Who is an Effective Change Agent (my Discussion from eCornell)

Think of a prominent historical or contemporary figure who you consider to be an effective change agent. (Note: He or she need not have operated within a business organization.) Why was or is this person effective?

For me at this time, Gabe Zichermann, considered to be the world’s top authority on Gamification, he single handled created a revolution that are allowing organizations to dynamically change the way they engage both customers and employees. According to the Huffington Post (RSS Feed) (n.d.) his book Gamification by Design was the book that looked first “at the technical and architectural considerations for designing engagement using game concepts.” The effect on Gamification has rippled across every organizational type around the world. According to Peterson (2012) M2 Research has predicted that by 2016 the Gamification market will be a 2.8 billion dollar industry. Good news for companies that have gotten into the market place early.

Gabe Zichermann continues to proselytize Gamification through his gsummit website (http://www.gamification.co/) as well as traveling worldwide bringing Gamification summits to cities around the world. Zichermann is focused on his cause, bringing together both experts and novices alike who in turn continue the movement. Zichermann continues to reach out through his online certification course offering two levels of certification online (https://www.udemy.com/designing-gamification-level-1-certification/) as well as you can register at various gsummit events for his master classes in which he leads users through a realistic simulation that will be evaluated by a team of Gamification experts which could lead to the highest level of certification. Please note that this certification is not an academic certification, at this time I am only aware of one Gamification course that is offered by the University of Pennsylvania through the online Open University Courseara.

Zichermann position as a change leader is unique, and has inspired others to lead changes in organizations. One such inspired leader is Rajat Paharia, who is the founder of Bunchball, who’s recent book Loyalty 3.0 according to Wood (2013) states that, “Paharia calls this state of true engagement Loyalty 3.0 and the book describes the theory and practice of creating this state. But another way to look at his book is as a manual for applying positive psychology, the science of happiness if you will, to business.” Bunchball (http://www.bunchball.com/about/why-bunchball) in my opinion is one of the leading Gamification companies in the world.
I have yet to meet Zichermann, but he is not one to sit around, he is out there constantly pushing and creating new content for his courses having just recently added a 4th level of his certification. He is active and is available to ask questions through Twitter. He also broadcast through gsummit various webinars interviewing other Gamification change leaders, including Naureen Meraj, who heads up my companies Gamification effort, this interview can be found here: http://www.gamification.co/tag/ntt-data/.

eCornell(2012) ask the expert transcript asks various questions about how we can identify a change agent. In the above examples I have tried to show how, Zichermann uses his unique position to lead and influence others, that he remain creative and continues to push ideas out, as well as showing focus and a change mindset in everything he does. I agree that change agents are found everywhere, and that everyone has played that role either publically or privately. In my opinion the Gamification industry was built upon leaders such as Zichermann and Paharia and many others that contribute positive change to any organization that is willing to lead change themselves.

References:
eCornell (2012) ‘ILRSM509: Developing an Agenda for Change’ [Online Course files]. Available at: https://lms.ecornell.com/courses/1115746/modules (Accessed: 9/11/2013)
Huffington Post (RSS Feed) (n.d.) ‘Gabe Zichermann’ [Online]. Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gabe-zichermann/ (Accessed on: 9/11/2013)
Peterson, S. (2012) ‘Gamificaton market top reach 2.8 Billion in 2016’ [Online]. Available at: http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2012-05-21-gamification-market-to-reach-USD2-8-billion-in-2016 (Accessed on: 9/11/2013)
Woods, D. (2013) ‘How Loyalty 3.0 Makes Positive Psychology Work for Business’. [Online] Forbes 6 June. Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/danwoods/2013/06/19/how-loyalty-3-0-makes-positive-psychology-work-for-business/ (Accessed: 9/11/2013)

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