Get Up and GO!

by: Amanda Gordon

I am working with a client right now that is wrestling with some tough challenges: the integration of an acquisition, how to modernize their product road map, how to create an inspired culture and how to transition to being a successful medium sized organization. Daunting stuff! But as I headed into work on Monday morning, I arrived tired but inspired – by a video game!

On Sunday I had been struggling all day to get my teenage boys to come outside with me. I had offered everything – a bike ride, dinner downtown with a walk through the market, football at the park, gelato on Bank Street. Then, during dinner my son commented that he had just downloaded Pokémon GO. I knew a little about Pokémon from when the boys were little and had heard of Pokémon’s pivot – “Niantic’s Real World Gaming Platform”. All I could think of was outside, walking with my kids, nice evening. We grabbed our shoes and I left the dishes for later.

At the end of our driveway, with our dog on his leash, we gathered around our phone as the game came to life. We had heard that there was a Poké stop at the park at the end of our street, so off we went! Two hours later with many Pokémon catches to our credit, the dog was panting and I was sweating from trying to keep up with the boys as they ran to catch the characters.

That night we saw over 20 packs of players with cell phones in hand. Each time they stopped us to compare notes – how many had we caught and where? What level were we on? How many kilometres had we walked (the game actually tracks this)? All ages, boys, girls, adults, families, even a Grandma and her grandkids. The enthusiasm was contagious!

That was my AH HA moment. Pokémon GO out of the gates was already a product with a diversified multi-generational market, filling different needs for different clients: Moms who want exercise and time with the kids; kids who want fun and couldn’t care less about exercise; couples who want a different date activity; families who want something fun to do together that works for all ages. If Pokémon can do it, so can we!

We can create the right conditions for engaged, superstar employees. Teams that seem disengaged can be brought together to perform at a completely new level. Collaboration is possible beyond your company, and the benefits of asking for help and lessons learned from the pros can get you to the next level with more confidence and a few tricks up your sleeve. Pokémon GO not only made me sweat, but it also reminded me that you can modernize old products and that we shouldn’t think our product only fits one market. You can take your company to the next level.

This is my passion and now I am inspired to take these lessons even further.

It was almost dark when we came home that night. My dog plopped himself on the lawn exhausted. I had started towards the door when my son called out “WAIT! If we walk only 2 more kilometres my egg will hatch.” I just smiled, said “Cool” and we started walking again.

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