Management Goal Setting and Video Games?

In watching my older son play a video game online with his friends, I was surprised by the comparison that could be made with management. The video game involved him being a platoon leader of an army of friends with the goal of winning the battles to ultimately win the war.  In business, managers lead employees with the purpose of achieving a specific goal for the organization which is to gain customers and achieve profit. 

Below are some steps you can use to manage your team to reach success in its business goals or in the case of combat video games – success of a mission?

  • Communicate the goal using the strategic plan:  As leaders, you need to the set the most important priorities for the business in order to succeed and be dominant in the marketplace.  Goals stems from a solid well thought-out strategy for success.  Like with collaborative video game objectives, where you can only survive by working together, managers cannot get very far without working with their team.  My son, as platoon leader, must work with his friends to communicate the plan and priority targets to eliminate the enemy army.
  • Launch the plan to achieve the goals:  It is not enough to set goals in a vacuum and expect them to somehow be reached. Leaders need to develop a clear plan of action, resource needs, roles and responsibilities, organizational structure, and commitment in order to put substance on how goals will be met. The goals need to be broken down into manageable chunks of time and tasks, with specific people responsible. My son provided a plan of attack regarding who was covering who, what weapons should be used, and worked with his friends to execute.
  • Create metrics to track goals:  Managers need to know if the goals are being achieved to see if midcourse corrections will be needed and to track where intervention may be necessary.  In the video game, my son is following the kills and the kids are communicating to him their location so if back-up is needed he would correct the plan to accommodate the unexpected.
  • Hold people accountable for achievement of the goals:  Develop a recruitment and retention system to have the right people in the right places in the organization.  People that you trust to get the job done. You need to constantly recruit for talent, and have a process to develop, reward, and retain top performers in the context of business goals.  If employees are not achieving the goal, they need to be held accountable with action taken.  My son is constantly watching team members make the same mistakes again and again and again, just like in the workplace, for not recognizing they need a team strategy to win.  If they continue with solo tactics, he will not invite them into the next game and replaces them with someone that will.

After achieving the goal, do not forget to thank your team and share in the success of achieving the goal with your team.  My son always ends the round with a thank you to his friends for a job well done and of course a coke because he is thirsty.  Do you use these steps to achieve your goals?  What works for your organization?

photo credit


About Patricia Knight
Hello and welcome. My name is Patricia Knight. Thank you for taking the time to view my blog. I’m a Human Resources professional who is currently pursing an MBA at the University of Nevada-Reno. I am an analytical, detail-oriented professional who believes that collaboration and negotiation are critical for successful employee relations between leadership and employees.

2 Responses to Management Goal Setting and Video Games?

  1. Freaking awesome article! Next time, just compare it to Halo instead 😀 For me, the hardest thing to do is set the metrics. I find it easier to hold people accountable when I can control their fate (such as a grade or a paycheck).

    • Thanks Russ for taking the time to read this! Nothing is better than video games and management. I agree that some metrics are hard to set. Those that have specific timelines are easier than those tasks that are just daily goals that need to be achieved. Holding people accountable is important and using a reward system to get the job done is one way to motivate. Take care, Patricia

      P.S. I asked my son about Halo. He thinks that game is awesome too!!!

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