Thursday, May 23, 2013
Most people argue that games are just for fun and to kill time. How would you consider gaming experience in person’s curriculum vitae asking for a leadership position vacancy? An asset?
Nick Yee surveyed MMORPG players for the first time at the end of the previous millennium. Since then, he has surveyed over 35.000 MMORPG players of the most popular USA MMORPG games. Near 280 respondents wrote about their guild leadership experience. Yee’s findings about leadership can be described in the same terms as in the real world.
First, most novice guild leaders fall into the trap of trying to be everyone’s friend and making sure that everyone in the guild is happy. The most common lesson learned was that it’s simply impossible to please everyone. Second, in any situation where people have different needs and motivations, conflicts will arise. These conflicts tend to be particularly stressful because of the existing friendships and ties within the guild. Inevitably, the guild leader will be asked to become the mediator. Third, many respondents noted that laying down a firm hand was important and that sometimes you have to be tough and say no. Because many guilds start off as small, casual, and friendly guilds, guild leaders often feel conflicted when it comes to disciplining guild members. The next finding was the difficulty in picking the right people for the guild, as well as the difficulty in kicking people out of the guild. In the game and in the real life, the duality of being a leader is well perceived. It is not easy to be a friend and a leader at the same time. The guild leaders highlighted the importance of having ground rules, making people aware of them and being consistent with those rules, which is equal to real-life leadership.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Organizations are made for employees to work there and not opposite: employee should fit the organization. As the organization grows larger and more complex, management at the top lead and decide less by firsthand experience, but rather more and more on heavily processed data. From their standpoint they rarely see business flowing in the same way as do people down in production or on the sales floor. To understand huge amounts of data and information that is streaming toward them, after a throughout long training, they finally achieve to see the reality through the distorting glasses they've had to put on. Decisions they make and the responsibility they shoulder relies on tangible data. But these glasses somehow filter out emotions, feelings, sentiments, moods, and almost all the nuances of human situations that are part of everyday organizational culture consequently filtering or better losing all the tacit knowledge that drives business processes.
Organizational culture is the sum of values and rituals defined by rules. It is also a part of a “bigger picture” that surrounds an organization. This poses some problems if organization shock-wave through different cultures.
Four decades ago IBM tried to unify corporate culture in its subsidiaries all over the world. Geert Hofstede carried out a world-wide survey on employee values. The result was very informative and demonstrative. There were other researchers of the same topic too. A common conclusion of all those studies is that “we are definitely different”.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Old Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi quoted Confucius: ‘Men do not use running water as a mirror; they only use the still water.’ Only things that are still in themselves can still other things.”
Why the power of stability is so important? The ground on which we stand can hold up tall buildings, high trees, and us as well. Gravity pulls us to the center of our planet. The ground pushes back with precisely the same force, effortlessly in the opposite direction of gravity, and is therefore called the ground reaction force. No wonder grounding is considered so important in martial arts. It resists power and accepts energies. A stability lies within what one knows and how one lives his live each day.
Stability is not equal to rigidity. It is fundamental to all fighting techniques. The ability to control your movements, to develop, and to receive power originates in stability. Losing stability means losing control. Without control you cannot win. A good fighter knows that during the battle, the sun should be in the eyes of your opponent and not facing yours. Secondly, stability is being able to float safely on each wave of change. Lower a fighter’s position is and the lowest his center of gravity is, the better stability he has. But, while increasing stability lowering a center of gravity lessens mobility. There are always trade-offs but you should balance them into win-win situation.
Saturday, May 4, 2013
“People work predominantly for a reward”. Many MBA students hear and then use in order to control workers’ performance.
Motivation is an enigmatic thing. In different types of organizations managers all around the world struggle to motivate employees to get the best out of them. And this is a crucial activity on all levels of an organization.
Being a boss does not necessarily mean being a good leader or motivator. There are countless examples reporting intolerable task masters, or ultimate micro-manager, or even horrid manager thus creating a horrible work environment... and the list goes on and on. This kind of a boss is definitely not favored by employees and no motivation comes from him/her. Instead, workers are deeply demotivated by injustices, emptiness of demands, inconsistencies, lack of transparency, self-importance, arrogance, superiority, miss-communication, or even management incompetence. They just try to survive. Still, some of these bosses climb the current Forbes 400 list.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Have you ever wondered what the ultimate goal of an organization is?
Today’s management will conclusively respond that organization strives to achieve only one ultimate goal: to become a profit oriented “machine”. That is why the key device of modern management is in lowering costs: pushing on suppliers’ side, on employees, on product development and production, to name just some. But is this “ceteris paribus” solution, focusing only on one parameter and all other things being equal or held constant, sustainable in long term? Or it spirally aims down and not up? Cost reduction – instead of cost optimizing in an economic system causes the only possible outcome – less money in circulation. The customers are also reducing and optimizing their costs according to their income.
How often have we heard that people are the biggest asset of a company? They, on the other hand, are costs. If they work, they produce cost, if they attain a training program it is again cost, if they visit a customer ... costs. How differently people are treated from tools that for us represent the investment. But the smallest football club in the league knows that buying a player is not a cost – it is an asset, an investment. And they treat him accordingly. Not so in many modern companies. By, among other things, ignoring this, leads us to risky situations far away from the business objectives. There is a Gallup-poll of a 1.5 million sampling, and the result is: 30% of employees are happy with their managers, 20% are not, and 50% have disengaged themselves in having any feelings at all.