Latest News: Technology |  Celebrity |  Movies |  Apple |  Cars |  Business |  Sports |  TV Shows |  Geek

Trending

Filed under: News

 

Sick Of Sports: Why Rock Bands Are A Better Metaphor For Work Teams

Jan 10 2014, 10:11am CST | by

10 Updates
Sick Of Sports: Why Rock Bands Are A Better Metaphor For Work Teams
Photo Credit: Forbes
 
 

Comments

Full Story

Sick Of Sports: Why Rock Bands Are A Better Metaphor For Work Teams

Sports teams are the canonical metaphor for teamwork. We try to “pick winners” to score “slam dunks.” Team leaders “coach” team members and then “send in heavy hitters” who “step up to the plate” and sometimes “take one for the team,” all the while “keeping their eyes on the ball.” Books by celebrity coaches preaching teamwork and leadership lessons from sports are bestsellers.

The language we use to talk about our world shapes how we think about it, and using (or overusing) specific metaphors can lead us to understand our work life in partial ways. Are sports teams the most appropriate examples for today’s work teams?

In sports there are clear winners and losers. The rules of the game rarely change. The organizational cast of characters—teams, leagues—is stable. Great team performance hinges mostly on real-time execution. And customer needs and expectations don’t change, nor are they focus of the team. Winning is.

In contrast, for many organizational teams, great performance hinges on their ability to be creative and adapt to an environment that is in constant flux. For most teams, meeting the needs of their customers—whether internal to their organizations or out in the marketplace—is more important than beating their competition. In fact, successfully satisfying their customers is the way to beat the competition. And doing that means responding rapidly to challenges and opportunities.

In the past few years I have been investigating what rock bands teach us about teamwork. Like any business, rock bands create new products (concerts, recordings, videos) that they sell in the marketplace. Like business teams, they have to satisfy a variety of stakeholders: their customers (audiences), their peers, and their critics. Rock bands must be able to recognize revenue-making opportunities and even create new ones where none existed before.

Unlike sports teams and like most organizational teams, rock bands do their work in a fast changing environment, where customer aesthetic and cultural values are in constant flux. Rock bands are aware of their competition. After all, consumers have a finite budget for rock shows and they certainly have a finite capacity for listening. At the same time, bands forge partnerships with other bands. They work together to create new musical styles, produce festivals, and collaborate on exciting products that increase the pie for everyone. In other work contexts, teams both compete and collaborate to maintain the health of their industry.

There are many ways in which rock bands differ from the typical organizational team. They are less bound by organizational structures. They sometimes make decisions based on artistic rather than commercial considerations. But they still offer an exciting source of inspiration for creative teamwork. Every time we attend a show or hear a song on the radio, we witness the result of a high-performance creative team.

Work is conducted in an increasingly complex world. The language and metaphors we choose to think about our work should reflect this complexity. As we know from the prevalence of cheating scandals in both boardrooms and locker rooms, there is a price to placing winning above all else. As exciting as it is to watch a great sports team, organizational teamwork is more complex than the playing field. By focusing on winning and losing, the sports metaphor narrows what we can ultimately accomplish.

So next time you have an idea, consider “riffing” on it. At your next meeting, have a “jam session” and get “into a groove.” And next time you meet with a client, “play it by ear.”

For more about the intersection of rock n’ roll and business follow me on the top of this page or on Twitter, title="Ruth Blatt">Facebook, or Google.
/>

Source: Forbes

 

iPad Air Giveaway. Win a free iPad Air.

You Might Also Like

Updates


Sponsored Update

Update: 10

Copper thieves foiled by stalled lorry

Source: Asia One

SHAH ALAM - Robbers who carted away RM1.7 million (S$660,000) worth of copper coils from a factory at Subang High-tech Industrial Park had to abandon half the loot when one of their lorries broke down.In the 6am incident yesterday, five robbers entered the factory and tied up two security guards before fleeing with large amounts of copper coils.However, police found one of the container lorries used by the rob ...
Source: Asia One   Full article at: Asia One 1 hour ago
 


Advertisement


Update: 9

4 Firms In Iskandar Malaysia Get Facilitation Fund Totalling RM16.2 Million

Source: Malaysia Today

(Bernama) – Four companies have received the facilitation fund amounting to RM16.2 million from TERAJU@Iskandar Malaysia in an information sharing programme on business opportunities and assis ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jul 24 2014, 7:42am CDT
 

More From the Web

Update: 8

Selangor’s Watergate about to explode

Source: Malaysia Today

Anwar brought Wan Azmi to meet Khalid to try to resolve this matter. Anwar supports the RM2.5 billion claim but Khalid is stubbornly sticking to the ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jul 23 2014, 4:12am CDT
 

Update: 7

GLCs told to provide RM7 billion to develop Bumiputera firms

Source: Malaysia Today

(The Malaysian Insider) – Putrajaya has directed government-linked companies (GLC) to generate RM7 billion in business opportunities for Bumiputera firms this year, Prime Minister Prime M ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jul 17 2014, 2:05am CDT
 

Update: 6

Rafizi shows proof of Putrajaya’s hand in contentious carpet-trader loan

Source: Malaysia Today

Eileen Ng, The Malaysian Insider PKR lawmaker Rafizi Ramli today revealed documents to prove Putrajaya interfered in the RM32 million Bank Rakyat loan to ‎controversial businessman Deepak Jaikishan. Rafizi (pic)... R ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jul 16 2014, 2:16am CDT
 

Update: 5

PAS MP claims Bank Rakyat loaned carpet-trader RM215m, interest free

Source: Malaysia Today

(Malay Mail Online) – Controversial businessman Deepak Jaikishan (pic) was given a whopping RM215 million interest-free loan from state-owned Bank Rakyat, a PAS lawmaker alleged today, despite Putrajaya’s claims otherwise.... READ MORE ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jul 14 2014, 5:52am CDT
 

Update: 4

MRCB, Nusa Gapurna and PKNS settle suit over RM3 billion PJ Sentral project

Source: Malaysia Today

(The Malaysian Insider) – Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB), Nusa Gapurna Development Sdn Bhd (NGD) and PKNS Holdings Sdn Bhd have reached an out-of-court settlement over the ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jun 21 2014, 2:53am CDT
 

Update: 3

Story behind Syed Mokhtar’s ‘RM2.25 billion tax-exempt’ Bernas deal revealed, says PKR MP

Source: Malaysia Today

(The Malaysian Insider) – An innocuous written reply in Parliament has provided a peek into the cosy relationship between the Najib administration and Malaysia’s best-known businessman, Tan Sri Syed Mok ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jun 15 2014, 12:56pm CDT
 

Update: 2

Constitutional monarchy still murky concept

Source: Malaysia Today

After the RM4.5 billion land sale, the Sultan of Johor secured a 15% stake in MOL Access Portal (MOL) for RM396 million and took a 20% stake ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jun 14 2014, 12:37am CDT
 

Update: 1

Sultan of Johor’s RM4.5 bil backlash?

Source: Malaysia Today

Has Sultan Ibrahim of Johor’s succession of big money deals over the last six months caused the tide of public opinion to turn against Johor’s royal palace? KiniBiz exa ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jun 11 2014, 8:49am CDT
 

Shopping Deals

 
 
 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/31" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

 

Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Tony Parker Signs 3-Year, $43.3M Extension
Tony Parker Signs 3-Year, $43.3M Extension
San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker signed a three-year, $43.3 million extension on Aug. 1.
 
 
Nicole Murphy and Michael Strahan Call Off Engagement
Nicole Murphy and Michael Strahan Call Off Engagement
The News Happens One Day Before Strahan Will Be Inducted Into The Hall of Fame.
 
 
Conservation Group Finds No Fukushima Radiation Off U.S. West Coast
Conservation Group Finds No Fukushima Radiation Off U.S. West Coast
The Group Will Continue Tracking In 6-Month Intervals.
 
 
American Ebola Patients At Emory University Hospital Saturday
American Ebola Patients At Emory University Hospital Saturday
American Ebola patients will be transported to Atlanta's Emory University Hospital on Saturday, says U.S. State Department. Emory will work closely with local CDC to help patients.
 
 
 

About the Geek Mind

The “geek mind” is concerned with more than just the latest iPhone rumors, or which company will win the gaming console wars. I4U is concerned with more than just the latest photo shoot or other celebrity gossip.

The “geek mind” is concerned with life, in all its different forms and facets. The geek mind wants to know about societal and financial issues, both abroad and at home. If a Fortune 500 decides to raise their minimum wage, or any high priority news, the geek mind wants to know. The geek mind wants to know the top teams in the National Football League, or who’s likely to win the NBA Finals this coming year. The geek mind wants to know who the hottest new models are, or whether the newest blockbuster movie is worth seeing. The geek mind wants to know. The geek mind wants—needs—knowledge.

Read more about The Geek Mind.