Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Coaching..... The Office Game - Part I

Coaching..... The Office Game

The outgoing Australian coach John Bucanan turned down several cricket coaching assignments among them a high profile assignement from India and he said he wish to move in to a mentor role next. He specifically talked about coaching in the coporate circles. Surely, having seen what he has done with a high performing team like Australia from it's dominant position where it was to what it is today where they have raised their game in to levels un imaginable, he'll be a cracker coach in demand no doubt!
It's interesting to note that most of the people in the corporate sector who are performing managerial or team leading roles are expected to do more or less the same. It's common to see most corporates having "annual appraisals" and some of the others are having "mid year reviews" adding to that. At many places that seems to be a very formal process. All of a sudden superiors are talking about how people performed during the year under review and more often than not they also discuss 'one off' career progression plans.
One tends to wonder whether this should be the case. GE's Jack Welch in his book winning talks about two page written summaries for his direct reports which list down goals for the previous year, a candid feedback on the performce, and objectives for the coming year and they discuss gaps if any. However that document is closely monitored many times during the course of the year and candid is the key word for regular feedback sessions. That seems to have worked very well during his tenure looking at pipeline of leader's they produced and continue to produce.
Interestingly I think we can all learn a lot from Sports and specially from cricket. A cricket coach's role could be wide and varied. He's a mentor, he's a guide, he teaches where required and he puts his foot down above all for the betterment of both the individual and the side.
A typical cricket squad which comes under the purview of a coach is very similar a team under a normal manger at office. To start with a squad will have seasoned campigners, the senior players the likes of Mc Grath's, Mahela's and Jayasuriya's. Then they'll have to deal with larger than life demi god figures like the Ponting's, Tendulkar's and Lara's. Not to forget the likes of Sangakkara's and Flemin's who read the game so well. Then they'll have to work with budding players, semi sesoned ones etc. Now, isn't that similar to what most of us encounter in the office environment?It sure is, and in some of the future postings let's examine how best we could transform cricketing knowledge in to 'office field'.

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