In-game, we do not have five-hour meetings. When we get a large group of people together for five hours, we are going to slaughter things by the thousand.
In-game, we do not spend the first half hour of our gathering engaging in a clever ice-breaker, to help get those creative juices flowing and put everyone in the right mental place for a free-wheeling discussion. We spend the first half-hour alt-tabbed, reading web pages while waiting for everyone to get to the right zone. We may also be discussing character builds or the latest test server notes on Teamspeak. (If anyone has a way for me to alt-tab from life during clever ice-breakers, please post it in the comments. No PDAs.)
In-game, we do not pretend that the free-wheeling discussions matter. Our raid leader does not pretend that this is a participatory democracy in which you will contribute your views before ignoring them and giving the top-down message of how we are doing this. We go straight to the top-down message. If you have a meaningful correction to procedure, it will be taken into account; otherwise, shut up.
In-game, our group leader does not show up late, give some guiding remarks, then disappear until the end, returning to dictate the conclusion of events. Anyone trying that crap gets no drops and is not allowed back for the next raid, healer or no. In-game, being further up the guild’s chain of command means that you are more likely to stay through an entire event.
In-game, we learn from our mistakes. If we do the same thing every time, it means that it worked last time. Barring disruptions from morons or lag, if a strategy failed last time, it probably will not do much better this time. Complete wipes, while valuable teaching moments, are not common in the workplace.
In-game, we may indeed be dividing for small group work. We are more likely to be scouring the survivors from an area than brainstorming. Usually, each small group will be accomplising some separate goal needed for collective success, rather than separately covering the same ground as everyone else. Groups will be designed for success, rather than on the basis of who is sitting closest.
In-game, if our small groups are reporting out our group’s activities, there are two acceptable answers: (1) all set; (2) all dead. You may also mention if something very shiny dropped.
In-game, no one brings donuts, coffee, or pizza. My broadband connection may have a fat pipe, but not that fat.