Business is a Sport
Sport is a global language. Successful businesses play offense. They innovate. They collaborate. To win, leaders look for inspiration and motivation from coaches, teams, and champions.
Some of these comparisons will stand the test of time
- Recruiting the best talent requires visibility into a pipeline and rigorous selection process.
- Employees need to know the game plan, their role on the team, and the competition to execute well and win.
- Companies set goals and vision.
However, the pace of the game has increased
Both sport and business are moving faster than ever before. Any good coach or business owner will tell you, under these conditions, teams need to better prepare for how their competition will try to gain advantage.
- Training sessions are longer and based on position
- Role players are highly specialized and skilled
- Competitive data is analyzed and studied to predict future strategies
- Leaders build teams with the full anticipation they will need to deviate from the game plan
- Organizations invest in the latest equipment and optimize nutrition, sleep, and recovery in the name of performance
In business, unlike sport, the traditional rules no longer apply
Because of technology, businesses no longer know which competitor is going to come through the tunnel first. Technology-powered companies don’t consider any market off limits. Their platforms reduce barriers to entry so they can move quickly into adjacent markets to grow share. Not only do these opportunities reshape the competitive landscape, they create new business models.
In just the past few years, we’ve seen this dynamic play out across a number of sectors:
- Life-as-a-service companies: As younger consumers look to outsource all major and minor life requirements, companies like Instacart, WeWork, BlueApron, Redfin, Uber, and Maven have changed the way we shop for groceries, work, commute, and buy homes.
- Personal media: There are now countless ways to buy, rent, and share the entertainment we love. In a highly-personalized and on-demand way, we find movies, music, and sports we want without paying for a lot of channels we don’t use on sites like Netflix, Spotify, Sirius, and FloSports. Media is now being consumed how you want, when you want.
- Quantified self: Wearables made many elite athletes comfortable and even addicted to measuring their steps, runs, and rides. Now broader sets of consumers have opportunities to pay for services that map their genomes, shape their diets, and recommend activities. At the Sports Innovation Lab, we believe there’s a clear path to precision nutrition™. Companies like Orig3n, Helix, Habit/Campbell’s, Gatorade, Nestle/Samsung, InsideTracker, and Whoop are changing how we collect, analyze, and share our human performance data.
Companies who play offense win
Offense is the art of advancing. In business, launching a new product, finding the right partner, entering a new market and attracting great talent requires a culture of innovation. It also means companies learn from the past, pull insights from experts, and align the resources to act quickly.
Businesses that recognize the rules of the game can change at any moment will be better prepared to move fast and compete on any field.
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