How your video-gaming skills can help make your business successful.
In the modern business environment, it’s all about game-based thinking. What I mean here is that ultimately, when viewed with clarity, succeeding in life or business really is about winning in a type of game. After all, what is a game, other than a systematized activity, often for fun or entertainment, in which an individual, or groups of individuals, must strategize, i.e. make decisions that will lead to a desirable outcome?
Many, though not all, of these games, require that someone wins and someone loses. In these games, another person (or more than one other person) can affect the outcome of the choices you make.
In business, this type of game we play is called a competitive game. What does this mean?
You cannot have a game without rules. Most games have rules that apply to all the players in the game, and which exist for a reasonable period of time. Examples include the nine innings in baseball, the four quarters in football, and the four years in which an American president serves before a new election is held.
In business, rules might mean insider trading laws in the stock market, the distinction between illegal pyramid schemes and legitimate network marketing (multi-level marketing) business opportunities, or laws against false advertising, and even the simple guidelines presented to the writer’s on Medium.com .
The concept of rules is important for any businessperson because if the rules of a game are always changing, then it becomes difficult for the players to develop effective strategies that will allow them to excel in the marketplace. In order to play a game effectively, a person (player) must have some basic skills. Since all games are not necessarily competitive, some games may not require skills to win, but only to play “well enough”. Such games are often games of chance, like poker, or certain forms of commodities speculation.
Almost all games have one thing in common: they are based on some system of interactions between players, or one player and one object or concept, such as a speculator and the price of soybeans.
You can, if you wish, decide to see your business, as a collection of many different games — systematized activities most played to gain some benefit for you or for a group with common interests that you have joined. Either alone or with this group, you will strategize and make decisions that will lead to a desirable outcome. This is precisely what we have come to call the “Game of Life”. In order to play effectively in a game, the players need to have strategies and plans for action. Just as the rules need to have consistency, each player of the game is likely to adopt a strategy that he or she thinks is most effective and is unlikely to radically change. The ability of a player to create an effective, consistent strategy will be defined, in part, by his or her understanding of the rules and of the perceived strategies of the rival or opponent. For a game to be effective, the strategies of the players must remain minimally consistent.
If there are radical changes in a game, there is a great chance the game will collapse. For example, in baseball, a pitcher is expected to throw a pitch that the batter is not expecting. However, it would be too radical a change, and an unacceptable change, for the pitcher to go to the pitcher’s mound and throw a beer bottle or a paper airplane at the batter. Think of a game as similar in concept to a Game App on a smartphone. So when you look at a Smartphone screen and see those little icon boxes, think of all of them as games. Instead of Apps for weather or the Internet, imagine you were looking at a branding App, a niching App, a marketing App or a customer engagement App.
Imagine an App called “Legally Imposed Responsibilities in a Business Game App”. Imagine an icon representing this on a Smartphone. Now, when you click on this App, various players in the game might appear. There may be a board of directors, a CEO, a vice president of sales, a director of marketing, a director of Human Resources, an IT expert, etc., all of which require various strategies tied to priority planning, time management, etc. I have always used the same term in my seminars that mathematicians use to describe the rules within a game — a “fully explicit structure.” Within a “fully explicit structure,” various players (agents) will act strategically to maximize the benefits received.
At some point, one or more than one player (depending on the rules of the game) will win the game if the rules of the game are designed to produce a winner. Of course, all games are not designed to produce one winner. Whatever the end goal of the game may be, the understanding of and ability to use games in business is essential for success.
If you can define the rules of any game clearly, you then can also determine your skill at the game or the skill of any other player (co-workers or competitors) in the same game. Thus, the value of understanding the available knowledge of how games are created how they function, and how they are played cannot be overestimated. Understanding game theory and gamification principles can actually help you fulfill your company mission. Gamification principles can be applied to every aspect of your business, from the mailroom up to the CEO’s office.
I’m the author: I am a game theorist, successful entrepreneur, and a teacher on peak performance. I am also a self-improvement coach offering advice for innovators of all levels who are dealing with obstacles and constraints in their work (and play).
I’m passionate about offering advice on creativity, innovation, inspiration, self-improvement, life lessons, mental health information, love, & movie reviews.
If you have any ideas you would like me to write about just email me at LewisCoaches@gmail.com
The Source of this Story
This story was created from my seminar notes for (Harrison’s Applied Game Theory). To follow all of my extended Great Game Theory Guide postings and stories, check out the Table of Contents for the first few Medium.com postings at:
Lewis Harrison’s Great Game Theory Guide — Table of Contents
· Introduction to the On-Going Series
About my stories on Medium
Most of my Medium stories are anchored into the concept of Applied Game Theory. This idea explores how and why people make certain choices, including decisions related to their health, well-being, and self-awareness.
Researchers into game theory have won over twenty Noble Prizes. The movie “A Beautiful Mind” is about the life of John Nash, one of the pioneers in game theory.
Using all of the gaming skills you have learned from the sandbox, through Rubick’s Cube, and now into video games and sports will change your life in every way, for the better.
I explain this gamer-thinking in the Medium.com article below. The article was written so that a 12-year-old can easily understand and apply the simple 3 step system.
The article also includes a short video interview of me with Jim Selman a pioneer and thought leader in leadership, business success, and innovation.
The Best Introduction to Game Theory, Simple and Easy to Understand — Written for a 12-Year-Old
Q. Lewis, what is the meaning of game theory?
I am always exploring trends, innovations, areas of interest, and solutions to build new stories upon. Again, if you have any ideas you would like me to write about just email me at LewisCoaches@gmail.com