Sunday, February 23, 2014

Good for Gold!


After all the second guessing and snide comments and sweating through surprisingly tight games, we won gold! Again. In men's and women's hockey, our signature sports. Canadian pride is soaring again!

 See you in four years.

Unless Bettman and his bandits of the NHL decide to hold the fans and players to ransom for some bizarre business reason.  The guy loves to be in control.

I wonder if they noticed that no fighting still made for a great hockey spectacle.

Friday, February 21, 2014


Great hockey game, but much too stressful for a Friday afternoon at the office!

I'm still not agreeing with the coaching decisions, but some of the choices seem to be working out.  Who knew Jamie Benn before this.  And happy to see another BC boy and Montreal Canadien do so well  - attaboy Carey Price!

But how could you not include P.K. Subban and Martin St. Louis?  Two superstars that make a difference every time they play.

My approach would have been to pick the best possible team for talent and experience and put them on the ice from start to finish. Let them learn to play together and get over the added pressure of being still "on evaluation".

No way to build a winning team - in hockey or business.

(I know they are winning, but it shouldn't be this close. It just proves that when we have the luxury of a surplus of talent, it may be enough to make up for bad management.)

Monday, February 17, 2014

It isn't figure skating, but....

The problem with figure skating, or any sport that counts style points, is that too much depends on the very subjective evaluation of the judges.  Who are these people and why do they not see what I see? Hopefully, they are experts and are objective in their scoring. Unfortunately, some recent stories of backroom deals and political influence diminish that hope substantially.

At the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Canadian fans complained that their dance team favourites and Gold Medal Winners of 2010 were relegated to second place before the competition began.  The skaters, Virtue and Moir, took the more generous version: "We won silver, we didn't lose the gold." No complaints about the judging.  Or the coaching. (Strangely, the American gold medal team have the same coach!)  But they have to wonder what they might have done to improve on the style points.

In our businesses, we should be happy that our performance - win or lose, profit or loss - is not judged, it is told by the numbers. No points for style.

But maybe not.  There are still many subtleties and subjective "style" points if you consider all the less easily measured factors that affect bottom line performance.

Consider brand reputation, corporate image, marketing messages, packaging, advertising, social and environmental impact.  Your choices on all these factors will affect the perceptions of customers, employees and strategic partners and thereby influence your results in sales and profits.

Maybe it's time to get your head out of the numbers and  check how you are doing on style.

More Olympic lessons

An Olympic rower shares with HBR his lessons learned on handling stress, improving weaknesses and the values of teamwork.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Humility and generosity of spirit from an Olympic Champion

Alex Bilodeau made history by repeating his gold medal aerial performance on the moguls.  Then he modestly gave credit to his teammate and his brother as his inspiration to stay at the top of the world. 

Alex Bilodeau and fellow Quebecer Mikael Kingsbury, who won gold and silver in men's moguls on Monday.   

Hard to focus on work at the office while Canadians are making us proud with spectacular gold-medal performances at the Sochi Winter Olympics. 

Go CANADA go! 

Winter Olympics - Time to talk about Sochi 2014

The Winter Olympics are another great opportunity to learn more business lessons from sport.

Hard work, dedication, talent and perseverance get you to the medals and the gold in in your business too.

Check the champions who get all the attention, but don't forget anyone that makes an Olympic team is an outstanding example of what can happen if you apply talent and effort to realizing your dreams.  You can enjoy the spectacle of the highest forms of athletic performance, then absorb the lessons that you can apply to your own endeavors, business or otherwise.