The future of TV or Game changing technology

March 11, 2009...... at 12:05 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I was having a conversation with someone over breakfast the other day on how little penetration Gaming had made into corporate learning programs, versus that long held staple called role playing. What baffles me is that increasingly we are realising that perfecting a behaviour requires us to practice that behaviour. Much of management training in a corporate environment is about changing the behaviour of executives. The problem with role-playing is that the activity is typically a once-off, allowing little opportunity for repeated practice. Since practicing behaviour modifications on real subjects has social implications (“Madge would you please rate my attempt to be sympathetic and supportive”) that preclude feedback, role-playing sessions have limited long term impact. The answer to this to my mind would be the development of role-playing online games where management (and other parties interested in self-development) can regularly practice effective leadership skills and get feedback on what works and what doesn’t.

As part of the same conversation I was lamenting how little training management actually get about how to be effective in their job. To echo a line I saw somewhere on the internet in the last 48 hours, forget an MBA, you’d be better off studying Philosophy. Yes there is the quanitfiable business maths stuff that any good consultant / textbook can tell you, but most of the time, what you need to know is how to lead people and leadership is all about behaviour.

Into this train of thought comes the latest Paul Graham column on Why TV Lost where he speculates that the

more interesting sort of convergence that’s coming is between shows and games.

and my mind jumped to the possibility of corporate games which look a lot like todays reality shows. Virtual group environments where managers can play at perfecting their leaderships skills. I can see it already where as part of your probation you’d have to log a certain number of hours of game-play and achieve a certain leadership score. Know what, I think it would create a better class of managers. Managers who are practiced in the art of giving feedback and recognising effort and rewarding success.

Update: Jeff Atwood on games as a delivery mechanism for knowledge systems

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