I’ve always liked basketball because it is an intense and fluid game. There’s no standing around waiting for a pitch or lining up and waiting for a snap. While you have a game plan, you have to adjust on the fly. You study your opponents’ behavior and focus on seizing opportunities as they arise.
Playing basketball gave me “court sense,” an ability to manage more than one thing going on, and to adjust to fast-changing variables to predict where the next opening or opportunity might be. A manager must learn to simultaneously track the movements and momentum of the entire team, the entire organization, the competition.
A closely related concept is that of “driving forces” and those sources of change that every organization must align with or risk being run over by. The better your court sense, the sooner you will see and adjust to driving forces.
It’s critical to adopt an alert, ready posture, constantly reminding yourself to look up, look forward, and look around. It’s valuable to take time regularly to step out of your comfort zone, and out of the weeds of daily tasks and pressing issues. You can’t hone your court sense in a vacuum — or in an echo chamber.
- Have you developed your own “court sense”?
- What steps have you taken to prepare your staff to respond to rapidly changing conditions and trends?