Game-based Profiling

A methodology of establishing leadership skill profile using gameplay data

ALEAS’ first business simulation was released in 2002 and modeled on a “shabby old countryside” restaurant with urgent change management needs. The project won a special prize in Hungary and opened the way for global leadership simulations addressing other topics, like project- or performance management.

Now ALEAS Sims is an award-winning serious gaming lab (with operations in Los Angeles, CA, Austin, TX, and Budapest, HU) recognized as the “International Serious Play Award, Gold Medal” winner for the best corporate game (2012, Seattle) or the “Global Champion Award” for its innovation in pedagogy (2018, Prague). ALEAS earned these accolades for the high-level unity and quality of its products’ design, narrative content, and behavior analytics. 

The serious game FLIGBY aims to identify, measure, and help develop leadership skills by using sophisticated game-based profiling.

At the Game’s end, FLIGBY provides an individual report to each player on their skill set, with a range of benchmarking options available.

In FLIGBY, each player‘s leadership profile comprises scores on the 29 leadership competencies. The profiles are automatically generated at the end of the simulation for those who have completed the Game. The continuous recording of every player’s stroke and the complex statistical analysis of the results are done routinely in the automated and pre-programmed algorithm embedded in FLIGBY’s sophisticated Master Analytics Profiler (MAP).

FLIGBY would not have been possible without Prof. Csikszentmihalyi’s active participation in its development. Besides providing practical insights for embedding the Flow-promoting leadership in FLIGBY’s learning model, he defined the scientific framework for measuring soft skills in FLIGBY.

Game-based profiling: we measure behavior

Please note: ALEAS’ people analytics scores NOT “who you are” but “HOW YOU BEHAVED”. We must emphasize that our measurement does not reveal a particular personality trait. We measure the frequency at which a person uses 29 people skills when presented with various conflicts. In that way, we assess how they behaved, not who the player is.

How did FLIGBY’s team design this award-winning game-based profiling? On each of the approximately 90 of the more than 150 decisions that the “GM” has to make in the Game, there are anywhere from two to five choices. On each decision, two independent FLIGBY expert teams ranked the answers from the “most appropriate” (in which case the player gets positive feedback within the Game already, and the algorithm scores positively on some aspects of the player’s skills profile) to the “least appropriate” (in which case, and in all the in-between cases, the skill scores do not change).

On the decisions subject to scoring a player’s skills, the two independent expert groups agreed on the “best” decisions. (In a few cases, they also scored positively on the still acceptable “second best” decision.) Most decisions during the Game are assumed to require (and thus reflect) anywhere from one to a half-a-dozen of the 29 leadership skills. In each instance, when a player makes the “most preferred” (“ideal” or “best” choice; however, these labels should not be interpreted literally), they earn a point for the decision.

The maximum number of points that can be earned for each particular skill is standardized at 100%. This makes it possible to determine the percentage score of each player on each skill. This approach facilitates the comparison of a player’s skill level among the 29 skills and compares it with the average of the group the player was a member of. The approach also allows comparative analyses vis-à-vis other cohorts, across industry sectors, by nationality background, job tasks, and many more.

Since companies operate in different industries, purposes, and business contexts, they often identify specific management/leadership competencies. Organizational success typically requires a contextually different blend of skills. Each such “blend” can be custom-made from the FLIGBY 29.

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