What can workplace development learn from Sport

It hasn’t been on purpose but I have often promoted people with that competitive edge and have seldom been disappointed. One thing I have always acknowledged is the impact that sport has had on the social development of athletes and their careers – things like goalsetting, comradery, dependability, honesty…. the list goes on. A good example here of how we can learn further about talent identification and what some sports codes are doing to identify the next superstar. Talent acquisition is the next step.
Coaches and Players have a short term available to them for selecting the best. It all revolves around a short career in their high-performance sport. In the workplace, we are often recruiting people for a career and in many cases a lifelong decision to stay and develop in their trade.
It is not necessarily what the top sports teams do it’s what they do differently – and this is what businesses can learn from.

I read an article quoting Colin Beames BEng, BA, MBA, Corporate Psychologist and Managing Director of http://advancedworkforcestrategies.com/

“A lot of talent development succession planning tends to be non-strategic and I think in the sporting world it’s more fine-grained,” Beames says.
“They look at their list, they look at roles and positions; they look at existing capability in those roles; they look at age, potential turnover, replacements, [and] to what extent they develop people from within versus to what extent they might want to buy people… from outside.
“With organisations I don’t think they necessarily go to that degree of detail.”
Organisations might have a talent pool of employees they want to develop. Have you asked “what are we developing for” and “are we focusing on developing the right people for the right roles” – to use a sporting analogy – “too many forwards and not enough backs”, Beames says.

As with high performance sports teams, identifying talent from within, and outside your organisation is incredibly important for the growth and sustainability of your business and team success.
First things first though, make sure you can identify your “critical roles” and what they look like. Where are the development opportunities and where do you start?
The working environment much like the sporting environment, can assist or desist in the behaviours of your staff and team mates. The environment and behaviours together will provide a blueprint for what is ahead. Your results as a business can benefit from knowing what this blueprint may look like.
Behaviours are adaptable – personalities not so much, at least not for an extended period. Your staff and athletes all have behavioural traits that can be better understood by themselves, their coaches, managers, and peers.
With a greater understanding and a willingness to perform either at work or on the field makes you and your team competitive.
Ask us what your teams blueprint for success might look like.

12 thoughts on “What can workplace development learn from Sport”

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