Changing the Game at Dell

How do you capture the ideas from an organization eager to live out the spirit of entrepreneurship shown by the company’s founder and CEO? A friendly worldwide competition!

Dell executives judge an internal team innovation competition

GameChangers allows team members from around the world to present solutions to real business scenarios in a competition format. It is an annual competition where local teams develop ideas in the hope of progressing to a regional and global level, where the finalists present to executive leaders. Hosted by Dell’s GenNext employee resource group, the entire competition takes place within eight weeks.

“We have a lot of smart people here with a lot of great ideas, and we just needed to give them a platform,” explained Vanessa Henry, a core member of Central Texas GenNext and part of the GameChangers competition team for four years.

More than 600 participants from 28 countries presented in four categories: Internet of Things, Customer Experience, Solutions Strategy and an open-ended category. There is also a people’s choice category. From local to global, a total of 70 Dell volunteer judges judged each team on presentation quality, financial impact, feasibility, innovation and how well the solution addressed the business issue.

“I love that we look from the ground up to come up with ideas and don’t just rely on our executives,” said Christine Sabatino. “Dell really looks for innovation from their employees with the chance to start a grassroots project.”

This year was the fifth annual competition and the first year offering Game Changers University, a business boot-camp in financial acumen, go-to-market strategies, market analysis and presentation skills. Participants not only had the opportunity to be involved in different business aspects at Dell, but also to be trained in better understanding of those aspects.

For some outside the US, it was an opportunity to travel to Dell’s headquarters to present live. While others used virtual technology to present their ideas.

One of the winning teams in Dell's internal Gamechangers competition

Hemalatha Ganesan, an engineer based in Round Rock, presented a go-to-market proposal for Dell Blueprint in the Solutions Strategy category:

“It was an excellent opportunity to learn and understand the various functions of our company and meet our executive leadership team in person and understand their thoughts. I loved the GameChangers University. It felt like going to school again and learning so much.”

Participants can select their own teammates or choose to be placed on a team. This year’s winners were former and current sales makers presenting in the Customer Experience category. The team of five were from various parts of the business and their time at Dell ranged from as little as four months to over 10 years.

“I almost didn’t sign up for the challenge. I wasn’t part of an existing team, and wasn’t sure how we would be grouped. And, with a busy workload, who has the extra time to commit?” Stefanie Nelson recalled. “But I took the chance and, as well as winning, I worked with four intelligent, driven and passionate people whom I wouldn’t have otherwise had the opportunity to meet.”

After the competition the GameChangers team pitch concepts to interested organizations within Dell, so none of the great ideas are wasted.

“We already have executive interest in the concepts from all of this year’s finalists,” said a delighted Vanessa Henry. “What we’d like to do is to find project managers within the respective organizations that can help refine them.”

With entrepreneurial spirit a key value at Dell, GameChangers is a chance to expand knowledge and skills, and change how Dell does business on a worldwide scale. Learn more about unique opportunities to chart your career at

About the Author: Meredith Harrison