Sport has great lessons for Business.
In the 18 months since the Twenty20 World cup matches began, the Indian cricket team has been among the top performing teams in the version, adopting a 'horses for courses' policy . It is enlightening to note the composition of the specialists to tour New Zealand - replacing about half the stalwarts who are part of the longer Test cricket!
As a recruiter, one is constantly challenged to think beyond job descriptions, and arrive at different performance profiles- to enable the best 'fit'. Some roles need lot of 'out of the box thinking'-while a large majority just require people who play a maintenance role, simply doing the same basic stuff on a routine basis, unerringly. Also, companies at different life cycles of their development, need professionals of different temperament. It's easy to surmise that no size fits all!!
Over the weekend, I was fortunate to be exposed to why Great Lakes Institute of Management is emerging among the best business schools in India. Having been in touch since Dec 2006-in person, and lately through student's blogs, and their various events-I could not resist the offer of being part of their admission process for the selection for the students batch of 2009-2010. It is an initiative totally driven by the present students, and the panel consisting of their faculty & alumni-apart from getting external observers from the corporate world & independent third party recruiters to get the flavour of what the market may demand, in tune with the evolving business scenario!!
Keeping with the mission of producing 'Business Ready Managers', the brief for a Great Laker was very lucid and clear- the future belongs to people with the following attributes:
-a problem solver/solutions provider
-a self starter who is driven by desire and takes initiatives
-a person who is knowledgeable but humble, capable but a team player and leader, a dreamer with execution capabilities and a follower of rigorous discipline
-a person with a focus on getting things done and will not mind dirtying his/her hands to get results.
-a person who acts with integrity and upholds high ethical standards in both his professional and personal life.
The mantra of Dr Bala Balachandran, Founder and Honorary Dean, is very apt- 'go beyond the CV-to look at the 'spirit' of the person to predict 'will this person hear me, understand my problem, formulate and implement a solution that will bring joy to the workplace?'
It was a pleasure interacting with the aspirants-almost all of them with great academic scores and 3-5 years of a proven track record- as they went through a grilling case study -very aptly hinging on the roots of ethical behaviour. Each student had at least 30 minutes of interaction with the panel to highlight -that in an uncertain economy, while “one cannot control the wind, one can adjust the sails” and “if there is no wind, row!”
It is indeed a reassuring thought to note the creation of an ecosystem that stimulates, and provides courage and confidence for aspirants to take their rightful place among the future business leaders in the world.
Do we see the corporates adopt other benchmarks from sport? The substitutes in basketball/ soccer already play more effective roles than the twelfth man in cricket! Would 'pinch hitters' be the future 'interim managers'?
Do we see someone change the rules of the game- a la Fosbury flop raising the bar in high jump??