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Serious game: Knoco’s Bird Island, making the point for KM

Stephanie Barnes (Missing Puzzle Piece Consulting, Berlin, Germany)
Nick Milton (Knoco, Bath, UK)

World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development

ISSN: 2042-5945

Article publication date: 6 April 2017




Knowledge management really does make a difference; it is not just an academic idea. There are lots of case studies and examples of knowledge management activities having a significant impact on the results of an organization, and some examples will be cited in the body of the paper. However, Knoco’s Bird Island serious game is one of the quickest, easiest, and most enjoyable ways to make the point. The paper aims to discuss these issues.


This paper will review how Knoco’s Bird Island serious game is played. It will also discuss the results of over the almost 20 years that it has been played: what participants have experienced, what has been learned, and most importantly, the data that have been collected that help prove that sharing knowledge is a very powerful thing to do.


By using three different KM processes (after action reviews, peer assists, and best practice sharing) results of the activity go from abysmal to unbelievable, increasing by an average of 258 per cent, all because of reflecting, sharing, and learning. Even if participants want to continue to be sceptical of the results that making better use of their organization’s knowledge can have and they think they can only attain a fraction of this, 10 per cent of the demonstrated result is still almost 26 per cent. Isn’t that worth at least giving it a try?


Knoco has been running their serious game for almost two decades and have the data to prove it.



Barnes, S. and Milton, N. (2017), "Serious game: Knoco’s Bird Island, making the point for KM", World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development, Vol. 14 No. 2/3, pp. 194-203.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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