Gamification is the use of game mechanisms in non-playful contexts. It is using emotional mechanisms such as curiosity, competition, personal challenge and role-play to involve people in these types of tasks. In the innovation process new perspectives must be discovered if the players want to disrupt classical models and imagine tomorrow’s ways of life, services or products. To do this many organizations launch open ideation platforms or events such as hackathons to collect ideas from non-experts. However, if nothing is done to make this accessible and engaging, there are few chances to have results. Gamification is therefore very useful to make people start, continue and finish a task, and then encourage others to do the same.

These type of gaming products represent a promising market. Its international annual growth rate is estimated to be more than 16% until 2020. Up to this date, its turnover would be worth more than 5 billion US dollars.

This use of games in business changes practices and managerial tools. With these new systems appearing, new work methods arise, and new competency profiles come out. Will Game Masters be tomorrow’s innovation facilitators?


The Cubification method is based on a theoretical model originating from innovation management and game design, on recognised cases and on an initiative presentation allowing most people to play the game of innovation.  The approach can be used on 7 different playgrounds:

  1. Personal development: you re-think your professional career in an individual approach;
  2. Entrepreneurship: you are an entrepreneur and along with a small team of 3 to 5 people, you create and expand your first offer;
  3. Business Development: you are marketing or innovation manager and, with team of 6 to 12 co-workers, you develop your offer to explore new markets;
  4. Change Management: you are a project manager and you develop the agility and creativity of a 12 to 25 people team to support changes;
  5. Innovation training: you are instructor in innovation management or entrepreneurship and you allow groups of 20 to 40 students to use concepts with concrete examples;
  6. Innovation consultancy: you are consultant and you help working groups of 6 to 80 people to re-think business’ strategy;
  7. Open innovation: you are an innovation manager and you open your innovation issue by organising a hackathon involving 50 to 1000 people.


The key idea is to make the innovation challenge tangible in order to manipulate it. So a Cubification session is run face to face, with different numbers of participants with facilitators, during 1 intense day (usually). The session starts “from scratch” and finishes the day with a roadmap of products and services that the company can launch in the future. To do this a specific cube (Let’s say one cube per team of 6 people) is used. The first step is to customize the cube by identifying potential features related to the business model and intended market. This represents the model using 6 different dimensions. The cube represents the initial situation. Then users play: they mix their customized cube to generate combinations that will be the basis for their new offers. Finally they ideate: they use the combinations presented on the cube faces to imagine different kinds of products, services, or concepts.  The Cubification method empower people to generate feasible, original and disruptive ideas for their business.

The developer of this method, Hélène Michel, who is a brilliant professor at Grenoble Ecole de Management, with a PhD in Management, has a strong experience in innovation and gamification, and she is in charge of developing the business school strategy related to serious games. She has developed and validated this method academically and she is using it regularly in academic context, even with major companies, thus it has a dozen of references so far. For example, Somfy used it to imagine tomorrow’s housing or Capgemini designed their Digital Customer Experience (DCX) with 90 participants. In France, Helene Michel is currently working with the United Nations (UNCTAD) to use this method to support social entrepreneurship in developing countries.