Sporting analogies don’t always work.

Tonight is the first Origin game of 2014, and so  I expect to hear lots of people using sporting analogies  over the next few weeks, particularly football.

Sporting analogies abound in business, “A team of champions does not make a champion team”

How many time have you heard that?

As management layers are removed, and the management culture evolves rapidly towards recognising the value of teams in a commercial context, we often use the sporting team as the foundation of the commercial team .

Familiarity, known skills, interpersonal relationships, all that stuff gets considered as a team is put together. Sometimes of course, in the real world teams are put together with whoever is to hand, has some spare time, is at the water cooler too often.

We confuse this simplified sporting stuff, useful in its own context, with the key components of a commercial team faced with  commercial challenges.

In that case, you need a range of technical and domain skills, a questioning mentality, and a willingness to try things, and usually some diversity, some new or unusual blood being injected  to create a sense of discomfort that always precedes game changing ideas and insights.

Unlike sporting events, which last for a hour, more or less, commercial challenges are way longer term, when the micro interaction is important more as a learning event than a game breaker.


About strategyaudit

StrategyAudit is a boutique strategy and marketing consultancy concentrating on the challenges of the medium sized manufacturing businesses that make up the backbone of our economy. The particular focus is on their strategic and marketing development. as well as the business and operational efficiency improvements necessary for day to day commercial survival. We not only give advice, we go down "into the weeds" to ensure and enable implementation.
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2 Responses to Sporting analogies don’t always work.

  1. len644 says:

    Fully concur with this interpretation Allen. It all seems too easy but in reality it is much more difficult to achieve and sustain superior teamwork. Fortunately, my Team Skills Gap Analysis and my course, All About Decisions, make a significant contribution to exemplar teamwork.

    • strategyaudit says:

      Len, I would like to see your tool in Action, as there is a great steaming pile of bullshit flogged by snake-oil salesman on the topic of team construction, motivation and project management.

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