Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
You can follow along, if you want...

Monday, February 7, 2011

Quote of the Week: "...they need to be motivated..."

Perhaps no surprise, but this week's QOTW is from the excellent analysis of IT's internal difficulties posted over the weekend:
Eve players are not salaried employees, they need to be motivated on a personal level to show up for things, even when those things are in their own self-interest.
That is such a wonderful quote.  It's extremely succinct and accurate, practical, and my favorite, just a little bit snarky.  ;-)  Bravo.

Seriously, though, the entire piece speaks to two very important concepts that EVE corp/alliance leaders must get through their heads, and keep in their heads at all times:
  1. Have a clear set of goals for your organization, and frequent activities to support those goals.
  2. Communicate those goals and activities to your players, and explain why they are worthwhile.
There's really nothing more important that you can be doing as the leader of a corp or alliance than these two things.  During major operations -- a war-dec, a deployment -- when your corp or alliance is on the attack, for instance, these things are relatively easy to provide.  Explain who the enemy is.  Explain why they need to be crushed.  Explain specifically what each and every member of your corp or alliance can do to help crush them.  Explain what kinds of ships will be needed, and what kinds of roles they will play.

Most important of all, explain when ops will be and why those ops are important.  Don't just assume that people know, or that they will show up because they've been ordered to.  This column by The Mittani is almost two years old, but it still accurately sums up the challenges of restarting the participation engine if you let it stall.

When nothing major is happening, though, having goals and activities and communicating them to your members becomes even more important.  If you're not doing something major with your corp or alliance, it's very easy for boredom and complacency to set in among your members.  It won't take very long at all for your people to regard your organization as stagnant.  So many organizations in EVE fail during those "in-between" times... or if they don't fail right then, the seeds for failure are sown.

That's why the analysis of IT is so interesting: it makes a very solid case that IT was dead months before the Clusterfuck campaigns in Cloud Ring and Fountain got rolling.  IT's leadership got complacent, and didn't update their tactics for new challenges.  They didn't schedule ops.  They didn't discuss tactics.  When things were quiet, they should have spent that time preparing for the next war.  Instead, they let things stagnate.

Certainly, not every organization will fail as spectacularly as IT seems to be doing.  But if you let your organization stagnate, people aren't just quietly leaving for greener pastures any more.  No, these days, a departing member will make sure you remember him on his way out the door.

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