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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NeenekoAh, that old straw man. That is one of the ironies about the discussion, the whole point is showing how good people can still have problems with sexism and not realize it.09/17/2014 - 9:11pm
Andrew EisenYes, there have been a handful of op-eds suggesting that the term “gamer” has become tainted (two that I know of) but that’s the opinion of only a few. I've seen an equal number from those who disagree.09/17/2014 - 8:55pm
Andrew EisenExcept, you haven't provided a single example of a site that’s actually calling gamers a "collective of Sexist White Bigoted Basement Dwelling Manchildren."09/17/2014 - 8:55pm
TechnogeekIf you want to make the stereotype of gamers less painful, try calling people out when they do bad shit rather than handwave it away as "not all gamers". Even if it is a few bad apples, that'll still more than enough to spoil the barrel.09/17/2014 - 8:53pm
quiknkoldI'm not going to Sell Gamergate anymore. It can sell itself. But I will sell the integrity of the Gamer. That we are still good people, who create and donate to charitys, Who engage with those around us and just want to have a good time.09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
quiknkoldpeople should not be harrassed and punished for the actions of a few. I've always welcomed and accepted everybody who wanted to join in. Who wanted to make them, or play them. I love good strong female protagonists, and want more.09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
quiknkoldOne of the tennants of Gamergate is to stand up against Harrassment. That Gamers arent like those assholes. We can argue for days if the Sexism or Antifeminism or corruption is there or not, But the one thing I believe in and wear on my sleave is that09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
quiknkoldBut there were these websites, attacking me and people like me, for the actions of a few. and then others joined in on Twitter and other places. there was a hashtag that said "explain in 4 words a gamer" and it made me sick.09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
quiknkoldManchildren who are awful people and that the Identity of the Gamer should die. This hurt me personally. I've always identified as a Gamer. Even in my childhood years, I was a Gamer. All my friends are Gamers. Its one of the core parts of my identity.09/17/2014 - 7:34pm
quiknkoldUltimately, With the whole Gamergate thing, I jumped on it due to the harassment. A small number of assholes harrass Anita and Zoe, and then all the publications lumped together Gamers as this collective of Sexist White Bigoted Basement Dwelling09/17/2014 - 7:34pm
quiknkoldEZacharyKnight : Lemme ask you a question. We have people who cling to walls, people who fire lasers from their eyes, people who can shapeshift....and yet fabric needs to be upheld to RL physics?09/17/2014 - 6:54pm
james_fudgebody paint?09/17/2014 - 5:33pm
E. Zachary Knightquiknkold, I stand corrected on the buttcrack thing. Still, I know of no fabric that actually does that.09/17/2014 - 5:05pm
Andrew EisenSo... it's unethical to discuss the ethics surrounding public interest vs. personal privacy?09/17/2014 - 4:45pm
prh99The source for the game was just released not long ago, it's at https://github.com/keendreams/keen09/17/2014 - 4:43pm
prh99An Indiegogo champagin bought the rights to the early 90's game Keen Dreams to make it open source and release it on GOG etc. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/let-s-get-keen-dreams-re-released-legally09/17/2014 - 4:42pm
james_fudgeAlso http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/09/17/Exposed-the-secret-mailing-list-of-the-gaming-journalism-elite09/17/2014 - 4:29pm
Andrew EisenI read the Kotaku story. Nowhere does it say anything close to "Gamers are white bigoted sexist losers." It's commenting specifically on the crap being slung at people discussing gender issues in games. So, what's the problem?09/17/2014 - 4:06pm
Andrew EisenYeah, I can imagine Spiderwoman posed like in your second link.09/17/2014 - 4:00pm
Andrew EisenThat's not the same pose. Spiderman (who is wearing an actual outfit rather than body paint) is crouched low to the ground. Kinda like a spider! Spiderwoman has her butt up in the air like she's waiting to be mounted.09/17/2014 - 3:59pm
 

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