Business loves sports metaphors. We’re encouraged to punch above our weight.
Not drop the ball, be a team player and stick to the game plan.
Most of all we’re encouraged to go for goal.
Or reach our goals, or set strategic goals, or even move the goal posts while the competition isn’t looking.
No business/sports analogy is as full court press ubiquitous as the goal metaphor.
It’s become such standard business speak, that no one thinks twice about it.
Everyone knows what a goal is, or assumes they do.
But look into the metaphor a little more deeply and one thing becomes clear.
In sport, as in business, there are many different ways to score a goal.
There are counter attacking goals, breakaways where the tables are turned with jujitsu like fluidity. Like Apple and Samsung decimating Blackberry.
There are flukes, the footie equivalent of inventing Post-it notes, and where would we be without Post-it notes?
(You may not get this until the slo-mo replay)
Not forgetting team goals, the result of twenty chess like passes culminating in that final pass into the net.
Teamwork is prized as one of business’s duo of holy grails, alongside innovation.
And rightly prized because there’s only so much a single person can achieve.
You can’t do it all yourself, so there is no “I” in team, but does too much emphasis on team work stifle individual brilliance?
Can an over reliance on teamwork lead organizations to hire for the echo chamber and discourage disruption?
Disruption – that grit in the oyster that sometimes forms the pearl of innovation.
It’s undeniable that all goals count, but given the choice who wants to score from a scrappy goalmouth melee if they can score a blinder like this breathtaking piece of individual brilliance from Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Who says there’s no “I” in team?
Whatever your goal, all goals share one thing in common; you have to be prepared to take the shot.
You have to be willing to risk missing.
You can’t win if you’re afraid of losing.