Blog by Tony Burnet

Having spent time watching the tennis in Australia over the weekend I feel a couple of parallels to business stood out to me.

As a keen observer of the game it was interesting to see a myriad of players all with exceptional talent and drive.   What separated them was the “top six inches”.

  • The ability to adapt when things were not going well – was there a plan B?
  • Being able to execute under enormous pressure when it really mattered.

That’s what separated the champions from the “very goods”.

I believe this mirrors business:

  • People who rise above adversity
  • People who can change the game plan when things are not working
  • Being able to execute their new plan and…
  • Having the confidence to do so.

These are the people who become champions.

So often people just continue to do the same thing and continue to get the same result.  If you are getting the same result time and time again – change the plan.  Again using the tennis analogy – if you are staying back and still getting beaten why not change tactics and rush the net?

However, before we do this we must appreciate that we need a new game plan that we are capable of playing.  That means we need to practice our net game to ensure we are proficient at it.  It’s no good to just change the plan and hope that it works.  Thus we need to learn how to volley and rush the net opportunely – this requires new skills and different coaching.

Likewise in business we cannot expect our staff to adapt to new ways without having given them the tools to change.  The key to a successful change of plan is to have practised and practised – or in work terms, coached and trained, your players so that they can knock the opposition off the court.

What is your game plan and do you have the necessary skills to become a champion?