Posts Tagged ‘human resources’
Business - Written Thursday, July 2, 2009 by Naumi Haque - 6 Comments
One of the critical challenges with enterprise collaboration (a Steve noted earlier) is determining how to measure and reward it. For inspiration on how to solve this problem, I look to non-corporate collaborative context – professional sports, and more specifically, the NBA. In this environment, success is based largely on collaboration between players, individual and team outcomes and rewards are easily measured, and some efforts are being made to measure the value of teamwork in a quantitative sense.
What really propelled my thinking in this area was an article written back in February in the New York Times. “The No-Stats All-Star” written by Michael Lewis, (author of “Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game”) highlights “a basketball mystery: a player [who] is widely regarded inside the N.B.A. as, at best, a replaceable cog in a machine driven by superstars. And yet every team he has ever played on has acquired some magical ability to win.” Specifically, the article dissects the play of Shane Battier, a collaborative team player whose value is difficult to measure using traditional basketball statistics.
So why look at basketball for insight on how to measure collaboration rather than some other sport? As Lewis notes, “The difference in basketball is that it happens to be the sport that is most like life.” What the author means is that basketball is not a series of one-on-one contests between individuals, as with baseball, or a series of plays determined by a coach, as with football. Rather, basketball is a truly collaborative effort with many subtle offensive and defensive moves taking place simultaneously by a number of players. What’s more, in basketball “the player, in his play, faces choices between maximizing his own perceived self-interest and winning. The choices are sufficiently complex that there is a fair chance he doesn’t fully grasp that he is making them.” Sound familiar?