It’s a game, but different

We all know them, the often motivationally intended comparisons of organisations, working teams, to sports teams. Or armies. But let’s stick with the sports.

The shortcoming with these comparisons: They do not reflect reality. And even if you knew that already (which I assume), I wonder if you’ve ever asked yourself why that is. And the answer that hit me the other day is that you are not only Team Red, you’re also Team Blue, and there are at least two balls in the game.

Just like every person is the biggest obstacle on the way to [success, happiness, self-actualisation …], so is an organisation. Because the dynamics work both ways: Not only do you have to move “the” ball from your side towards the other goal, but at the same time prevent “the” ball from hitting yours. The ball(s) you’re moving forward are your assignments, and the balls coming towards you are (or will become) problems. Not only linked to assignments, some are random, “outside-world factors”, nevertheless you have to deal with them.

It’s not enough to focus on the development of your “offensive game”, you must also -at the same time- prevent or solve problems quickly and effectively or your score will be diminished by the problems that hit you in the back. After all, what’s hitting a goal worth when you get hit twice at the same time?

So the next time you’re going for the team circle, you may want to keep this in mind. You’re both teams, and there’s many balls in the game. All need to be taken care of, otherwise you better not bet on yourself.

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