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Everything I Know about Managing I Learned Playing Video Games

Can you really translate video game skills into those that a manager in today’s fast-paced, cut-throat business world would need to possess? According to Art Petty in an article for About Money, this parallel is important.

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Today’s business world operates in an environment that can be summed up as “VUCA,” or “volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity.” Add a dash of overload and these are the conditions a manager must learn to not only operate in, but thrive in. Just like in a video game, these obstacles are meant to challenge you and mold your character into something more powerful.

There is a widespread problem within organizations, and that is disengagement. An alarming 60 percent or more of employees are “not engaged or actively disengaged.” Video games on the other hand do not have this human behavioral problem and push their players in a motivational manner. Managers could take note of this and see a more effective way in which to push their employees to strive for excellence or grow from failure.

In order to develop, grow, and become better in anything, people need to be pushed and challenged. This is very much akin to how you need to keep “leveling up” in a video game in order to become more powerful and ultimately beat the game. If you want to grow in your career, you need to overcome challenges, “level up,” and be promoted to the top of your field. Additionally, keep in mind that today’s project successes and innovations are inspired and driven by teams. Teams are the ones that make everything happen:

Many games include collaboration components where you are thrown together with complete strangers from different cultures and all with different skills and abilities, to solve problems or beat the bad guys. And in a real world example of the power of games, a group of gamers on Foldit solved a research problem that had stumped scientists for over a decade. They solved the problem in three weeks. It’s time to figure out how to harness the power of true collaboration in our workplaces.

There are three big lessons that can be taken away from video games:

  1. Engaging with your team is essential.
  2. Professional development and career advancement can be paralleled with “leveling-up.”
  3. Use teams and collaborative efforts to get tasks done.

You can read the original article here: http://management.about.com/od/managementskills/fl/Everything-I-Learned-About-Managing-I-Learned-Playing-Video-Games.htm

About Danielle Koehler

Danielle is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. She has degrees in English and human resource management from Shippensburg University.

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