They say "timing is everything." Nintendo seems to have hit the jackpot with its July 5th release of Pokemon Go, its augmented reality game.

By the time this column publishes, it will have been downloaded more than 8 million times, Nintendo will be averaging $1.6 million in daily revenue, and the Pokemon Go Facebook page will have well over 1 million subscribers. 

The world is craving positive distraction. We are all psychologically exhausted from draining world events including senseless shootings, Brexit, and a toxic presidential campaign. 

Further, we are squarely in the center of the mid-year slump when low morale and flat sales plague many organizations. We've just passed the halfway point so we are scrutinizing our revenues, and we're all getting a little weary of the hot & volatile summer weather. 

Pokemon Go has indeed given the world some respite from all of the sadness and stress. 

Pokemon Go has infiltrated Corporate America. There is no denying it. Entire industries are re-shaping their go-to-market strategies. The restaurant industry finds themselves at the mercy of patrons who are downgrading their Yelp reviews because they don't have any Pokemon on premise. 

I'm a firm believer in the Yin-Yang philosophy: Within crisis lies opportunity. 

As Pikachu and Charizard continue to take over the hearts and minds of gamers everywhere, here are three ways business leaders can tap into this renewed energy, and harness it within their organizations:

Implement a Team Building Exercise. Organizations can put some friendly competition around the play. Create a "war room" with a leader board so that all employees can participate.

Pokemons don't care about organizational pecking orders. Pokemon Go levels the playing field, and creates communications and co-working opportunities that previously didn't exist. Executives should definitely get in on the action. This is a wonderful opportunity to connect with employees that otherwise don't have access to the executive team.

Harness the Power of Pokemon Positivity. Pokemon Go is having a dramatic effect on mental health! It is boosting moods, lowering anxiety, and significantly helping with depression. These impacts trickle into the workplace, improving morale.

One Twitter fan remarked, "PokemonGo has already been a better treatment for my depression than anything my doctor prescribed or therapist recommended."

Get Your Employees Moving. Pokemon Go brilliantly gets people out of the office for some exercise, which also helps stimulate creativity, and disconnects them from work for a brief period of time.  They can venture out alone or in groups. They come back re-energized, de-stressed, and ready for the second half of the work day. 

For the foreseeable future, Pokemon Go is here to stay. Even Mark Cuban has joined in, using it as an opportunity to connect with his son. 

Smart leaders will embrace the renewed energy, and create opportunities for connection, rather than creating separation.

While I predict it may be a while before Pokemons become an attractive employee benefit, companies won't be able to stop their employees from engaging. 

Pokemon pursuits for now are indeed the new Happy Hours. 

Good luck in your chases!

 

 

 

 

Published on: Jul 14, 2016
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