Climbing Mount Everest, one step at a time
Let's enrol organisations in a fitness challenge to climb the equivalent height of Mt. Everest (and other similar challenges), a total of 58,070 steps, by walking, running, biking, taking the stairs. Also, add a competitive &/or fundraising element.
Getty images, creative image # 57328680
It's important (and easy) to make health and fitness more fun, meaningful and collective. This concept is about 'analogous achievement'.
Here's Scenario 1 (just as one of many examples):
Let's get the entire organisation to achieve one big, hairy, audacious goal. Let's Climb Mt. Everest! The total height of 8,848 metres would require 58,070 steps to scale. What if we achieved this, just 'one step' at a time, by taking the equivalent number of steps, as a team, by running, walking, climbing the stairs and biking (cycling) to work! The organisation decides to contribute $1 for every metre climbed to a charity/ cause of their choice (or organisational fit). And if the total target is achieved within the decided time-frame, the total contribution is doubled!
So here's what happens:
Employees soon starting tweaking their daily routine. They walk or bike to work. Those who drive, park further away. Once they get to the office, they decide to take the stairs to work. During lunch, a group goes to work out at the company (or nearby) gym and comes back refreshed, charged up and celebrating an extra 4000 steps1 At the end of the week, the entire company comes together to review how far they've reached and celebrate their successes!
Everyone gets healthier, fundraises, and even gets bragging rights (spread the word on social media et al).
At the end of the challenge, the healthier organisation transfers the total funds collected to the agreed upon charity/cause.
Recording & Measurement
The steps could be measured by a simple device as a pedometer, or a mobile app created for the purpose. We could even explore the idea of a live 'leader-board', constantly updating the team progress.
Examples of other challenges
Once the organisation/ community experience and celebrate their first analogous achievement, they can move on to other exciting goals, such as climbing Mount Kilimanjaro (38,680 steps) or the Seattle Space Needle (1,164 steps), or the Big Ben (632 steps), or maybe the Sydney Opera House (425 steps)!
Imagine if we could walk circumnavigate the globe (80,016,000 steps). And who knows, one day we might even walk to the moon (533,935,767 steps)!
Type of groups
- The entire organisation (spread across the globe) could commit to a big challenge.
- There could be different teams/ units within an organisation competing against each other.
- We could even have different companies entering some sort of corporate challenges to see who reaches the summit first.
- Thinking bigger, we could even open participation to different communities
Scenario 2: Apple and Microsoft, or Google and Facebook, commit publicly to a global corporate challenge to see who can circumnavigate the globe first. An online leader-board measures and updates progress for the world to see! They also commit to supporting a global charity with the total funds collected during the challenge.
Or this could be an internal challenge between the teams at IDEO.org and OpenIDEO.
Scenario 3: Say.. an office or team of 5-10 people want to collectively run a marathon a week... can they plan a tiny bit in advance and beat last week's time?
Or how about an Ironman triathlon.. some can swim, some can cycle and some can run.. they just enter their efforts into a central app/website and they become fitter as a group, taking a real collective sense of pride in each others' improvements.
Points and Rewards:
Organisations can create their own challenges and points system. For example, if the entire team/ unit participates in the challenge, bonus points are rewarded. Teams can recognise weekly champions, create buddy systems, award badges etc.
Note: And in terms of honesty, we could get them to click pictures or scan QR codes, but I feel for this concept - it'll be best to trust the process and the participants!
Additional questions for the Refinement phase (as suggested by Bupa)
1. What sort of organisation could deliver something like this concept?
This could easily be adopted by a range of organisations across sectors (Examples: Bupa, Google, Facebook, IDEO, WHO...)
2. What technology if any is needed to deliver it?
A pedometer or an app would do the trick.
3. How would users find out about it?
If it's an internal challenge, it would be easily communicated through internal communication channels (newsletters, team meetings etc).
If it's an open challenge, a simple website with a good explainer video and existing social media channels.
4. How might this concept be scaled to reach maximum users?
By having a dedicated website and app created for this concept. This would have examples of challenges, supporting materials, tools for recording and measurement, and possibilities for sharing scores, stories and achievement!
5. Who would be prepared to pay for this?
The website and/or app could have a few main sponsors to bring the idea to life (such as Bupa and IDEO). We can have local champions to manage websites for different cities. There are also possibilities of attracting potential sponsors to generate advertising revenue. All funds collected as a result of the challenges and the advertising will be directed to local charities and relevant causes.
What are the benefits of your concept for the individual and the employer?
Benefits for the individual:
- Getting fit by integrating exercise in their daily routines
- Greater sense of participation, belonging, and teamwork
- Boost in morale and self-esteem by setting and achieving goals
Imagine the stories we'll tell ourselves with this newfound perspective and shift in attitude: "3 new clients this month? Easy. If I could climb Mt. Everest, I can do anything".
Benefits for the employer:
- A healthier and more active workforce
- Increased teamwork and participation (without running an offsite team building retreat)
- Employee engagement and higher retention
- Higher productivity and lower absenteeism
- An organisational culture of commitment and achievement
Benefits for society:
By linking the achievement of goals to fundraising targets (like a marathon), additional financial resources are made available to local charities or causes.
What might the impact of your concept be and how might it be measured?
The potential impact and measures of success could include:
- Health & Wellbeing: Offer a basic health check-up pre-challenge, and then organise quarterly or bi-annual health camps.
- Employee engagement and teamwork: We can get a sense of this through team-meetings or individual meetings.
- Retention rates: This would be a good indicator of cohesiveness and commitment. (If I am focused on achieving the final summit of Mt. Everest, I am probably not thinking of moving on just yet).
- Absenteeism: This should definitely translate into fewer sick days overall.
- Productivity & impact on organisational goals: Given this creates a sense of analogous achievement, it would be important to measure how this translates into overall productivity and achievement of organisational goals. The commitment to success is definitely contagious!
How might your concept be designed to scale and spread to reach as many people as possible?
We could create a website (http://citypeaks.co.uk), an app (such as Runkeeper: http://runkeeper.com) or even a blog (http://www.treadmill-desk.com/2007/07/walking-across-america.html) where we introduce the challenge, provide examples and templates (such as this one created by British Heart Foundation: http://www.sportinherts.org.uk/userfiles/300.pdf), share success stories, and take time to acknowledge and celebrate achievements. The entire website/app could even be made available (open source) as a 'white label' solution so organisations can customise the platform.
(Note: The website/app could be funded by Bupa or other local institutions)
Another idea could be to partner with gyms. This would make it easier to gain more steps. ("Hey, the city is quite busy. I'll just head over to the gym during lunch and bank 3000 steps for us).
A sponsorship or customised pedometers would make it easier to jump right in.
What would be amazing is to create open challenges, using models such as OpenIDEO. We could mobilise entire communities, and not stay restricted within an organisation.
We could definitely use elements from the 'Gamify Microexercise' concept posted by Johan (http://www.openideo.com/open/well-work/concepting/gamify/) and use existing social media channels to spread the word, give points and bragging rights.
How might you design a small experiment around your concept that would mobilise action?
1. Create a basic website: Introduce the concept, provide material (templates/ distances/ video etc). to easily get started.
2. Run one 'open challenge' : Promote the website on OpenIDEO and in personal networks, and measure response rate and action.
3. Run one 'closed challenge': Get one organisation on board (maybe IDEO and/or Bupa) and gather insights.
Good Case Practices:
A great example of a similar initiative that has been successful is the Global Corporate Challenge: http://www.gettheworldmoving.com
Another good example is 'City Peaks': http://citypeaks.co.uk
There's a simple website + clear measurement system + great visualisation. Moreover, it's tied in really well together. The main difference in the concept is focus on the individual vs. collective achievement.
We could have a similar initiative supported by Bupa. This would help build a solid brand for the challenge and make it easier to scale!
Are you ready? We can totally do this, just one step at a time!
Is this concept addressing clear health needs for users?
Indeed! It’s addressing an unmet need in a new way
Yep – it’s addressing a need but in an already crowded space
It’s not clear to see how this idea would significantly improve people’s health
Overall how do you feel about this concept?
This concept rocked my world
I liked it but prefered others
It didn't get my overly excited.
Does this concept feel like it could potentially be sustained as a business or movement over years rather than just months? Does it feel like it will continue to be relevant in the future?
This concept has enough momentum to stand on its own two feet and remain relevant for years to come
It’s not clear how long it would take for this concept to stand on its own feet or how it will continue – but there’s reason to feel hopeful
This concept may have trouble sustaining itself in the long-run and stay relevant
How easy would it be for people to get involved and improve their health with this idea?
Very easy. It's clear how people could get involved quickly in this concept
I'm not sure if I can grasp how people could get involved easily
It seems challenging for people to get involved quickly in this concept
Does this concept have the potential to reach large numbers of people?
Sure. I could imagine this would spread like wild fire
It's interesting but feels like it would be slow or challenging to grow
It seems somewhat limited in scope
Idea submitted by:
December 27, 2012,
A note from Vishal about Riyaz's participation in this Team:
Excellent contribution and build-on!
A note from Vishal about James's participation in this Team:
A note from Vishal about ozge's participation in this Team:
Great build on the concept!
A note from Vishal about Nigel's participation in this Team:
Great builds during Refinement phase!
A note from Vishal about Ivan's participation in this Team:
A note from Vishal about Claire's participation in this Team:
Fantastic builds during refinement!
A note from Vishal about Areca's participation in this Team:
A note from Vishal about Trev's participation in this Team:
Great collaboration during Refinement!
A note from Vishal about Johan's participation in this Team:
A note from Vishal about Gaia's participation in this Team:
New dimensions added while reinforcing current concept!
A note from Vishal about yamaha's participation in this Team:
Great add-on to the concept!