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“It’s a war out there.”  At least that’s one way for competitive intelligence professionals to view the world.  Or, is it more of a game?

Maybe it’s both.  And that’s the essence of “gamification.”

For decades, simulations or wargames have been an important method for companies to examine market and competitive strategies.  But the concept of gamification—or approaching business as a series of games (and not in a pejorative sense)—has become increasingly important over the last few years. Whether launching a new product, strategy or event, wargames help organizations “get into the heads” of competitors and assess intensity, level of threat and blind spots. There are a number of books available that focus specifically on business wargaming, but the resources below offer some fresh, interdisciplinary perspectives on the practice of gamifying your world, including the way you approach competitive intelligence.

Gamification: A New Way of Thinking about Games in Business

The Gamification Revolution: How Leaders Leverage Game Mechanics to Crush the CompetitionGabe Zichermann and Joselin Linder

Gabe Zichermann, a leading expert in the field of gamification, is CEO of Gamification Corp (g co) and chair of GSummit.  His most recent book, with collaborator Joselin Linder (a writer on popular culture and technology), focuses on ways to use games as part of corporate strategy and to improve employee innovation and customer engagement. His previous books are Gamification by Design and Game-Based Marketing.

The View from the Front: Insights from Military Gaming

Simulating War: Studying Conflict Through Simulation GamesPhilip Sabin

Phillip Sabin is a Professor of Strategic Studies in the Department of War Studies, King’s College London (KCL), where in addition to “conflict simulation” his research focuses on ancient warfare and World War II. His book is an excellent introduction to the field of military wargaming, from which modern corporate wargaming arose. Going back to the origins with this title can help stimulate thinking on how to create more effective competitive simulations.

For Those Who Want to Go In Depth…Where Theory and Practice Converge

Simulation & Gaming (S&G): An International Journal of Theory, Practice, and Research

A bimonthly, multidisciplinary journal focusing on various forms of simulation, including business and industrial simulations; including how to apply these methodologies to real-world situations such as mergers and acquisitions.

Wargaming is an effective tool for helping us understand the competition, develop successful strategies and enhance competitive awareness throughout the organization. The resources above will help you lay a solid foundation in preparation for your wargaming experience. For more information about wargaming, click below to check out Cipher’s Guide to Wargaming.