Monday, September 11, 2006

Guild Based Management

The Autumn issue of Booze Allen's Strategy+Business has a great biographical article about entrepreneur Joi Ito. Near the end of the article there is an interesting discussion about how his current obsession with World of Warcraft - a MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game), is allowing him to experiment with new org design and team management techniques through his WoW guild. This guild is made up of (currently) 250 members from all backgrounds from around the globe including a "raid leader" who is an emergency room nurse, and another important player who is an unemployed bartender.

Mr Ito: "I'm playing with all different kinds of management ideas I've had for companies, with a bunch of people who are actually very dedicated. They will set their alarm clocks for 3 a.m. to run a raid of 40 people. They are committed to each other like people in a normal company wouldn't be committed to each other. So as a test bed for these ideas this is actually pretty amazing".

Personally I am not a member of this online gaming sub-culture, (my wife would kill me) but this concept of guild base management fascinates me. Developing that level of passion in work, and utilizing the concepts to manage, and collaborate has interesting possibilities, as we experience a shrinkage in workforce, globalization, virtual work, and managing people and teams with this level of efficiency.

No comments: