My husband and I have this running argument about the New England Patriots that goes well past our insane jealousy of their Super Bowl accomplishments. My husband considers them a talented team with lady luck on their side, while I contend quite the opposite. Their crazy winning streak is a living and breathing example of a commitment to training and preparation. Training and preparation for all contingencies. Now I’m going to say right out front that I always get a lot of feedback when I use a football analogy. I always hear that football is very different then businesses at large, but because my brain is tied around all things human capital and I prescribe to training with the brain in mind, I think it’s a powerful example of an outcome driven organization.
Well, when we finished watching a documentary of how New England overcame the recent Super Bowl deficient to win, it was clear to my husband that luck had little to do with it. Football has a very specific and direct data point: win the super bowl.
So, here’s a 6-point touchdown – Most organizations have a very fuzzy goal or outcome that their entire workforce population can work towards. Monetary goals are either uncertain or shroud in secrecy, leaving the average person to do their best to figure it out.
The extra point try – Positioning within football is very clear, and you know with certainty how your role effects the team. From where I sit, job descriptions are loosely referred to instruments that stop at the recruiting phase, again leaving the average worker confused and unmotivated. We’ve done extensive research on this topic at our in-house lab, and yes, a resounding 98% of the people questioned have no idea how they impact their company. A huge mental miss for most.
An easy 3-point field goal – It’s a top down approach in football. Every person believes in the importance of training. We field calls all the time from companies who need a certain type of training normally to address a specific problem. There is a beginning and an end. There is a budget which is normally small, dedicated to an initiative. Then there is wonderment why it didn’t work. In brain-based coaching, a mind shift requires constant reminders and leaders that are consistently reinforcing how this methodology supports the company’s strategic growth. Each training capsule should be tied specifically to a company goal.
The rare 2-point safety – Football teams watch film which allows the brain to create mental pictures. Small and medium sized companies have been slow to shift to eLearning, videos and self-study, yet the results have been transformative for those who have made this innovative training shift. The average training per employee cost is $1400.00. Now compare that to the average cost of high turnover and sourcing new employees to fill these vacancies.
An absolute win – I was fascinated to see how powerfully New England used data. It’s a given that they recognize the ROI on their own players, but they go as far as to know the stats on their opponents by position. They are so disciplined that they even know the stats on referees. They strategically use this knowledge to try different play calling with situational football based in real time math and science. They were unsure if these decisions would work, but when you can play to people’s weakness, there is a good chance it’ll work. The data strongly supports that learning and development is at the core of what high impact performing organizations do, according to Todd Tauber, vice president, Learning & Development Research by Deloitte. It leads to higher customer satisfaction, more innovation, lower costs and faster growth.
However, it’s rare that new approaches are attempted in businesses. The brain loves the status quo and is fearful of anything that it can’t pattern. Yet according to Tauber, 70% of corporate operating cost is dedicated to people. Doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results. Sounds familiar, right? That’s because it’s the definition of insanity! To shift ingrained thinking, one has to first create self-awareness, and then continually practice the new mindset through bite-sized information strategically placed in training. Something that we have researched, developed and positioned in our science-backed training sessions. Here’s to hoping that the newly appointed coaching staff at our beloved Buffalo Bills have taken a few notes from the data driven approach of their AFC East rivals!
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