer, philanthropist and keynote speaker. More information can be found on Mark at his website www.markjenningsbates.com

He is a Venture Partner with www.DutchOracle.com a global Alternative Investment company.

Mark Jennings-Bates:
[email protected]

Photo credit: www.SteveAustin.ca 

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

Previous Stories