SimWord of the Day: Actuators/Units

Computer games are filled with actuators. Actuators turn one resource into another. They might turn money into customer satisfaction. They might turn research into finished products. They can be bought, built, placed, and upgraded. They might require a constant stream of resources (fixed costs) and/or variable. They can be destroyed, or shut down. They might have some advantage if geographically positioned close to map-based resources or close to other actuators. There is a special case of actuators called units. Units typically can move. They have some form of Artificial Intelligence. They can scout around. They can perform different types of work, often depending on their specialty. They can be given priorities. They can swarm. They move at different speeds, and have different capabilities. They can also be distracted, and do things that were once useful but no longer. What is amazing is that when talking to CEO’s of large and very large organizations, they use much the same language. They think about capabilities. They think about optimizing. They think about value chains. They try to take money and time out of processes. They are always interested in replacing unpredictability with predictability. They are interested in opening up new avenues. And as I like to say, when computer gamers and CEO’s agree on reification frameworks, can business schools and corporate training groups be far behind? (Actually, I never said that before, and I had to look up the word reification, but you get the idea.)

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