IBM Global Business ServicesIBM Institute for Business Value                                   Human Capital              ...
IBM Institute for Business Value   IBM Global Business Services, through the IBM Institute for Business Value,develops fac...
Leadership in a distributed worldLessons from online gamingBy Michael DeMarco, Eric Lesser and Tony O’Driscoll            ...
a necessity. And in today’s dynamic business      environment, leaders must take more risks      and execute with greater ...
Leadership in a distributed worldLessons from online gaming                                The future of work and leadersh...
Making the connection between                                          Leadership behaviors     corporate and gaming leade...
FIGURE 2.                                 Leadership behaviors used in this study.                                  We det...
FIGURE 3.       Relevance of leadership behaviors.                                                             100        ...
on painting a long-term picture of the future for   into manageable pieces and by distributing                           o...
Leadership tools and capabilities                                      tions for execution and drive toward the     To suc...
Navigate instantly to the place where people          View operational status and communication                           ...
Leading in gaming and corporate                      particular person even when you do not      environments: Is the anal...
Said one respondent, “In games, leadership           nizing knowledge and ideas, enabling group                           ...
5. Use dashboards linked to collaborative           Conclusion      tools to capture key realtime information           On...
FIGURE 5.      Actions, tools and anticipated impact.                                      Leadership       Recommendation...
About the authors                                  Tony O’Driscoll leads Performance      Michael DeMarco is a Senior Cons...
Appendix 1 – About our study                      FIGURE 6.     For our study, we collected 214 survey            Survey r...
References      1       	 Nelsestuen, Rodney. “Online Social Worlds         as Emerging Markets: A Dose of (Virtual)      ...
© Copyright IBM Corporation 2007	 IBM Global Services  Route 100  Somers, NY 10589  U.S.A.	 Produced in the United States ...
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  1. 1. IBM Global Business ServicesIBM Institute for Business Value Human Capital ManagementLeadership ina distributedworldLessons fromonline gaming
  2. 2. IBM Institute for Business Value IBM Global Business Services, through the IBM Institute for Business Value,develops fact-based strategic insights for senior business executives around critical industry-specific and cross-industry issues. This executive brief is based on anin-depth study by the Institute’s research team. It is part of an ongoing commitment by IBM Global Business Services to provide analysis and viewpoints that helpcompanies realize business value. You may contact the authors or send an e-mail to for more information.
  3. 3. Leadership in a distributed worldLessons from online gamingBy Michael DeMarco, Eric Lesser and Tony O’Driscoll Globalization is placing new demands on today’s corporate leaders. As organizations continue to expand and operate in a more virtual environment, executives are being asked to provide guidance and direction to teams working across time zones and distances. In addition, the competitive environment is requiring leaders to make sense of increasingly disparate sources of information and make decisions more rapidly. In this changing environment, where can organizations turn to see the future of leadership? How can they determine the skills and tools that leaders will need to be successful? We believe that online gaming provides a window into the future of organizations and the leadership capabilities necessary to guide enterprises to success. Introduction Numbers aside, the similarities between the Initially, seasoned executives might scoff at online, globe-spanning gaming world and the notion of learning leadership lessons from the emerging picture of the globally inte- the world of computer games. Yet, massively grated enterprise of the future are actually multiplayer online role-playing games quite striking. As technological innovation (MMORPGs), which bring together thousands enables companies to disaggregate and send of simultaneous players in a fast-paced increasing amounts of work to employees online environment, can provide an inter- and external partners around the world, orga- esting portent for the future of organizations. nizations are conducting more work virtually. MMORPGs represent a growing business that, Corporate leaders must both coordinate and according to the TowerGroup, will reach 40 motivate individuals who are separated by million people and generate over US$9 billion time zones and cultures. Collaboration – at an in revenue by 2010. 1 individual and corporate level – has become Leadership in a distributed world
  4. 4. a necessity. And in today’s dynamic business environment, leaders must take more risks and execute with greater speed – briskly connecting talent and moving information and knowledge around the globe to fulfill organizational needs. Obviously, the stakes are much higher in business than in gaming, and we do not mean to trivialize the operational challenges of a global enterprise in any way. However, we do believe the world of MMORPGs – and the behavior of leaders who guide guilds of globally-dispersed gamers – can offer fresh insights into the development of new leader- ship capabilities for global enterprises. IBM Global Business Services IBM Global Business Services
  5. 5. Leadership in a distributed worldLessons from online gaming The future of work and leadership: While studying the personal attributes of Insight from MMORPGs online gaming leaders is useful, perhaps In today’s increasingly global business envi- more important is the role the environment ronment, companies are being forced to plays in their development. Many of the conduct more work virtually. Besides being qualities of online game environments facili- more distributed, the business world has tate leadership, and speed up the process of become faster paced and intensely competi- developing leaders. tive. For today’s corporate leaders, engaging Recent research done by IBM, Byron Reeves the hearts and minds of individuals who are from Stanford University, Tom Malone from located around the globe has proven difficult, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology especially in emerging economies where (MIT), and Seriosity, a company that Professor plentiful job opportunities and rising wage Reeves co-founded to develop products and rates make it difficult to hold onto the best and services based on the intersection of business the brightest. and gaming, highlights significant parallels Though work and play With organizations struggling to find traction between online gaming and the future of 2 in this rapidly changing global environment, work. Both environments: have historically been where can they turn for guidance on building a • Bring together large numbers of participants considered distinct leadership toolkit for the future? in highly complex virtual environments activities, the two are Harkening back to the old adage about “all • Enable participants to self-organize, develop becoming much more work and no play,” it turns out that MMORPGs skills and take on changing rolessimilar than executives can offer a glimpse into the future of work. • Require constant risk taking, iterative might suspect. In MMORPGs, leaders develop and operate improvement and the ability to accept failure in environments that are highly distributed, • Provide incentives that are clearly linked to global, hyper-competitive and virtual – not contribution and performance unlike today’s business world. In these sophisticated gaming environments, leaders • Make participants’ capabilities openly known recruit, organize, motivate and direct large • Require collaboration and a leader who can groups of players toward a common goal. influence collaborative approaches They must make decisions quickly, often • Provide sophisticated and varied communi- based on incomplete information. With this cation channels. backdrop, it’s easy to see how some of the qualities of gifted gaming leaders are very similar to those needed in a corporate setting. Leadership in a distributed world
  6. 6. Making the connection between Leadership behaviors corporate and gaming leadership Academics and business thought leaders Given the parallels between the gaming envi- have developed countless leadership models ronment and the globally integrated enterprise over the ages to identify the key behav- of the 21st century, we decided to explore the ioral attributes required for success. For our similarities and differences in leadership across purposes, we sought a leadership model or both domains. To do so, we tapped into an models that would enable us to better frame extensive cohort of gamers who work for IBM. our comparison of leadership within the For this study, we collected survey responses gaming and corporate worlds. Ultimately, we from 214 professionals who participate in a used a hybrid of our internal IBM leadership community of online gaming enthusiasts. (For model and a well-known leadership framework study demographics, please see Appendix 1). developed by MIT Sloan faculty members Because these respondents have experience Deborah Ancona, Wanda Orlikowski, Peter 3 in both the corporate and gaming worlds, we Senge and Tom Malone. believe they are well-suited to evaluate leader- ship behaviors in both environments. Using our model, we developed 19 survey questions related to four pivotal leadership We focused our research on three areas (see behaviors (see Figure 2 for a list of the 19 Figure 1): topics): • Which leadership behaviors are most • Visioning – Setting a vision for what that relevant in online and corporate settings? organization can be in the future • Which tools and capabilities benefit leaders • Evaluating – Gathering information to in both environments? determine strategic risks for the organization • How relevant are the parallels between lead- • Collaborating – Leveraging the value of ership in the online and corporate worlds? connections and relationships to overcome organizational barriers and accomplish key activities • Executing – Getting the most out of followers and achieving desired results. FIGURE 1. Areas of study focus. • Visioning • Developing individuals • Evaluating Behaviors • Providing incentives • Collaborating • Evaluating progress Game environment • Executing • Enabling communication, and tools collaboration and connection Perception of relevance to business Source: IBM Institute for Business Value. IBM Global Business Services
  7. 7. FIGURE 2. Leadership behaviors used in this study. We determined the importance of each of the four leadership behaviors – visioning, evaluating, collaborating and executing – by surveying our respondents about the 19 specific sub-behaviors shown below: Visioning 1. Creates a compelling vision of new possibilities for the organization 2. Expresses confidence in own abilities, experience and judgment 3. Sets high expectations for what the organization can do 4. Assures long-term sustainability of effort through commitment to a common purpose/vision Evaluating 5. Gathers, validates and integrates nontraditional sources of information 6. Makes rapid, data-driven decisions that address the immediate situation and considers the longer-term impact 7. Supports brokering of information and sharing of resources 8. Seeks opportunities to stretch his or her own abilities and experiment with new things 9. Learns from mistakes of self and others Virtually all of the key Collaborating leadership behaviors 10. Creates and maintains strong personal relationships and contacts at multiple levels 11. Follows through on commitments and demonstrates consistency between words and actions are exhibited in both 12. Rallies the hearts and minds of others around a common cause and creates a sense of commitment gaming and corporate 13. Gives positive feedback on performance in the moment 14. Considers the implications of own actions on others and adjusts accordinglyenvironments, although Executing their perceived 15. Creates new work structures and approaches 16. Translates seemingly unattainable goals into manageable pieces importance varies 17. Sets clear performance expectations and helps others understand the importance of the goal somewhat. 18. Monitors, organizes and drives others relentlessly toward an established goal 19. Demonstrates resilience and emotional stamina when difficulties and problems occur, taking responsibility for the situation. Source: IBM Institute for Business Value analysis; adapted from IBM internal leadership models as well as the work of Deborah Ancona in “Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty,” MIT Leadership Center Research Brief, 2005. From the survey, we identified a number of qualities demonstrated in corporate and important results: gaming settings. However, as we show later in the paper, there are some differences in Overall, leadership behaviors appear the relative importance of behaviors in the to be relevant in both gaming and corporate and gaming environments. corporate environments. One behavior that appeared to be an outlier It was apparent from our analysis that virtually focused on “monitoring, organizing and driving all of the leadership behaviors were perceived others relentlessly toward an established goal.” as valuable in both the corporate and gaming Individuals in the sample believed that this settings. While the relative importance of behavior held relatively less importance in each of the 19 behaviors was slightly lower for both the corporate and gaming worlds. This gaming leadership, overall, these behaviors suggests that self-organizing and regulating were still found to be highly relevant (see behaviors may be more appropriate in an Figure 3). This reinforces previous research increasingly flexible and virtual environment. conducted by IBM and Seriosity that high- lights the similarities between the leadership Leadership in a distributed world
  8. 8. FIGURE 3. Relevance of leadership behaviors. 100 1 (Percent indicating relevant or highly relevant) 17 11 9 16 19 10 95 3 7 5 14 4 13 156 8 12 90 2 Corporate 85 80 Red Visioning 18 Blue Evaluating Black Collaboration 75 Green Executing 0 0 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100 MMORPG (Percent indicating relevant or highly relevant) Note: The numbers here correspond to the behaviors listed in Figure 2. Source: IBM Institute for Business Value. Collaborative behaviors are vital to members.” Similarly, in corporate environments where employees are becoming increasingly leadership success within MMORPGs distributed and virtual, the ability to foster and will be increasingly so within collaboration will become an even more corporate environments. critical leadership quality in the future. While our respondents found collaborative Visioning is more important to behaviors to be important for both corporate and gaming leaders, the relative importance corporate environments because the was greater for gaming leaders. In a virtual business playing field lacks the many environment, where leaders do not have predefined dimensions that lend face-to-face interaction with their followers, structure to games. building personal leadership credibility takes on a premium and requires finding new ways In our findings, we learned that behaviors to win the hearts and minds of others. The associated with visioning were ranked higher best gaming leaders build credibility by first in corporate environments than in gaming creating strong personal relationships with environments. In fact, respondents identified their followers. As one survey respondent said, “creating a compelling vision of new possibili- “In games, it’s important to be able to find ties for an organization” as the single most what motivates an individual and try to cater important behavior for corporate leaders. to that need as best you can…your raw skills Because many game dimensions and desired in a game are not as important as the ability outcomes are predefined, it’s understandable to communicate, organize and activate guild that gaming leaders may place less emphasis IBM Global Business Services
  9. 9. on painting a long-term picture of the future for into manageable pieces and by distributing others. Even so, gamers rely on leaders to use feedback immediately upon the comple- visioning behaviors for motivational purposes. tion of a particular objective. Because action As one respondent stated, “It’s important to happens fast in games, rewards are also have a vision to rally your team around, but the distributed rapidly, which serves to reinforce vision must be concrete. Vague concepts don’t desired values and motivate toward longer- rally teams for long.” term stretch goals that require resilience and stamina on the parts of both the players and Evaluating is an important skill for the leader. both MMORPG and corporate leaders One survey respondent commented on who must gather information from execution within games by saying, “Strong far-flung sources and quickly and leadership in MMORPGs involves having a decisively chart a course for action. definite goal for the group, or guild, motivating it toward that goal and breaking steps up Respondents ranked In games, learning-by-doing is key. The so they are attainable.” Again, we see basic best leaders collect and evaluate data, take leadership fundamentals on display, but in the“creating a compelling decisive action, judge the results of that context of fast-moving, virtual environments, vision of new action then respond accordingly. Aligning the the fundamentals require more rapid leader- possibilities” as the evaluation process with the dynamic business ship responses to effectively guide a team. most critical behavior environment of the 21st century will not happen overnight, as the survey respondent suggested for corporate leaders. Implications when saying, “Failure to achieve a goal on the first try must be used as a learning experience Overall, we see that leadership behaviors are and is not unusual in MMORPGs; reattempting universal, but the relative importance of those with new knowledge is an important way of behaviors shifts in a virtual world. We learned that: progressing in MMORPGs…In the corporate • Virtual leaders must focus on developing environment…reattempting is hard.” trust among people who may never physically interact. Executing in games, and in more • “Visioning” will remain among the most flexible corporations, is enabled by important behaviors for leaders of globally aligning frequent feedback with both integrated enterprises to master while commu- nicating to a global workforce engulfed in short- and long-term incentives tied constant change. clearly to goals. • Effective leaders will use readily available data In games and at work, people will “play” where to make quick decisions and more frequent they feel best treated and where rewards mid-stream corrections. are consistent not only with their economic • Leaders focused on execution will motivate needs but also with their values. Our research employees with on-the-spot feedback and shows that the best gaming leaders motivate rewards that are aligned with strategic accordingly by breaking desired outcomes imperatives. Leadership in a distributed world
  10. 10. Leadership tools and capabilities tions for execution and drive toward the To succeed, a leader must not only demon- agreed-upon goal. These communications strate certain behaviors, but also apply tools take place over a variety of channels, such and techniques to increase the impact of their as voice, e-mail and instant messaging. This behaviors. As part of our study, we asked our allows leaders to reinforce critical messages respondents about 24 capabilities typically and helps ensure that individuals in the field found within online gaming environments and are providing input to leaders and coordinating asked which were the most important in terms with others on an ongoing basis. of enhancing leadership effectiveness in the corporate environment (see Figure 4 for a Identify and develop the skills/abilities of your complete list). character. In games, by identifying the skills/ abilities of players, leaders not only allocate From the list of 24, six capabilities were ranked tasks in the short term, but also help players highest by survey participants: determine their own skills and interests. From Communicate in realtime on multiple channels. there, they show those players how they can To win, leaders must communicate with team acquire the skills necessary to play other members to gather data for evaluation, identify roles within the team over the medium to the right people for the right task, offer instruc- long term. FIGURE 4. Leadership tools and capabilities. We surveyed our respondents on the importance of 24 environmental areas and their applicability to corporate environments: Developing individuals 1. Understand your guild’s place in the culture/lore of the game 2. Understand your guild’s position within the game (e.g., maps, ranking) 3. Choose how you represent yourself within the game (e.g., avatar) 4. Understand your character’s role within the guild 5. Identify and develop the skills/abilities of your character 6. Quantify and recognize status/capability/reputation (e.g., levels) Providing incentives 7. Accumulate assets and earn status/experience/points 8. Determine value of participating in a raid/quest beforehand 9. Entice capable players to participate in a raid/quest 10. Use performance data to determine raid/quest contribution/merit 11. Immediately share winnings from a successful raid/quest 12. See what others earned for their participation in a raid/quest Evaluating progress 13. View the rank/level/experience of characters you are playing with/against 14. View operational status and communication channels simultaneously 15. View game-play unfold from different perspectives 16. View capability data of guild members (rank, level, health, time on task, location in physical space) in realtime 17. View and track individual/guild progress and level/status relative to others Enabling communication, collaboration and connection 18. Communicate in realtime on multiple channels 19. Switch between public and private communication channels (e.g., broadcast, narrowcast, microcast) 20. Communicate nonverbally through avatar appearance and actions 21. Integrate voice, visuals and text in communication 22. Discuss or construct objects in the 3-D space 23. Navigate instantly to the place where people you want to connect with are located 24. Quickly find capable players to participate in a raid/quest. Source: IBM Institute for Business Value. IBM Global Business Services
  11. 11. Navigate instantly to the place where people View operational status and communication you want to connect with are located. In a channels simultaneously. Having the ability to virtual world, instant navigation to common view operational status and communicate at locations allows leaders to get “in front” of their the same time allows for the fluid handoff of followers to take responsibility for their actions, responsibilities and enables faster decision get to know the team, build trust and create making. Gaming leaders are also rapidly the esprit de corp needed for victory. Having assessed and ultimately judged based on a single meeting location gives each member their visioning, evaluating, collaborating and of the team a virtual “place” where they know executing abilities, and less on their political they can find others without having to waste acumen. valuable time and energy. Implications As corporate leaders Accumulate assets and earn status, experi- The tools and capabilities that help gaming leaders find themselves ence and points. In games, players can earn a excel can also inform the leadership strategies variety of rewards that reflect their contribution operating in more virtual of corporate leaders. Operating in a more virtual to the game. Leaders use these incentives environment may require business leaders to: environments, many of transparently to encourage behaviors and • Take extra steps to overcome physicalthe tools and capabilities collaboration and show “what’s in it” for isolation, help employees see where their used by game leaders players, thereby aligning individual and team strengths lie, get them the right training and goals. Short-term incentives provide instantbecome more applicable. project opportunities and remind them of their feedback that can help boost morale, energize roles and importance to the team. action and correct behavior. • Provide frequent incentives to add some Quickly locate capable players to participate tangibility for those working together virtually, in raid/quest. Given the scattered and diverse offer status among electronically connected locations of players in the virtual world, finding peers, and help them link their everyday the right people with the right capabilities actions to corporate goals. on short notice can make the difference in • Take action more quickly by leveraging online games. This is particularly true given new realtime communication channels and the voluntary nature of participation in such virtual communities to bring individuals to a endeavors. In the corporate world – a similar central “location” and enable participants to analogy holds true – finding available talent collaborate, evaluate and execute. from around the world to work on new oppor- tunities or fill existing gaps is often a task that many organizations currently find significantly challenging. Leadership in a distributed world
  12. 12. Leading in gaming and corporate particular person even when you do not environments: Is the analogy relevant? have formal authority over him. This is similar One of the important issues we examined to…situations where we need to team with was the extent to which our respondents colleagues within corporations.” believed in the relevance of online gaming as • Three-quarters believe that the environ- a metaphor for the future of leadership within mental factors within MMORPGs can be organizations. While the level of buy-in varied, applied to enhance leadership effective- the following results suggest that increasingly ness for the globally integrated enterprise. virtual corporations and their leaders can Respondents indicated that any tool that benefit from a better understanding of what enhances the ability of a gaming leader drives successful leaders of MMORPGs: to better collaborate, vision, evaluate or • More than one-third (39 percent) believe execute – whether that tool be an instant that MMORPG leadership approaches can messaging capability or expressive avatar be used to improve leadership effectiveness – ought to be applicable to the virtual within the enterprise. These respondents business world. Said one respondent, indicated that the skills and techniques of “Staying in touch with the members of the the gaming leader can be documented team is crucial for success in the game. One and transferred directly to the leadership of important factor is the ability to communi- the virtual corporation. As one respondent cate via chat either in the game or using an explained, “I believe that the interpersonal, instant messaging tool at work and recog- leadership and management dynamics nizing the mood, intention and goals of the of online games can be learned and person you are communicating with.” developed in games, then mapped directly to a virtualized business environment. This While many agreed that there were close mapping does not necessarily require that connections between the online gaming and the leadership or those being led have corporate environments, there were some experience in online gaming, only that the noted dissenters. Some skeptics state that skills and techniques learned in the game games are played only for fun and that the context be used in the business context.” risks taken have no consequences. Consider the respondent who said, “When gaming, • Nearly half (49 percent) state that game- while you do want to win, there is no perceived playing has improved their real-world real-life consequence when something goes leadership capabilities. In the same way that terribly wrong…In the real world, any major certain high school and college athletes or mistake at a job could cost you that job, or class officers gain leadership experience even your career.” that carries over into the corporate environ- ment, these respondents see opportunities Still other participants saw plenty that could within the workplace to apply techniques and should be adapted from games but practiced and mastered within the gaming doubted the ability of corporations to do so environment. According to one respondent, because of risk aversion, insufficient dedica- “MMORPGS provide a test of how to work tion to people, and command-and-control in teams and best utilize the potential of a cultures.10 IBM Global Business Services
  13. 13. Said one respondent, “In games, leadership nizing knowledge and ideas, enabling group is all about empowerment and risk-taking. meetings, brainstorming or simply “hanging Although we’d like to think that parallels out.” Providing a central location helps indi- business, I don’t think it does at normal viduals avoid the fragmentation of information management levels.” Another remarked, “Team that often occurs in distributed organizations leadership in corporations is not as concerned and creates a “center of gravity” that encour- with inclusiveness and knowing who the ages individuals to participate and contribute. person is.” A third skeptic added, “There is next to no leadership in corporations….in 3. Spend more time on setting organizational general, corporate culture drives true leaders context and communicating where the orga- away. You see, corporations don’t want leaders. nization needs to go. To create a compelling They want followers.” vision for the future with employees they are unlikely to ever meet in person, leaders need Lessons from the online gaming to provide context that enables people to world: Recommendations for understand their roles within the team and the organization. That sounds simple enough, organizations but when employees are spread around the Based on our study, we highlight six recom- globe, come from many cultures and speak mendations for leaders looking to increase many languages, it takes some planning their effectiveness in a distributed world: and effort to make everyone feel valued and 1. Apply virtual communication tools and facili- part of the team. Emerging communicationCorporate leaders can use tation techniques to more effectively connect channels such as podcasts and blogs cana range of communication people from around the world. Collaborating in help communicate key messages across tools to stay connected a global, virtual environment requires the ability distributed environments and engage newer with employees in virtual for individuals to connect with one another. generations of employees in the strategy of environments. Technologies such as instant messaging, the organization. virtual white boarding and videoconferencing can enable realtime interaction, while e-mail 4. Improve the visibility of both formal and and discussion forums can help individuals informal skills. In a global business environ- connect while their counterparts are offline. ment, decisions need to be made fast. The However, the tools themselves are only one leader who has data at the ready to enable part of the effort. To communicate effectively the right people to staff the right projects in a virtual environment, skilled leaders must will likely get the best results. While iden- know how to mediate conflict, draw individuals tifying individuals using a formal process into the discussion and actively engage appro- is important, having information on more priate parties in the topic at hand. personal factors – interests, hobbies, culture and the like – can improve project team 2. Use collaborative spaces to gather chemistry and help ensure the right blend of knowledge, express ideas and concerns skills and personalities. and share passions. Another key to collabo- ration among distributed employees is the creation of centralized spaces for orga- 11 Leadership in a distributed world
  14. 14. 5. Use dashboards linked to collaborative Conclusion tools to capture key realtime information Online gaming provides us with what we about people, activities and outcomes. The believe is a unique look into the future of dynamic global business leader needs to tomorrow’s organization. To succeed in a more be able to constantly gather, integrate and global, faster-paced business environment, broker information in realtime to quickly take organizations will need to consider both the risks, experiment, stretch the organization behaviors they are going to need their future and evaluate results. Dashboards that pull leaders to demonstrate, and the tools and data from the right sources at the right time to techniques leaders will need to master. This enable these decisions are increasingly critical has a range of implications for organizations, to leaders operating in virtual environments. from the design of leadership development programs to the prioritization of future IT 6. Provide more frequent guidance and link budgets. By leveraging the lessons from online performance to recognition. A key lesson gaming environments, companies can gain a learned from the online gaming world is the better understanding of the ways in which the importance of rapid feedback and a close next generation of leaders will need to operate linkage between performance and incen- in the future. tives. In a virtual world, where people may not regularly engage with their direct manager, it is The journey toward globalization won’t always very important that employees receive regular be easy. But we believe, by implementing input on their performance, including areas of these recommendations, the game of global strength and needed improvement. Further, business will be more fun, leaders will gain an recognition vehicles should be put into place edge over their competitors, and the odds of so that individuals can more easily see how seeing the “game over” message flash on the their actions contribute to the organization. screen will be reduced. For each of these recommendations, Figure Related publications 5 shows the related improvement actions For more information on the IBM Global leaders can take, the technologies or inno- Innovation Outlook, please visit: vations leaders can apply and the benefits leaders can expect from properly executed implementations.12 IBM Global Business Services
  15. 15. FIGURE 5. Actions, tools and anticipated impact. Leadership Recommendation development actions Tools Organizational impact Apply virtual • Learn about the features, • Instant messaging • Improved employee morale due to enhanced communication tools and capabilities and appropriate • Video conferencing communication and vision-sharing from facilitation techniques to use of different virtual • Blogs leadership more effectively connect communication channels • Voice over Internet • Faster decision making through an enhanced people from around the • Incorporate virtual Protocol (VoIP) ability to communicate with experts in world communication tools into day- • E-mail realtime to-day work activities • Better recruitment success with young, “wired” professionals (and gamers) Use collaborative spaces to • Develop a level of comfort in • Collaborative spaces • Improved project management and gather knowledge, express using collaborative spaces and • Wikis knowledge management through ideas and concerns and tools • Online communities centralization and organization of explicit share passions • Identify and champion the • Blogs knowledge use of informal communities • Virtual worlds (e.g., • Increased teamwork and efficiency through of strategic value to the Second Life) use of online spaces for specific projects, organization meetings or brainstorming sessions • Incorporate the use of • Increased visibility and flow of innovative collaborative spaces into major ideas from all areas of the organization work efforts • Increased ability to evaluate and gauge employee contribution • Higher morale and retention through the development of online communities Spend more time on setting • Create, tailor and communicate • Video conferencing • Increased awareness of vision among organizational context and a corporate vision and strategy • Multiuser interactive diverse global employee base communicating where the that resonates with a diverse events (live and stored) • Improved morale and retention as organization needs to go set of employees • Large-scale collaborative employees understand where they fit within • Develop program to events their company and where the company fits systematically communicate • Intranet sites within the business environment vision globally • Blogs • Increased sense of ownership and desire • Develop feedback mechanism • Wikis to contribute to vision from engaged to evaluate program • E-mail employees effectiveness Improve the visibility of • Enable employees to develop • Personal employee spaces • Increased speed and effectiveness in staffing both formal and informal personal spaces that increase • Expertise locators teams and projects skills transparency of employee • Skills management • Increased retention and motivation of skills, interests and availability systems top employees through true results- and • Use expertise locators and • Tagging Web sites of expertise-driven staffing skill management systems to common interest - • Greater ability to provide feedback on skill staff teams based on skills and folksonomies levels availability Use dashboards linked • Identify business drivers and • Automated dashboards • Improved speed and accuracy of worldwide to collaborative tools metrics that impact decision with realtime data feeds decision making through effective gathering to capture key realtime making from: and sharing of data information about people, • Develop dashboards that reflect − Expertise locators • Increased visibility of trends and activities and outcomes key metrics − Skill management systems opportunities − Employee portals • Improved forecasting and planning − Knowledge databases capabilities based on most-recent and most- − External and internal data valuable global data available and news feeds • Improved risk-taking capacity through better data management Provide more frequent • Look for opportunities to • Communication channels • Increased alignment between worldwide guidance and link provide more frequent feedback that can be used to employee behavior and leadership goals performance to recognition on employee performance promote new incentive • Appreciation and reinforcement of leadership • Develop capabilities to systems that provides clear expectations and recognize individuals “on the • Personal portals and responds rapidly when expectations are met spot” and highlight desired organizational intranets through financial compensation, awards or behaviors/results that display achievements promotions • Communicate and share • Increased retention and morale because recognition among team employees feel valued by leadership members Source: IBM Institute for Business Value.13 Leadership in a distributed world
  16. 16. About the authors Tony O’Driscoll leads Performance Michael DeMarco is a Senior Consultant Architecture Analysis and Design for IBM with the IBM Institute for Business Value Learning. He has in-depth knowledge and and focuses his efforts on Human Capital extensive experience in optimizing and Management. He has 11 years of consulting managing organizational performance, and experience in a range of areas including he has consulted with business leaders human capital, financial management and around the world on how to create sustained performance measurement. He has authored competitive advantage in an increasingly two books. Michael is based in Lancaster, networked and knowledge-enabled global Pennsylvania and can be contacted at economy. Dr. O’Driscoll is also an adjunct faculty member at North Carolina State University’s Colleges of Management and Eric Lesser is an Associate Partner with Education. He currently serves as a Research over 15 years of research and consulting Fellow for the American Society of Training experience in the area of human capital and Development (ASTD) and as a member management. He is currently responsible for of the Editorial Board for Human Resources research and thought leadership on human Development Quarterly (HRDQ). Tony can be capital issues at the IBM Institute for Business contacted at Value. He is the co-editor of several books and has published articles in a variety of journals including the Sloan Management Review, Academy of Management Executive, and the International Human Resources Information Management Journal. Eric can be contacted at IBM Global Business Services
  17. 17. Appendix 1 – About our study FIGURE 6. For our study, we collected 214 survey Survey respondent demographics. responses from IBM professionals. Out of the entire sample, 137 respondents have been Age a member of at least one guild or MMORPG 1%: 18-22 years team. Among those MMORPG participants: 10%: 23-28 years 21%: 29-35 years • 66 respondents have led at least one guild 68%: 35 years + or MMORPG team; of those: - 61 have led more than one business project team - 45 have led five or more business project teams Corporate experience • 71 respondents have been led as a member 6%: 0-3 years of a guild or MMORPG team; of those: 6%: 3-6 years 8%: 6-8 years - 58 have led more than one business project team 28%: 9-15 years 20%: 15-20 years - 42 have led five or more business project 32%: 20 years + teams. Source: IBM Institute for Business Value.15 Leadership in a distributed world
  18. 18. References 1 Nelsestuen, Rodney. “Online Social Worlds as Emerging Markets: A Dose of (Virtual) Reality.” TowerGroup. July 2006. 2 “Virtual Worlds, Real Leaders: Online Games Put the Future of Business Leadership on Display.” IBM Global Innovation Outlook 2.0 Report. June 2007 . 3 Ancona, Deborah, Thomas W. Malone, Wanda J. Orlikowski, Peter M. Senge. “In Praise of the Incomplete Leader.” Harvard Business Review. February 2007 .16 IBM Global Business Services
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