Clan Leaders Make Excellent IT Leaders

August 4, 2011 -

An interesting article in IT News, a site dedicated to IT professionals, explains why being a team leader in an MMORPG or online game such as World of Warcraft or Battlefield is a good training tool for anyone that wants a leadership role in the field. The article highlights the kind of player that is either familiar with a given mission or map, and what skills they might exhibit. For example, somebody familiar with a particular raid in World of Warcraft might exhibit such skills as leadership, collaborative problem solving, situational awareness, dynamic engagement and practical goal orientation.

The problem is that most CIO's will say that the "biggest single challenge they face is a skills gap in these areas and that IT is very bad at developing these skills." At the same time, the article posits, current IT cultures actively suppress these skills" - referring to their disdain for people who play online games. Here's an important excerpt from the article:

"In short, current IT cultures actively suppress these skills. The command and control structure is hierarchical and formally articulated. By contrast, games are meritocracies. While it may seem to those more accustomed to traditional management techniques that cultivating such an environment will lead to anarchy and chaos, the truth is that game environments are highly structured, typically have many more rules than traditional work environments and the players are encouraged to develop strategies to thrive within those rule sets.

CIOs cannot wave a magic wand over the IT department and change all the behavioral norms so that leaders can emerge dynamically and teams will become instantly productive."

The article goes on to explain how CIO's can "take advantage of the gaming phenomenon." Examples include sponsoring gaming events, sending invitations to gamers in the organizations of "strategic customers and business partners," creating a community of gamers within their own organization, and - perhaps the most important of all - CIO's should try gaming for themselves so they can better understand how virtual behavior and skills really can translate to a work environment.

You can read the entire article on IT News.


Comments

Re: Clan Leaders Make Excellent IT Leaders

That's the problem though, isn't it?

Whilst I wouldn't call myself a natural "leader", I've learnt some skills from managing guilds and leading raids in World of Warcraft, but that doesn't mean I'd go and stick that on my CV.

In theory, the idea that games can teach leadership skills is fairly sound; Guild leaders can experience just as many issues as any IT leader can, but in practice, nobody gives a shit.

Unless the people in IT also play online games, I've found that they simply consider video game players to be small fries in comparison to their pieces of papers that apparently prove they're better than you.

 
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Mattsworknameohh, gods that game is pretty, just not my style these days07/29/2015 - 11:49pm
Andrew EisenUbisoft's Child of Light.07/29/2015 - 11:45pm
MattsworknameEnjoy man, Im gonna be playing split second myself07/29/2015 - 11:45pm
Andrew EisenSorry. That just slipped out. Off to play.07/29/2015 - 11:43pm
Andrew EisenWords have meanings, people! Use the damn dictionary! They're online! They're free! Arrggghhhh!07/29/2015 - 11:42pm
Andrew EisenThis is just depressing. I'm gonna go play video games.07/29/2015 - 11:42pm
Mattsworknameproliferation of the whole "internet movment" thing, people dont debate, they try to attack and go after peole to shut them down, casue it's easier then trying to debate the issues07/29/2015 - 11:39pm
MattsworknameWhen you break it down, what it is is the shifting of the media lanscape and how it effects news sites and other groups. once upon a time, you could have run that same article and it would have created debate, not online campagns, now, cause of the07/29/2015 - 11:38pm
MattsworknameCall it waht you wil, but thats how its viewed, not just by me, but by just about EVERYONE right now. Media, new networks, they dont' want to call it what it is, soe they call it "accountability"07/29/2015 - 11:34pm
Andrew Eisen"Gamasutra... had to pay" Yes. That's EXACTLY what it was. "Accountability" is and always was horse poop.07/29/2015 - 11:29pm
MattsworknameSo to speak07/29/2015 - 11:28pm
MattsworknameThats why this happened, you get people who felt hurt, marginalize, bettrayd, or otherwise offended, and they don't actually look at teh facts, they just attack and try to get there Blood for Blood07/29/2015 - 11:28pm
Mattsworknamefalse. Weather you think the article was right or not, there was a large group who felt taht gamastura and the other media sites had to pay for there actions, weather they deserved it or not07/29/2015 - 11:27pm
Andrew EisenTrying to yank advertising over a single opinion piece on a site that I would bet money most of the offended (if you will) didn't read, is no more an attempt at accountability than the Brown shooting's subsequent riots.07/29/2015 - 11:27pm
MattsworknameMy point andrew is that it's not about them, its about the people responding to the situation. THe brown shooting was eventually shown to be completely justified, but the "Black lives matter" meme kept on rolling despite all it's intiall claims being07/29/2015 - 11:26pm
Andrew EisenDude, you're comparing an opinion piece with someone who was shot to death. Gamasutra and Alexander already were accountable for the opinion piece in question.07/29/2015 - 11:25pm
Mattsworknamekinds of events. nor has it stopped them from being asshats in my opinion, but in there view, they have to hold someone accountible for recent events, so they are doing what they think they must, even if it's based on falsehoods07/29/2015 - 11:22pm
MattsworknameAndrew: It's really a matter of context for the people involved. For example. The "Black lives matter" thing is based on an entirely false account of events in the brown shooting, but that hasnt' stopped it from triyng to hold Polititcians accountable for07/29/2015 - 11:22pm
Andrew EisenWouldn't surprise me. A lot of words' actual meanings escape many people on the internet.07/29/2015 - 11:17pm
Andrew EisenSo, "they must be held accountable" means "we must hurt them for publishing an opinion piece we don't like."07/29/2015 - 11:17pm
 

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