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180° Shift: How Games Help Shell Drill for Innovation Talent

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  • (All photos by Asa Mathat)

Speaker

Hans Haringa
Principal GameChanger, Shell Global Solutions, Shell


Hans Haringa discusses how Shell’s Game Changer program helps identify successful idea proponents.

Read the full transcript below. (Transcription by Realtime Transcription.)

Haringa:  Good afternoon, everybody. I’m going to do something quite unusual, I think. I’m actually going to talk about a startup called Knack. But before we go into the subject, how many in the room here know what Shell game change is all about? Can you put up your hands? One, two, not so many. That’s kind of interesting.

All right. Let me help you out. Where is this slide here? There we go. That’s too far.

Let me help you out here. Shell GameChanger program identifies unproven ideas, ideas in the energy space that may drastically impact the future.

We were actually founded in 1996, and what we do is we prove viability of ideas quickly and affordably, which is unusual for a company like Shell. We operate at the very front end of the exploratory part of the integration journey. And interestingly enough, to date GameChanger has worked with over 1,500 idea proponents and turned more than 100 ideas into reality.

So we deliver these ideas through these idea proponents. So it’s about people, not about processes. The thing which you see here is our biggest success, which literally is quite huge. Just look at it. You have some time to look at it.

So with the PR out of the way, let me focus on these idea proponents for a moment. An idea proponent is somebody who really favors something, who pleads for a cause or proponents an idea. And they come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Not always successful in taking the ideas forward. Some of them, they are not even interested in doing so.

But in GameChanger we’ve learned that these people who are successful, they have certain characteristics. And these characteristics appear, and once you know them, you can recognize these people.

So against this backdrop, we had this idea. Would it be possible to actually identify these people who potentially are successful idea proponents in the Shell GameChanger construct upfront? And the answer appears to be yes.

We did an experiment with this company called Knack, and you really need to look them up. They are fairly small. They actually were going to be here, but I don’t think their financial situation allows them. I’m not sure if I should say that, but that’s the size of the company.

But they really do engage in computer games, state-of-the-art behavioral science, and powerful big data analytics. That’s what these people do. And we use them to test if this technology is actually working. And I can tell you that it actually did work.

So let me repeat what I just told you here. It is possible now, at least there are glimpses, that up front you can identify potential successful idea proponents rather than working with all these people who are not going to be successful. This technology, we think, is really going to revolutionize the innovation space. Thank you.

[APPLAUSE]

Kirkpatrick:  Thank you, Hans. But the bottom line is, using games that they play, then they figure out—you observe them playing the games and identify their personal characteristics. And they turn out to be innovators. That’s pretty amazing.

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