Why This Company Is All About Play Time

Starting up isn’t all fun in games. Or is it?

As a consequence of the financial crisis, Andy Medley and Scott Hill in 2008 were forced to usher in a devastating round of layoffs at their Indianapolis-based marketing company Perq. That was an experience they never wanted to replicate.

So, the co-founders decided to try something a bit unorthodox: They opened up Perq’s books and asked employees to start thinking of the company’s revenues as if they were points tallied on a scoreboard. In effect, Perq asked employees to think of the business as a game.

Medley and Hill say this new philosophy is about goals, numbers and accountability. Thanks to scoreboards, which are displayed prominently around the office and a monthly financials meeting, now every employee can track their “score,” or revenue.

So far, so good. Revenues are up (for 2013, they topped $30 million), and layoffs aren’t on the horizon. How does this work for them? I asked Hill, Perq’s CEO, how this actually plays out:

To read the interview, click here: Why This Company Is All About Play Time

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6 thoughts on “Why This Company Is All About Play Time

  1. I’m confused as to how this is “playing games”. It seems to be nothing more than data transparency and competition with a dash of fear mongering. I don’t mean to jab at the idea. I’m all about sharing data and people should know if things aren’t looking good (or are looking great). A little healthy fear can be inspiring. This just doesn’t seem as revolutionary as the headline seems to imply.

  2. @Anon. Yep, not the least revolutionary. Did the same thing in Asia with good success.

    The program Perq uses exercises lesser motivators for Western professionals – money and paid time off. A groundbreaking scheme would somehow address the stronger motivators – job challenge, opportunity for advancement, and recognition, for example.

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