Practice Equals Progress

Practice Equals Progress

I recently attended a two-day workshop on sales hosted by Jack Daly. Something he said has stuck with me ever since; junior sports teams are more well run than most businesses. If you are anything like me I thought he was on another planet. Initially.

But think about it. The teams have a coach; they have dedicated practice two or three times a week focusing on component skills; they have trial games where they experiment with new strategies in a risk-free environment; they have a manage; they believe they learn more from a loss than a win; they play to the strengths of the individuals; they celebrate victory with a team song; they use common language and operate in a context of discipline and teamwork.

Compare that to your business. Does your business have a coach? Do you practice the component skills in a risk-free zone where mistakes are encouraged so your team members can learn? Do you have common language and a context of discipline? Do you play to the strengths of your team or do you try and force square pegs into round holes?

These are the questions I’ve been asking about our business and thinking how we can improve.

The first thing was establishing a dedicated fortnightly role practice (as opposed to play; you don’t improve by playing, you improve by practising). This has been well received by our team where we get to see each other in action, we get to be vulnerable and we get to give each other feedback. It’s a habit I plan on using permanently.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying your business needs to belt out a victory song after hitting a goal (even though that could be quite fun!) or if someone is late to work sending them for laps around the building; but from the insight I’m lucky enough to get into a lot of small businesses I’m suggesting we need to move closer to the values and communication framework that makes great junior sporting teams.