How does GoT relate to business, you might ask?

Similar to Sun-Tzu’s Art of War or The Prince by Machiavelli, GoT also has the common themes of influence, hierarchy, leadership motivations, and political intrigue.

Applying Network Analytics to Game of Thrones shows how Inclusion is the key differentiator for leaders

The Game of Thrones TV series is over. For some, this is the end of the Game of Thrones saga as they know it, while others await the George R. R. Martin novels to complete our journeys into the magical world of Westeros.  Either way, this series has had a tremendous impact on the way a TV series, or even the genre of sci-fi literature is seen and consumed.  The complexities borne into the histories and characters within this fictional world and hard-hitting realistic story-telling were amazingly deep and intertwined.  They spurned traditional conventions and norms on story arcs and cadences which made the series and novels compelling to watch and more exemplary to the real-life business world than anything that came before.

 

Cast of Key Characters

Additionally, the GoT style of character development and story-telling via dialogue from various character points of view mimic real-world interactions, as well as individual biases that we all have in our relationships.  This unique quality of Game of Thrones creates a worthy use case to model relationships via Organizational Network Analysis (ONA) to provide insights into who controls the true influence on the Iron Throne in Westeros.

How We Did It

As a customer demonstration of its ONA platform, OrgAnalytix took interactions between the characters from the GoT books through their text dialogs and used Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning to analyze content and infer strengths and weaknesses of their connections across various types of interactions.  The OrgAnalytix platform then identified influencers(driving the storyline), catalysts(enabling important connections), and other character profiles that created multiple 3D views across the 5 books. While these visualizations are always compelling to any enthusiast, the true power of ONA shines through for scenario modeling.

As we progress chronologically through books and look at the different ‘houses’ in Westeros, OrgAnalytix applied its algorithms to measure network Influence of different members and measured how Inclusive different members of the team were. This provided a fascinating insight into the phenomenon of sustainable power transfers: Inclusion was the key differentiator for the House of Stark to wrest control from other houses and manage to become the most powerful house in the land. While other houses like Lannisters and Baratheons had a lot of formal authority and hence had INFLUENCE, without the Inclusiveness of the Starks, their power slowly starts to erode as books progress – while Inclusive Starks start with average amount of Influence in Book 1, their ability to build connections and be inclusive with others in the Westeros Universe brings their Influence levels higher till by Book 5 (and end of the TV series), Starks are effectively running the entire Westeros kingdoms.

While other houses like the Lannisters and Baratheons had a lot of formal authority and hence had INFLUENCE, without the Inclusiveness of the Starks, their power slowly starts to erode as the books progress

Not Just the Starks

This same phenomenon can be seen with other minor houses like the Tyrells whose Inclusiveness enhances their ability to control and influence some of the key events that occur in the books. In addition, the most influential person is predictably Tyrion Lannister – while he is a Lannister by name, due to his unique circumstance, did not get the formal authority that his siblings and other family members received. However his Inclusiveness propelled his power in the kingdoms, and ensured that he sustained his power despite his family as a whole losing their influence and power as the books progressed.

In addition to measuring Inclusion and Influence by each member and house, OrgAnalytix machine learning models also have now learned how to identify key traits in employees that correspond to those of the key leaders in the GoT world. Hence, now managers can actually find people in their teams who play the same roles in the organization and have similar influence on their colleagues as their GoT counterparts. For example here are 8 of the profiles that managers can identify quickly:

“Tyrion Lannister – while he is a Lannister by name, due to his unique circumstance, did not get the formal authority that his siblings and other family members received. However his Inclusiveness propelled his power in the kingdoms, and ensured that he sustained his power”

Check out a podcast of our CEO (Shwetha Pai) and CMO (Waziri Garuba) as they do a deep dive into the GoT analysis.