Cultivating Corporate Culture II


Starting the Fight with the Right Ammo Loaded

In my last article I talked about the importance of having clear and concise goals before trying to establish yourself as a corporation. This article is going to focus on techniques and strategies to make certain that you start off on the right foot, as trying to change your corporation later in the game is much harder and more time consuming. The series itself is of course aimed at those of you who are a little more serious about Eve as a whole; if you’re just mining in a belt with a few of your friends from work and occasionally shooting something, this isn’t something you really have to worry about. That being said, Eve is a game that tends to discourage your average casual player and corporation management is something I’m sure at least a few of you will appreciate having a grasp on. Preamble out of the way, goal-setting is not exclusive to Eve and none of the strategies I talk about are going to be unique. Some of them you may even recognize if you’ve been through some basic psychology courses; however, even though the concepts seem basic, they are still important. It’s very easy in Eve to say, “I want to make a bad ass corporation!” Things get a little more difficult when you start tackling specifics. Goal-setting is ninety-nine percent about asking yourself the right questions and answering them thoroughly. Some questions you won’t need the answers to right away, but it’s always better to have one earlier rather than later. I’ve distilled it down to roughly five basic questions, but I’m sure everyone can think of more, and that’s okay. This isn’t a concrete “Do this or fail!” (But seriously, do this or you’ll fail).
“Don’t be a PvP corp that also does industry. Don’t be an industry corp that’s trying to take sov. Don’t be a mining corp in FW.”
The first question is really simple: “What?” See, I wasn’t kidding. Good god that was simple. Wait, you want more of an explanation? Fine. I guess I’ll get more specific: “What do you want to do in Eve?” My suggestion is to narrow your options down to one thing. Don’t be a PvP corp that also does industry. Don’t be an industry corp that’s trying to take sov. Don’t be a mining corp in FW. Doing these activities on the side are fine, but if you actually want to raise yourself above the endless recruitment spam of everyone who claims to be “expert veterans!” at literally everything all at the same time, you need to get specific. Your recruitment banner, your corporate mail and your description should be centered around THAT thing. This serves a number of purposes, but the biggest one is that it guarantees that you’re going to only attract people who are interested in that one thing. There isn’t going to be confusion or conflict between the members who are there to shoot ships and those who are there to shoot rocks. It genuinely makes your job much, much easier overall and eliminates a ton of headaches down the road. Second question. Just as sweet and simple: “Why do I want to build a corporation?” Tons of activities in Eve can be done solo that you wouldn’t think were possible. Even if you’re not going to do things solo, why organize an entire group of people around it? This question is one the hardest to answer, but it’s important to figure it out. If it’s only because you’re a narcissistic egomaniac that’s using this to feed his need for attention, that’s perfectly fine. Plenty of very successful organizations are ran by such people; however, it’s important to know that’s why you’re doing it. oZhpEND Third Question. Where? This is actually pretty Eve specific, and it’s really important. Where you want to operate is going to be one of the most defining factors about your organization. It’s as simple and straightforward as that, but you’ll see plenty of organizations make some pretty huge mistakes with this one. The thing people don’t realize is that the answer to this has to be set in steel. You can’t base your corporation in HS around the idea of taking sov “Some Day.” Being realistic about your goals is also pretty important, but this can only make you well-organized, it can’t make you perform miracles. You can’t be a wormhole corporation with 90% of your corporation out running missions. Part of the reason for this is that if you base yourself in one space, it’s entirely possible you’ll stay there permanently. As you build up more members from one set of space, you’re going to solidify your group experience in that region. Eventually, the area you’re based out of will be where you stay no matter what you, as the CEO, would have wanted. Fourth Question. Who? All of these questions are pretty important. You can’t really walk out missing any of them, but if there was a most important of the important questions, it’s this one: Who do you want in your corp, who do you want to help lead it and who do you not want in your corp? People management is ninety-nine percent of your job. The other one percent is staring at the ass end of a freighter. The “Who?” question is going to be simultaneously the most important and the most difficult question to answer. How much SP do they need? How much experience? How much money? How much comms presence? Casual or tryhard? Vodka cranberry or bourbon? The list goes on. The worst part is that there’s a definite cascading effect. Once you have enough of a certain personality in the corporation, they start increasing themselves as if through mitosis. A bad decision that isn’t corrected early on cascades into a complete nightmare. I’d go further but the next article in our list will be recruitment and that’ll take up as much space as I can give it.
“Do you inspire membership through awe or fear? Are you everybody’s friend or everyone’s task master?”
Fifth and final question. How? How are you going to achieve your goals? How are you going to lead the corporation? How are you going to enforce your ideals? Let’s say your “What” and “Where” goals are Sov, and you’ve answered the “Who” question already. You can choose between trying a full frontal assault or trying to win by attrition. You could try to establish yourself as a force to be reckoned with or try to grab space nobody is interested in anyways. Do you inspire membership through awe or fear? Are you everybody’s friend or everyone’s task master? This question can easily be the most intricate to answer and has many variations. There are thousands of questions more that could be asked, and you’ve probably noticed that even these aren’t literally five questions hard and fast. But you can distill any questions you come across back to these five basic queries, and using them to figure as much about what you want to do early on will save you a lot of time struggling to come up with answers on the spot and in the moment. As the saying goes, five minutes of preparation is worth an hour of improv.
Tags: corporate culture, Ganky, leadership, management

About the author

Ganky Deska

Ganky Deska is a long time W-Space pilot and once CEO of a small J-Space corporation by the name of The Maythorn. He now mostly enjoys telling people how they're doing everything wrong.

  • Kamar Raimo

    I’d say a big part of the Who and How question will also have to be finding the right people to share leadership with. We can see time and again what happens if an organisation hinges too much on one leadership figure. From small highsec mining corps to lowsec PvP gangs to large sov-holding alliances people make that mistake and when their leader burns out or ragequits the whole operation falls apart.

  • Fantastic read and I have to agree on all parts. I have been a corp leader who has burnt out and seen the effects on a corp with only one director. Finding and securing the right people can be one of the hardest parts, and managing people takes up a lot of your time as the corp grows with out a focused goal.

  • jasperwillem

    Good read, thx.