What If We Ran Our Organizations Like Sports Teams?

One of the interesting things I always notice as we approach big games, like the recent Super Bore, is that business writers and observers tend to skew their musings toward sport, or the business of sport (maybe that’s just a way for them to justify their employer paying for a trip to the game??).

Anyway, not being one to miss the boat, I began to think – what if an organization was run like a sports team? 

I’m talking – what if EVERY person in the organization was on a yearly or multiple year contract?  From the CEO to the janitor?  Sure there might be some short term thinking, but the multi-year deals would reduce the worry about trying to maximize today’s profits at the expense of tomorrows; besides, that’s where ownership has to decide if that’s what they want.

Pay a bit of a premium in salary, still offer standard benefits, and have solid performance measures for each position.  Even have a performance bonus plan that could be based on quality, quantity, etc.  Add incentives for participating in improvement activities and a share of the improvement gain.  Really try to engage employees.  Treat every day like game day.

Think about it – that person in accounting who just does the minimum to get by – they wouldn’t last past the end of their contract – LIFERS beware!.  And good talent jumping ship, well, they can, but their contracts would need to be bought out.

Maybe part of the contract is a job placement service for a certain period of time if your contract is terminated.  Lots of possibilities.

But would this improve operational performance?  What kind of culture would it create?  Collaborative or Back-Stabbing?

What do you think?


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