With the 2016 Stanley Cup playoff season well underway, now seems like a perfect time to reflect on how we might apply a few ice hockey principles to our ‘best business practices’. In ice hockey as in all championship sports, in order to remain competitive, teams must remain full, strong and engaged.
Think about the hockey power play. The whistle sounds and suddenly your team has a player hustled right off the ice to the penalty box. No substitution for your missing team member. You must play out the penalty minutes minus one or nightmarishly, even two players short. Lack of a full team puts you at an incredible disadvantage. You’re outnumbered. Your opponent will take full advantage of the numerical inequality and the stage is set for you to give up a goal.
As business owners and hiring managers, if we are continually ‘playing short’, can we expect to reach our business goals? Acquiring and keeping key talent is critical in order to play at the championship level. While an organization may not be ‘currently hiring’, a strategic management team is always on the lookout for its next superstar. Maintaining a laser-focus on the development of a winning team will show a direct correlation to overall organizational high-performance. Hire carefully, mentor, coach and train.
Play your heart out and never take your eyes off the business ‘puck’. There is no coasting in ice hockey and there is no trophy for second place. The business parallel is clear. Are you hiring and playing to win or are you just getting ‘iced’?