Creating Gamesmakers

12 June 2013 / by Ashley Freeman

Wondering how you can create games makers in your business?

We were totally blown away by the impact that the volunteers had on The Games. Although the spotlight was on the athletes, Seb Coe was right to recognise that it was the volunteers that truly lit up The Olympics.

Imagine if you could recreate that level of passion, excitement and customer focus with your people. Surely we can create that level of commitment from paid employees?

We were intrigued to find out if there was some secret potion that had been slipped into their energy drinks, or was it simply the euphoria of being involved in the Olympics?

We’ve spent the last few weeks talking to volunteers and their trainers to understand how they made it all happen, and to try and draw some lessons for businesses to use. Here’s a brief summary of their advice:

Excite and Enthuse

– Pull don’t push. Ask people in the business to step forward and volunteer for an ambassador role. Resist handpicking based on grade, scores, metrics or reputation

– Go for diversity. Look for a variety of skills across the whole organisation that complements your programme, rather than focusing on one part of the business or type of person – everyone can contribute

– Stick to your promise and no surprises. Be totally transparent about the level of commitment needed and don’t stop communicating

Empower and Encourage

– Sell them a very simple, clear and inspiring Vision of what success will look like. In this case “The best party the world would ever see!” and be clear about how they can help make a difference

– Light on governance, high on empowerment. Be clear on expectations and individual objectives, but allow them to add their own personality

– Make the training reflect the attitude you want to create. Only use presentations as an information tool, but use involvement to recreate real life, practical scenarios

– Create simple, tangible, realistic targets during ‘shop floor’ style training exercises i.e. “you have 20 seconds to make a good impression on a stranger about yourself and London”

– Provide them with something that represents their involvement and recognises their hard work e.g. pins, badges, DVD’s, certificates, a tree!!

Celebrate and Congratulate

– Create a positive team spirit and camaraderie within the group so that enthusiasm becomes infectious

– Success breeds success. It’s OK to be proud and self-confident, even if you’re British! So sing your successes from the rooftops and watch it overwhelm everyone with enthusiasm

Try applying this thinking when planning your next change programme or when you’re looking to create a team of Change Makers…

Any comments?

Have you ever considered using an ambassador / a change champions network to help drive a cultural change in your organisation. We’d love to get your thoughts on this.

Get in touch by emailing Ash at or calling 020 7720 0105.