Sports learning Kevin Pietersen

Lots of comment and lots of thoughts sprung to mind when I first heard the news that Cricket test all rounder Kevin Pietersen had been ‘sacked’ by the management.

It went further than that, though. The rumours have abounded all day that the rest of the team were asked to vote if they would want him to stay or not – and no-one voted to keep him. Now, this may not be true, but think – are there any members of your teams who might fall into that category?  Or any individuals in the team you are a member of?  Or even, yourself?  News always makes you think, doesn’t it?  Even if you don’t like cricket, just watch the news tonight or get some on-line stuff – you will be amazed at how divisive a figure this ‘talented maverick’ seems to be.

“He just needed to be managed well” , said his first test captain, Michael Vaughan.  You have to be able to manage , mavericks – you can’t have clones all round”.  Hmm.  Got you thinking again?

He had been criticized for repeatedly failing to reckless shot-making.  So, not a team player?  Annoyed the others?  Not worth keeping however great he was on occasions?  Are some people more trouble than they are worth?  Or do they just need better management and leadership?

Do you see what I mean?  Read and watch his story with your organisational hat on, and  yo will be amazed how much learning is deeply embedded in there!

This sort f thing (although this is easier to pick over than some stories) does happen every day (Tube strike yesterday; NHS A&E problems, Boris – any day, really).  Just look at stuff from a different angle.  You will be pleased at this cheap way of enhancing your thinking.  WILT – what i learnt today – will become very easy for you – and you may want to put up a guest blog here!

Lessons from Hotels

You can find lessons that help you in your day to day work every day if you keep your mind open.  Here’s an example of learning from both good and bad happenings.

I was staying at a training venue with clients overnight.  We were getting ready for a new product launch, and it was our first event – so everyone was a bit tense, of course.  What you need in those circumstances is for everything to be smooth and perfect, naturally.


(from my friends at The Trainers Library / Glasstap

On arrival (great looking place, and easy to find), reception were having trouble with a New Yorker who was taking no prisoners.  He was shouting at the receptionist   “Why can’t I have my print out now” and more, and more.  She used the broken record technique of calmly repeating why she couldn’t, and how it would not be correct until the system had caught up with itself.  She did print something for him, but then told him he still needed to pick the full piece up later.  Calm, self assured, assertiveness personified   I had checked in at the same time and was following said gentleman to the rooms.  He let the first door we came to smash back into me.  I said nothing (being British!) but just held back.  Clearly, reception had handled him so well he was still steaming angry!

Later, in the restaurant we complained that it was cold.  “Heating is broken in here” was the explanation.  They had brought in two tiny fan heaters.  One didn’t seem to be having much effect – so I checked out its settings – and found they had positioned it backwards, so that it was heating the wall behind it very well indeed!

OK – we laughed, but it does start to make you wonder about the whole place.  Are the staff paid well enough? Are there enough of them?  Are they well led?  Are they trained well – or at all?  What will our food be like if they can’t sort out simple things?

That’s the problem with problems.  We all have to sort them every day in our own organisations   And if we sort them well, everyone will notice, and think we are a good organisation to be involved with.  And the converse is absolutely true too.