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Ask any Sharpie, and we will tell you that our culture is a one of a kind.  We like our work, we like each other, and we are always challenging ourselves with new ideas and concepts.  Several months ago, our Founding Partner, John Peltonen, introduced the concept of The Great Game of Business to us.  If you aren’t familiar, we recommend that you check it out, as we have found that the “open-book management” style has been super beneficial to us.  The Great Game of Business offers a ton of suggestions for organizational improvement, including the concept of mini games, and for today’s blog, we’d like to tell you about our first experience with a company wide mini game.

The Art of the Mini Games

Mini games are purposed to focus on a short-term goal – any goal that you think that would be beneficial to your company.  These games will align your company to correct a weakness or pursue an opportunity, and they will motivate employees to become more successful as a collective group.  Teamwork at it’s finest!

The requirements of a mini game are just like any other game, and who doesn’t like to play games?  Determine a single goal for everyone to aim for.  Establish a time frame of play, which is well defined and short term.  Design an easily visible scoreboard to record and track successes.  And finally, establish the rewards. 

Don’t forget a theme!  A theme will help design and organize your mini game, and it makes it fun too!  The important thing to remember when rolling out your very own mini game is to emphasize the group working together towards an end goal – avoid competitiveness.  It’s all about the teamwork.

Sharpie Quidditch

Enter our first mini game – Sharpie Quidditch.  When we Sharpies set our eyes on a goal, there’s no stopping us.  We went all out for this one, and we had a blast doing it.  3Sharp is a small company and our marketing team is pretty new, so we decided that a mini game was absolutely perfect to rally our Sharpies around our first big marketing initiative:  Marketing 3Sharp at this year’s Microsoft Ignite.

Our mini game included all the requirements:

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Goal – schedule 9 meetings with potential customers

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Time frame – the month of September, including the week of Ignite

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Theme – HARRY POTTER (admittedly, one of us was obnoxiously excited about this…)

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Rewards -

  • 1 Meeting – Office gets a Harry Potter cornhole game
  • 4 Meetings – Our President and Founding Partner wear wizard robes for the day
  • 7 Meetings – Office gets a Butter Beer Happy Hour
  • 9 Meetings – Office gets a Harry Potter Family Night, complete with a showing of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

So, Did We Catch the Snitch?

We caught the snitch!

We scored 11 meetings with potential customers, well above our goal, and we Sharpies basked in the glory of our rewards knowing that we achieved our goal as a collective team.

…And this HP fan happily lived and breathed Harry Potter for an entire month!

Our first attempt at a mini game was a smashing success.  Even better than receiving the rewards for reaching our goal, the entire company was working to support a new team and a new initiative.  Teamwork was the core result of this mini game, making all the effort and planning well worth it.  To boot, we’ve already started our second mini game, and everyone is stoked!