Chapter 14. Authority

Foreman John was tired of workers screwing up every little thing. So he bought the Puppetron—the newest wave in management technology. No longer would he have to give orders and hope to see them carried out properly. Now, he could put the Puppetron helmet on his head and control the workers’ every action directly using his mind. He became like a puppeteer pulling a thousand strings, personally coordinating every action of every worker. It was miraculous.

Foreman John and his crew took a job building a bridge. Halfway through construction, the bridge collapsed and killed everyone.

Investigators discovered that the bridge was riddled with hundreds of botched weld jobs, twisted cables, misaligned spars, and missing bolts. It was as though none of the work had been done with the worker’s full attention.

MAKING GREAT GAMES TAKES commitment. We have to explore culture and fiction, solve hard intellectual puzzles, and take scary risks. We have to push every advantage and deploy every resource. We have to care about what we’re doing beyond the paycheck. We have to invest our hearts in the work.

But investing heart is a delicate process. It requires a special combination of work practices, culture, intrinsic motivation, and organizational structure. People must have the right authority in the right places, knowledge must flow smoothly to where it’s needed, and we must trust one another. This chapter is about creating these conditions so that a team can run at its full creative ...

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