Simulating a Company Culture

Simulating a Company Culture

As some may have guessed, I’ve been spending some time playing WoW—more importantly, I’ve been building the guild website and posting in the forums and wiki. I also had a full week of work and after-work meetings, and I ended up not blogging a whole lot at all. This week I’m hoping to restore the balance between work, socializing, and now simulated company building in WoW.

If you’re wondering where all that writing energy went, it’s gone into the guild forums, which I’ve left readable by the world so people can get an idea what’s going on. My thoughts are that the transparency of guild operations will be part of its appeal, and it’s a way in which I can start to define my philosophy of leaderership as I learn to practice it.

Some of the particularly-interesting threads, phrased in more traditional “business terms”:

  • The Company Handbook – Where the rules and ideals of our mission are taking shape.

  • Corporate Identity – The debate of how our “guild tabard”—the symbolic piece of cloth that our characters wear in-game that signify our membership—should look rages on here.

  • Career Advancement – Every guild has a number of “ranks” of achievement. When you’re first brought into the guild, you start at the lowest rank and can work your way up. I’ve designed it to reward behavior that is of benefit to the guild, and have started establishing the public feedback mechanisms that make advancement “real”.


p>On a side note, I built the guild website on Expression Engine Personal + Forum module ($149) so I could finally learn it, and I have to say I like it a lot. It’s taking some time to get used to, and I haven’t yet customized the appearance of the site or fixed navigational issues, but overall it’s pretty cool. The forum module is pretty darn nice, with membership management integrated with the wiki and blog modules. This is the first wiki I’ve come across that actually has a decent Markdown Extra Plugin that works seamlessly; once I tweaked the Wiki CSS slightly, it produces very readable output.

I’m finishing up some photography of some of the myndology notebook samples that the company generously provided, so I will likely have that up after I finish some work this week. And Groundhog Resolution Review Day #4 is coming up on June 6th (here’s what I wrote in GHDRR #3)…yikes!


  1. quantumparticle 17 years ago

    Thanks for returning to the blog posts! Seems like my “intervention” was perfect timing ;) your blog is one site I can usually rely on for something inspiring to keep me working on my projects.


  2. Ian Muir 17 years ago

    It’s interesting to see how each guild develops it’s own culture. My guild is less like a business and more like a college dorm. We all kind of know each other and hang out when we see other members, but for the most part we just do our own thing.

    If you take a look at some of the high-level PvE guilds, they are very strict and controlled. Every player has a playing schedule they have to adhere to and can be “fired” by not fulfilling their role. Each member has to earn a position on the raid party by doing grunt work for the guild. It’s pretty crazy.

  3. rick gregory 17 years ago

    Yeah, yeah… but what level are you?? :)

    One thought about the Career section… my guild has an Initiate rank that lasts for a month during which we can see if we like them and vice versa. After that, everyone is a Member aside from officers and a few people tagged as Heralds.

    I like this and it eliminates and odd behavior caused by hierarchical rankings… and the ranks don’t really have any ingame significance that I can see anyway. How you do this will, of course, be tied into your guild’s mission and culture of course. Myself, I belive group cultures grow like crystals – the initial seed determines the final shape – so it’s something to get right early.

  4. Dave Seah 17 years ago

    quantumtiming: Yep, good timing! :-)

    Ian: Yep, the intention behind this guild is to get to know other professionals in a play environment. At the same time, since “he who makes the call for action is responsible for the action”, I feel it’s up to me to ensure that the framework is in place. Unspoken assumptions and agendas, or allowing them to flourish unacknowledged, is one of the factors that leads to organization dysfunction. I’m not interested in being a guild for the sake of being one, growing big, or prestige—-these are poor reasons for having a business or organization in my opinion—-it’s to find and bring the right people together. When that happens, great things become possible and fun.

    Rick: Right now I’m playing it fast and loose with guild recruiting because I trust the people who have applied: they already have the right interest and motivation. We are doing NO in-game advertising of our guild…it’s strictly through word-of-mouth.

    The common factors for all members (1) they are readers of this blog or (2) have been somehow impressed by how we’re trying to build this as a networking with quality peeps organization or (3) I actually know them in person already. This is a self-selecting group, and I am trusting the people who have joined to be very conscientious of this. Every member above the level of “Peer” has /ginvite and promotion privileges and the ability to set Message of the Day and their own notes, so it’s pretty flat.

    I figured I would use the in-game ranks as a social motivating structure, and we’ll see how it goes. The early ranks are very easy to achieve: group with some guildies ONCE after being inducted into the guild, and then finish ONE QUEST with guildies, and you’re at the GUARDIAN level that everyone currently is at. My alt characters are starting at the same level, and aren’t automatically promoted to higher guild rank: the rules should apply equally to everyone, as do exceptions to the rules, for trust in organization procedure to take root.

    I think sometime later this week I will actually put out a call for guild officers, now that people have had some time to settle into the game and get a feel for the vibe we’re shooting for. I need to write one last set of guidelines (essentially, our constitution that declares believes and purposes succintly) which officers can use as a guide to resolve disputes. Anything that can’t be resolved by that will be decided by council (guild master and officers with an interest in the issue), and it will be decided in the public record.

  5. rick gregory 17 years ago

    Yeah I read your site after commenting… I kind of like the approach of having ranks tied to helping others in the guild. Love to know how that turns out.