June 11, 2006

Business Lessons from Tee-Ball

The last thing I expected when I attended my niece's Tee-Ball game, was to think how much the event was like attending a business meeting. Don't get me wrong it was a lot of fun to watch the antics of the seven year olds.

But what triggered this article was how, despite the best intentions of the novice baseball players, they quickly lost interest in the game. I believe in the higher goals of Tee Ball. Primary is to introduce kids to the game and make sure they have fun. In this case my niece's little league removed much of the fun. Basically each kid gets two turns at bat and then two turns in the field. But there's no running, no catching...just a bunch of stand here, "move there" maneuvers. I guess a kid could get hurt.

The result was a lot of kids socializing, talking, hunting for caterpillars...doing everything but baseball. Occasionally someone would hit the ball and there would be a mad scramble for it.

The next time you're in a meeting look around. Are people doing anything but dealing with what matters most? Are the organizations rules making making it un-fun? Is your team just going through the motions?

Business (and baseball) can be a meaningful vehicle for personal and professional growth. I pity the organizations that miss the opportunity to enable this. Oh and by the way, I just know that my niece will have more baseball in her future. Why ? You should see how she hits and throws the ball.

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