Breakfast seminar about Super Mario and behavior change

I was born in the early 80’s. In 1991, my neighbor Mattias got a Nintendo 8-bit and the game Super Mario Bros. for Christmas. When we started the game and the blipping music began to sound from the TV, we both realized that this was a special game. Although we had no clue about how to play the game, nor any instructions, we managed to get further quickly. We played Super Mario Bros. as often as we could and we loved every minute of it!

From a psychological perspective, Super Mario Bros. had a fantastic design. The creators had put very little time into explaining why we should do certain things, instead we understood the game by the consequences of our actions. And the consequences came immediately. If I jumped and knocked a box I could get a mushroom that made me bigger; if I took a flower I could shoot balls of fire; and if I took a blinking star I became immortal for a short while. Also, everything was extremely measurable. I got more points the bigger the enemies that I demolished and when I gathered enough gold money, I got an extra life.

The organizational psychologist Aubrey C Daniels has done studies on video games and found that a player gets between 65 and 85 reinforcing consequences per minute. Unfortunately, this is not the reality of work life. According to Daniels, most workplaces don’t use reinforcement as much as they could. But there is a tremendous power in this mechanism if you want to develop both individuals and organizations.

If you only get proper feedback on your efforts once every six months on your performance review, it is perhaps not surprising that you do not always strive to do your utmost. A mechanism that I’m interested in – both as a psychologist, researcher and CEO of Hoa’s Tool Shop – is the experience that an effort really counts. Just as it is both satisfying and motivating to register your runs in Nike+ or Runkeeper, I see that tracking your efforts in the workplace can greatly enhance motivation.

On November 16th at 8:00 A.M. Hoa’s Tool Shop invites HR specialists to a breakfast seminar at our office on Birger Jarlsgatan 18A, 5th floor. We will talk about the mobile application as a tool for behavior change in organizations. We will present our web and mobile application Viary. The application is currently used by organizational consultants and HR specialists to develop the corporate culture and employees. For one hour we will tell you how Viary can be used to make the change and development of your organization easier, concrete and measurable. There is also room for discussion – we want to hear your experiences in order to develop the tool!

RVSP to niklas@hoastoolshop.com if you want to come. Hope to see you there!

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