Why Business Will Become More Like Athletics

There are few environments as intensely focused on performance, and the factors that drive performance, as the world of athletics.
The unforgiving spotlight on winning and losing, extraordinary pay, and powerful psychological rewards all feed the drive to attain faster, higher, stronger … better.
Invariably, there is a trickle-down to business. The statistical analysis of performance – think of average call times in a call center operation – has been part of baseball for well over 100 years. Video analysis, used for sales and communications training, has been a standard practice in football for over 60 years. And many technology innovations, such as anti-lock breaking and traction control in cars, had their origins in Formula 1 auto racing.
If you want to see the future of performance in business, you might look at athletic practices today.
Practices such as equipping athletes with sensors to gauge work rate, energy expenditure, and movement efficiency (soccer). Designing athlete-specific programs for sleep, hydration and nutrition (track and field). Training cognitive skills to improve perception and decision-making (football).
What does it mean for business? Imagine, for example, a world in which technology tracks employees’ alertness, triggers breaks for nutrition and fluids, and automatically adjusts the work environment – light intensity, sound, table height, seat orientation – to maximize focus. What do you think that would do for performance?
The next time you kick back to watch your favorite team and the announcer starts talking about what the team is doing to improve performance, ask yourself: How can I apply this to my team, my business? How can I apply this to improve performance?
Your thoughts?

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