Tonight is the first Origin game of 2014, and so  I expect to hear lots of people using sporting analogies  over the next few weeks, particularly football.

Sporting analogies abound in business, “A team of champions does not make a champion team”

How many time have you heard that?

As management layers are removed, and the management culture evolves rapidly towards recognising the value of teams in a commercial context, we often use the sporting team as the foundation of the commercial team .

Familiarity, known skills, interpersonal relationships, all that stuff gets considered as a team is put together. Sometimes of course, in the real world teams are put together with whoever is to hand, has some spare time, is at the water cooler too often.

We confuse this simplified sporting stuff, useful in its own context, with the key components of a commercial team faced with  commercial challenges.

In that case, you need a range of technical and domain skills, a questioning mentality, and a willingness to try things, and usually some diversity, some new or unusual blood being injected  to create a sense of discomfort that always precedes game changing ideas and insights.

Unlike sporting events, which last for a hour, more or less, commercial challenges are way longer term, when the micro interaction is important more as a learning event than a game breaker.