Monday, June 13, 2011

Basketball and Human Resources

I didn't watch much of the NBA championship because it was obvious to me that Dallas was going to win it:  The were the better team!

Now, growing up I played basketball literally everyday and I was fortunate enough to go to college on a basketball scholarship and to enjoy a few seasons of playing in Europe.  I admit, I have a totally different way of watching the game; I am impressed by defense, team work, and the mid court area, or how well a team transitions.

Teams are much more than the sum of their parts; its a balance between individual talent and role playing.  A team made up of extremely talented individuals will ensure that you totally overwhelm less talented teams of individuals but a true team will allow you to win games against superior opponents.

All the plays, all the "X's" and "O's", all the backslapping and or in your face antics on the side of the court does not make things happen on the court, the reality is a game has its own natural rhythm, and every individual on a team is unique.  The individuals have to adapt to the rhythm and to each other on a game by game basis.

A team has to be made of individuals who know their roles and the roles of each of their team members.  Most importantly they have to respect the roles that each plays on the team.  A coach has to know what makes each individual on the team click; what motivates one player may just be the worst thing in the world for another.  Motivation is always an energy that must be individually focused at the same time group focused; and most importantly, its an energy that flows between and among the individuals.

I read so much about hiring the "right" or the "best" person for a position; and that would be fine, if a position is that of an independent contractor, but the reality is positions are within departments, organizations, and or companies.  I cannot help but wonder if sometimes we search for candidates with certain skills when it fact we should be searching for individuals with certain personalities!

I have also seen companies that had some extremely intelligent talent and they could accomplish absolutely nothing.    I have also seen companies go out and search for a position as if it was nothing more than a cog in a machine and then turn around and bring in consultants to find ways to create a less structured and hierarchical organization!

On a daily basis we read news stories about how companies are not hiring candidates over 50, or how the new workplace is one of constant turnover, but the reality is that balance makes great teams!
"Job-hopping statistics get a lot of attention. For example, the average baby boomer held an average of 11 jobs between the ages of 18 and 44. Lost in statistics is the fact most people don't leave for more money; most leave a job because of a poor relationship with a boss. Don't assume high employee turnover is a fact of employment life. Find out why employees want to leave and address those issues. Employees don't start checking employment ads unless you give them reasons. Few people look forward to the upheaval and stress of starting a new job unless the old job -- and old employer -- was terrible."
I read the article this morning, and I couldn't help but be shocked!  Looks to me like quite a few teams need to focus their attention on their management team and less on their human resource process!  Mark Cuban did a fine job building the Dallas team over the last few years and his team beat a team that thought it could trade its way to a championship.

The true test for Dallas comes next year!

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