The sessions in the Personal Leadership Track cover the personal skills we all need to be successful leaders.
- Leading the Subconscious – Noah Falstein, President, The Inspiracy
- Customer Service for Engineers – Brett Douville, Lead Programmer – Bethesda Softworks
- 7 Secrets to Sourcing and Hiring Top Talent – Marta Daglow, Daglow Consulting Group
- The Science of Being Happy at Work – Scott Crabtree, Engineering Manager – Intel
- The Conflict Slayer: How to Level Up Performance Accountability through Better Handling of the Tough Conversations – Jennifer Long, CEO, Management: Possible
- Communicating How Others are Wired to Listen – Kane Minkus, CEO – SomaTone Interactive Studios
- What I Learned About Being a Leader From Buffy and Xena – Heather Chandler, Executive Producer – Media Sunshine
- Advancing Your Career Through Mentoring (and Improving Our Industry, Too) – Karen Clark, Sr. Project Manager – EA
- Tools Review Jam – Toby Allen, Producer, Sumo Digital
- Collaborative Leadership In Game Development – Mark Voorsanger – CPCC
President – The Inspiracy
Much of our creativity arises from the workings of our subconscious mind. There are many proven techniques for tapping into your subconscious that can help you – and the people that work for you – to push their creativity to new heights. This talk will cover some of the psychological and practical aspects of enlisting your subconscious to work for you and teaching others to do the same, and a guided brainstorm will demonstrate the principles in a way that can be applied to groups back at your studios.
- How to purposefully use your subconscious mind to spur creativity.
- How to lead small and large group brainstorming sessions (demonstrated with audience).
- Purposefully learning how to think more creatively using Orson Scott Card’s “Mental Bookshelf” technique.
Lead Programmer – Bethesda Softworks
This talk describes an approach to fostering good interdepartmental communication to the benefit of the entire team. As the providers of so much of what designers and artists have to work with, it’s extremely important that engineers have the right mindset when it comes to working with other groups. Although much of the talk will describe techniques engineers should use, it’s not a technical talk — other disciplinary leads and producers should be able to get quite a lot out of this talk, in terms of general lessons illustrated by specific examples from my 11+ years of experience working in game development.
- How engineers need to communicate with other groups (and just a bit about how to communicate with your engineers).
- What engineers need to learn how to deliver (and therefore, what to ask them for).
- Making others look good, so you look good.
Daglow Consulting Group
Every CEO, Studio Head and Hiring Manager/Director in the games business wants to attract great people for their team. But those same top performers are being pursued by mega-publishers, social media giants and well-funded tech startups. Whether a company is small or large, there are critical strategies that managers can employ to attract strong candidates… and to get a higher number of acceptances. This workshop will review seven key secrets of hiring top talent, including opportunistic hiring, how to do “branding” in employment, identifying core competencies and closing the deal.
- Checklist of steps to take when launching a new search
- Checklist of ways to prepare for interviewing the top candidates
- Checklist of ways to maximize the odds your offers will be accepted by your first choice candidates
Engineering Manager – Intel
With all of the challenges of working in game development, pursuing happiness at work can seem frustrating and fruitless. But scientific studies have shown that happier people are: more productive, more creative, more successful and healthier.
And we can all use more of that in our game studios. So how do we get it?
Science has fairly recently identified concrete techniques that increase happiness. Several of these can be applied in the workplace, with real benefits for all involved.
Learn concrete techniques to make yourself, your team, and your company a happier and more productive place.
- Dispel commonly held myths about what will make us happy
- Learn what will actually make us happy, and concrete techniques for increasing happiness at work
- Learn how to adapt happiness techniques for yourself, your team and your company
The Conflict Slayer: How to Level Up Performance Accountability through Better Handling of the Tough Conversations
CEO – Management: Possible
Everybody knows you can’t level up without the right tools. How skilled are you when it comes to the tough conversations? How good are you at holding others (teammates, colleagues, employees) accountable? How confident are you in dealing with high emotion at work? This dynamic and interactive session will teach you how to effectively work with team-mates or employees on performance issues by getting a better understanding of the real issues, and how to frame and table those issues without judgment. This session will also teach you the difference between problems and conflicts and how each are managed differently. All the skills taught are built to ultimately drive individual ownership and accountability through effective communication while raising your ability and confidence. Never feel anxious about having the tough conversations again.
- How to effectively put issues on the table and open the conversation.
- How to identify problems vs. conflict
- How to handle conflict
CEO – SomaTone Interactive Studios
If you begin to tune into people’s language you will notice it revealing a very important quality about how they think. Specifically, it shows how they organize their world internally to process messages and make decisions. Without paying attention to this, you can be communicating in your own paradigm, while those around you are listening from theirs. Based on the research of Neuro Linguistics, the most cutting edge science for human communication and relations, there are 22 Metaprograms that we use to deign our internal world and process information.
When we have decoded these Metaprograms (through other peoples language), we can more precisely know how to communicate with them – in their own paradigm. We shift from miscommunication to precise communication, confusion to being in rapport, we shift the level of precision of which things get done and the ease at which we can manage and influence others. All this by listening in a new way and understanding the way the brain processes using Metaprograms. In this session, learn the about the 5 most common Metaprograms in business that keep people from communicating and managing effectively. Participants will leave with the ability to identify communication preferences and shift theirs to be speaking to others the way they are wired to listen.
- Learn how to decode what someone\’s Metaprogram preferences are through hearing their language.
- The 22 Metaprograms that NLP scientists have discovered about how we process.
- How to use this information to facilitate better communication, be more influential and manage teams better.
Executive Producer – Media Sunshine
Managing a team of smart, talented, and creative people is a ferocious challenge, but it’s worth it — the end result is a high-performing team that delivers. It’s possible to learn a great deal by studying the work of other leaders for insights into how you can overcome obstacles to your team’s progress. In this session, we’ll examine different management and leadership skills, and methods of applying these while guiding your team forward.
- Understand different leadership types and how to apply them
- Learn techniques for improving leadership skills
- Apply these techniques to real-world situations
Sr. Project Manager – EA
Why mentoring? Because mentors can light the path to advancement for their proteges. And because proteges can learn firsthand about different roles in the industry. As an added bonus, both mentors and proteges can make valuable, lasting connections.
This session will introduce attendees to the goals of mentoring. They will learn how to initiate and participate fully in a successful mentoring relationship.
- What are the goals of mentoring?
- What can you do to become a good mentor? A good protege?
- How can you get involved in a mentoring relationship?
Producer, Sumo Digital
Ten tools in 60 minutes: a crash course in tools options for busy gamendevelopers! Volunteer attendees will share their personal review of a tool that aids the production process. Each structured review will provide a brief summary of the key features and examples of how these were applied on a game development team.
- Get rapid-fire insight into key game development tools
- See what tools are most interesting or applicable to your process
- Inspiration to find out more…
Let’s face it… what we do is wildly complex. Making games involves diverse contributors with equally diverse skill sets. Often, teams are geographically dispersed, hailing from dramatically different cultural backgrounds. It’s amazing, really, that designers, producers, programmers, artists, musicians, audio engineers, QA engineers, project managers, PR and marketing partners and executive leaders are able to get anything done at all, much less create games that customers love. It’s no wonder we struggle with, and often fail at, meeting deadlines, budget constraints and quality expectations. And yet, with all that differentiates us from other work groups, we continue to lead and manage using methods better suited to fighting fires, waging wars and building pyramids. We fall back upon the one 5000-year-old system of management we know, hierarchy.
Unfortunately, when hierarchical methods are applied indiscriminately, they lower employee engagement, foster little more than compliance or resistance among team members and ultimately undermine the individual and collective intelligence of teams. In this introduction to Collaborative Leadership, we’ll explore the fundamental principles that support effective collaboration, and you’ll learn the single most powerful tool for getting teams engaged and rowing in the same direction.
- The two fundamental principles of collaboration
- The Problem Solving Template, and how to use it
- The secret sauce in Collaborative Meeting Design