Why Companies should function like sports teams

It never ceases to amaze me how corporate America looks to build a championship caliber team but does not pay attention to how professional sports teams seek to win championships.

Imagine for a second that you are the owner, GM or coach of an NFL football team. You look at the history of the game and decide it is time to change the way things are done.  Instead of investing money in acquiring free agents to beef up areas your team is deficient in, you decide that you can get a star quarterback comparable to Peyton Manning without investing the funds.  You look at how much time and money is spent on the draft in looking at film, scouting college talent in person, interviewing individuals that you may be interested in drafting to see whether they have the proper attitude and approach to the game and whether they would be a fit in your organization. You decide that since we're living in a new age and these proven methods aren't going to help you obtain the talent you need in order to win the Super Bowl, you'll put these techniques on the back burner in favor of attracting a new breed of player utilizing the latest thing. After looking at how many colleges have football teams, you decide that you can put together a championship caliber team by running ads utilizing social media, job boards and inviting anybody who has played to come and try out for your team. Not only can you put together a team, but look at the money you'll save.  Your job posting may read like this:

Make your football dreams come true:              

If you have played football, and always had the desire to play in the NFL, XYZ team is holding tryouts for all positions in June. Prefer players who have played four years of college football. If you are a talented athlete who has always wanted to play football at the highest level, you are welcome to try out. We are seeking to build an NFL championship caliber team and believe the talent is out there that will allow us to accomplish our goals. Since we will not be providing any training, players should show up in good condition, be adaptable, flexible and must be quick learners.

Do you realistically think you are going to win a Super Bowl Championship only using this approach?  You believe the mission can be accomplished through Boolean and key word searches?  Really!!   Today a majority of companies are approaching talent acquisition and recruiting this way.  Job duties and responsibilities, along with experience, seem to permeate social media and job board postings. Everyone seems to be interested in who you know and what you did, but few seem to be interested in how well you did something. Companies seem to be interested in who is going to show up for work but not what they're going to do when they get there that will contribute to revenue and profitability. What criteria are you using to select your team?  Imagine a team looking for someone who can run the 40 yard dash rather than seeking someone who can run a 4.40, 40.  A pro-active approach that may utilize some of these tools could help you achieve your goals, but a reactive, passive, cost contained approach relying on job board posting and social media ??????  Let me know when you win the Super Bowl.

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Comment by Keith D. Halperin on March 25, 2014 at 2:07pm

Thanks, Ed. In some ways- very big companies ARE like major-league franchises. They say: "If you won't give us everything we want at taxpayer's expense- we'll go to someplace where they WILL."

I need to disagree with your premise- that companies should think of themselves and act like champions. Most companies are wannabes. also-rans. or have-beens whose only champion-worthy things are the size of their delusions. Most companies need to swallow a big dose of reality, figure out what kind of people they CAN realistically get for what they can afford to pay, benies, etc. and NOT who the founders, CXOs., sr. execs and hiring managers) think they're entitled to. However, there IS a lot of money to be made feeding off the vanity and delusions of those folks...

Go Giants,



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