Gamers make better corporate leaders

The next big CEO the world sees could well be a game junkie! Especially an MMORPG one! According to a new study by IBM and Seriosity, online role playing games are shaping the next generation of corporate leaders, revealing similar qualities in effective leaders in the distributed, global workforce and players of immersive, multi-player online games.

“What we’ve found is that success as a business leader may depend on skills as a gamer,” said Jim Spohrer, Director of Services Research, IBM Research Center in Almaden, Calif. “Smart organizations are recognizing valued employees who play online games and apply their skills and experiences as virtual leaders to their ‘real world’ jobs.”

The studies show that there are significant parallels between online gaming and the future of work. Today’s gamers are learning collaboration, self-organization, risk taking, openness, influence, and how to earn incentives linked to performance and be flexible in the way they communicate.

Seriosity teamed up with IBM’s Global Innovation Outlook to study the dynamics of massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMPORG) which can involve tens of thousands of participants who need to work closely together to achieve certain objectives. By observing how people collaborate and communicate to complete tasks in these virtual communities, key lessons were learned that readily apply to the business world. One of the most important features observed is how online environments allow leaders and managers, as well as anyone with good ideas, to collaborate in organizations that are distributed, global, hyper-competitive and virtual.

As businesses look to virtual worlds to build leaders and cultivate/retain top talent, key features of MMPORG/online gaming environments emerge including:

  • Incentive structures that motivate workers immediately and longer term

  • Virtual economies that create a marketplace for information and collaboration

  • Transparency of performance and capabilities

  • Recognition for achievements

  • Visibility into networks of communication across an organization

Attent from Seriosity was created with exactly these features in mind. Inspired by multiplayer games, Attent creates a virtual economy that for enterprise collaboration and a solution to information overload. Using Serios, the virtual currency of the Attent ecosystem, the solution enables users to assign values to messages based on importance. Attent also provides a variety of tools that enable everyone to track and analyze communication patterns and information exchanges across the enterprise, while providing badges for achievements.

“This research has validated Seriosity’s solutions for creating a platform to transform the business world. The research proves that online games have valuable lessons for success in business,” says Ken Ross, CEO of Seriosity, “Seriosity’s solutions provide the physical link to bridge the virtual and business worlds.”

The IBM and Seriosity joint report can be viewed in its entirety here.

Pic Courtesy: MMORPG

Tags: Gaming, Seriosity, IBM, Survey

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