Is Running a Business like a Sport?

Chuck Mouranie ·

I find it interesting that everyone knows who won the big game, but few people know how their business is truly performing. I am not sure if this is a lack of availability of information, devoid of individual ownership, or simply a lack of interest.

Every team must have a goal. It could be winning the Stanley Cup, World Series, or increasing sales. Strong teams and companies both agree on a goal and laser focus their attention to attain the objective. All decisions are made within the backdrop of this target. They are similar of focus and every team member is on-board, driving to the bottom line --- winning.

Running a business is no different. Most companies claim to have defined goals, yet when asking workers within the organization about the objective, they vaguely know the goals and can neither explain them nor have buy in. In fact, sometimes we run into leadership teams that continue to dispute the metrics even after extensive discussions and consensus. Either way, there is very limited togetherness of purpose, which is almost a sure fire way to lose.

For a company to be successful, the will of leadership alone will not assure success. Every member of the team, from CEO to line worker, must be able to articulate the overall objectives and communicate what portion they own. The goal must be posted, updated, and constantly challenge the entire team to offer ideas to facilitate success. Much like a baseball team.

The 1988 movie, Bull Durham, is all about baseball. The team manager, played by Trey Wilson, stated: “you throw the ball, you hit the ball, you catch the ball.” The actions required for success are very clear, and it is no different for a business. Everyone has their role, and if you do your job to the best of your ability, focused on the overall objection, you will win the game.

I guess running a business is really like a sport. The real question is, “why play the game if you aren’t going to keep score?”

Chuck Mouranie is a Certified Turnaround Professional and Six Sigma Black Belt with 39 years of experience assessing the operational performance of companies in a variety of industries. If you are interested in learning more about the how to set metrics and keep score, please reach out to Chuck at cmouranie@edsisolutions.com.