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One Little Thing for Pokemon Go – CEOs Take Note

(Many CEOs are handcuffed by intrusive boards that relish the steadiness of mediocrity.) 

I was working with a client recently and the phenomenon we all know as “Pokemon Go” came up in conversation.  The IT professional in the room made a comment that really grabbed my attention.  Not that I am a fan or a player of the game by-the-way.  My interest in the game has been and still is more analytical than anything else.  I mean really! A group of engineers walked into my class recently talking about Poke stops or whatever it is called.  I am quite astonished that I am really writing about this but stay with me as I think you will find value in my interest.

This IT guy said the game as we know has been around for several years.  My response was really!  I have not heard of it before.  He said yes the game had different characters but was essentially the same game.  I have tried to vet his information to the best of my ability so I definitely want to preface these remarks by saying what I did find supports his statement but is not all together conclusive.   Please feel free to share anynew information to support or refute my findings. 

My research stated the company called Niantic created the game called Ingress around 2012.  However, it was not until Niantic partnered with Nintendo in 2015 and later released the game in July 2016 that we saw the world-wide phenomenon that we now know as “Pokemon Go”.

So you might be thinking, thank you for the history lesson but what is the big deal?  So what?  My oddly-wired brain quickly starting thinking (not about the game itself but) about the change that created success for the two companies.  I started pondering about the ingredient – that one little thing that created buzz all over the developed (and probably undeveloped) world.  Think about it.  We are less than two months into this change and hundreds of millions of people all over the planet are involved. Oh, and by the way “Pokemon Go” made over $200 million in its first month and literally crushed “Candy Crush” (pun intended) and “Clash Royale” according to an August 8, 2016 CNBC article.  Can you say BOOM!

Alas, you know what they say about all good things.  And yes, the trends are indeed slowing down and even my own children and their cronies are losing interest.  I do believe the explosion is short-lived.  I also believe the game’s creators are hard at work trying to sustain the growth and “Pokemon Go” will settle as a money maker for the near future.

Let us examine the one little thing that changed the game.  In the organizational development world, we are always looking for a “game-changer”.  However, most organizations lack the intestinal fortitude (guts) to make real change.  That is often where I (or people like me that is) come into the picture.  We have made careers out of helping organizations overcome the cowardice of change.  Look it is not always their fault.  Many CEOs are handcuffed by intrusive boards that relish the steadiness of mediocrity.  In reality, very few CEOs are afforded the freedom to make dynamic moves to find that one little thing that could change the world.  The desire to change may indeed exist, however...


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