Age of empires

There are many similarities when it comes to establishing and protecting a kingdom and an organisation

Businesses are started with an aim to see them flourish. This is one of the first concepts any commerce student deals with. However, as businesses and their operations move ahead, there are a lot of external and internal factors, in the form of threats, which directly impact their consistency, evolution and existence. There are many uncanny similarities in building an organisation and setting up a kingdom. Both have to stand strong and survive in the face of myriad challenges and odds. Both have to withstand the competition and fulfill needs of the labour and military units respectively, and at the same time protect themselves from external threats.

Age of Empires, a game launched by a leading software firm, is a perfect example that we can relate to organisation, in the way an entire kingdom is run. It includes creation, growth, upgrading society, research on development of defence mechanism to save the kingdom from enemies and external threats like wild animals. Here, success is about knowing the tangible and intangible resources a leader is equipped with.

When a business is started, the priority is to utilise the skills of workforce to generate profits. Moving to the next level means gratifying the needs of people working for you. Malcolm G Patterson, Michael A West, Rebecca Lawthom and Stephen Nickell in a document Impact of People Management Practices on Business Performance say the effectiveness with which organisations manage, develop, motivate and engage the people is a key determinant of how well those organisations perform. The concept can be related to a situation in the game when the military and labour units are converted by enemy monks.

The labour units collecting wood or working on gold mines left unattended have greater chances of being taken over by the enemy.

People practices are quite important as they do not make people feel unattended. According to a document presented by the UC Davis Academic and Staff Assistance Program, becoming more resilient might require the acquisition of new skills and understanding. You can foster resiliency by giving your employees the freedom to make choices and to act on them. This will make the workforce strong enough to be poached upon by your competitors.

The document presents some action plans that help in making organisation flexible and adaptable to change. Some of those plans are:
1. Pay attention to people and focus on the work around you. Seek out challenges that stretch your skills.
2. Attend to your physical and mental well-being. Practice healthy self-care and skills. As a manager you are also a role model for healthy behaviour at the workplace.
3. Accept change and adapt to it. Increase your resiliency by creating an accurate picture of yourself and the environment around.
4. Look for and draw on available resources, and cultivate a broad network of personal and professional relationships. This support network is critical in dealing with challenges, maintaining a broad perspective, and achieving goals. The key to building networks that increase resiliency is to make the connections personal.
5. Engage your employees through communication about the influence they hold regarding their daily tasks and career paths.
6. Give sufficient information to help with the ‘big picture’ so that there is greater understanding of what is expected from the employees.
7. Model how to integrate work-life balance with enough attention to one’s general well-being.
8. Reframe stress into opportunities for growth or development.
9. Cultivate creativity by involving your staff in the process of organisational change.

The entire vision of building a smooth kingdom is all about how better you synchronise your resources and plan your strategies accordingly, against all odds. There might be a situation when the empire comes on the verge of extinction. At that time, restructuring it as per the needs, requirements and overall demands can help in planning better and saving the legacy.

By adopting simple and effective ways to remain vigilant about the people who drive the whole business, organisations can actually make themselves strong enough to withstand any threat – whether it is predictable or unpredictable, internal or external. That is the way forward.