In an online response to our recent essay “The Gamer Disposition” and its discussion of leadership in MMOGs, Joi Ito wondered whether playing games creates the gamer disposition (bottom line orientation, embracing diversity, thriving on change, seeing learning as fun, and marinating on the edge) or whether they simply tend to attract the kinds of people that already have that disposition.The question Ito poses is the 21st century equivalent of the age old problem: Are leaders born or made? Or perhaps, in our context: Are gamers born or made.
Read the entire article to get a flavor for how management leaders coming from a gaming background attack problems in very different ways than old style, GE approaches. Leaders of online guilds view management problems as quests to be solved, not a specifications that they have to follow.
… he believed that part of solving the challenge/quest was finding the resources to accomplish the task. From his success in the game world he was confident that he could find skilled people and attract them to work on his quest no matter where they were in the corporation. Such attitudes, while disruptive in most corporations (jumping over silos and seducing folks to work on YOUR problem) are commonplace in games.
Businesses will have to get used to the gaming mentality as more and more people are entering the workforce with this sort of ‘experience.’ These leaders will gravitate to the companies that permit them to lead. Interesting that people learn management skills while playing a game.