During a keynote held earlier this week at the Develop Conference PS4 Lead Architect Mark Cerny and Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Andrew House had a pleasant chat about their respective work styles, that also included some interesting details about SCEI itself.
Cerny (who is an independent consultant and isn’t actually employed by Sony) mentioned that the relationship between him and the house of PlayStation is “a little strange” even because he and House have extremely different work styles. In fact, as House mentioned, Sony Computer Entertainment is coming close to 8,000 Employees in over fifty countries. On the other hand Cerny seems to prefer his own style:
I have the perfect number of employees, which is zero. You should try it some time Andy. It works well.
House then explained that he’s a huge believer in complementary skill sets, and in having a management policy that understand each party’s core competence and has respect for that. He feels that that kind of approach does exist within Sony, where what people do within their area of expertise is always respected. He mentioned that his favorite management movie is “The Damned United,” which embodies that concept well, as it’s about two complementary skill sets interacting with each other, and when mutual respect isn’t there it all goes awry.
Another important thing he mentioned is is that they have a lot of fun in what they do. There’s a lot of very strong debate in meetings, but there’s “quite a lot of laughter as well.” He feels that humor and building camaraderie in a team is often an underestimated management tool.
House is very proud of the cross-cultural nature of SCEI. It’s reflected in its regional operations and there’s a diversity of cultural backgrounds and skill sets that hopefully will help Sony to embrace the future in a flexible manner.