Games can teach us valuable business lessons!

Remember as kids during summer break, out the door we went first thing in the morning and returning only for meals and bedtime.  Over the years, we narrowed our interest and honed in on one or two sports or games we particularly liked.  Two I enjoyed and still play today are golf and chess.  As an adult in business, I realize how much success in those sports can transfer to business and make a real impact.  Let’s look at the transferable skills learned.

In chess, the real lessons learned in how to sequence moves in a cloaked fashion that traps the opponent, checkmate!  However, the technique is to be able to think several moves ahead and continue to adjust as your opponent makes his move (feedback).  In business, this is proactive anticipation.  A few examples of this are seasonality and market trends.  In a seasonal business preparing for staffing, inventory, cash flows, etc. are critical to successful and profitable operations.  In market trends and developing new products, the key is to go where the demand will be, not necessarily where it is.  Wayne Gretzky once remarked the key to his success was going to where the puck was going to be, not where it was.

In golf, it is a challenge to focus with so many challenges and thoughts converging that even the most seasoned can be overwhelmed.  However, narrowing the focus to a single thought or target allows for significantly better execution.  In business, if you narrow your focus and really quantify your goals / targets, you will achieve better results.  An example of this is growing sales, by increasing the sales of this product family in this region to this demographic by X%.  Now you have a very specific target by which to focus activities around.

So, in your business think about how you achieve and execute these two important skills:

1.    Anticipation (forward planning)

2.    Narrow focus (specific goals)

If you would like to learn more about tools or how to make this part of your business culture, reach out to us at SPC Consulting.