Sports can be a great metaphor for business. So occasionally I enjoy hearing broadcast analysts explain why they believe some teams are victorious.

Some even become dynasties while others fail. Often, the analysts’ conclusions are applicable for business. 

It’s also sometimes true that neither businesspeople nor sport analysts don’t understand the big picture when it comes to sustainable competitiveness. 

In analyzing successes and defeats, the announcers might stress teamwork, playmaking, good defense, offense, or whatever.

That’s all true. I agree.

Likewise, a lot of businesses don’t dominate even though they have good sales or marketing people. 

But in analyzing sustainable competitiveness, it goes deeper than that – much deeper. 

Before I explain what I mean, let’s consider your company.

How do you measure up, metrically? 

Try taking this simple quiz: 

  1. Does your company operate at a high level of performance? 
  2. Do you have big or small opportunities for significant improvement? 
  3. Does your business use its resources effectively? 
  4. Does your firm have a strong commitment to performance measurement? 
  5. How’s your strategic planning for all tsunami-like contingencies? 
  6. Are you best-in-class in your niche? 
  7. How high is your customer-satisfaction index? 
  8. How is your employee morale? 
  9. How advanced are you in doing the green thing? 
  10. Do you give back, or partner with the community? 

If you have positive answers for the 10 questions, it’s a safe bet your company has sustainable competitiveness – as a result of your bench strength from succession planning. 

Sure, just like sports teams, a typical successful business has superior game plans. It’s also faster and stronger than its competitors. 

But what’s an overlooked trait for sustainable competitiveness – the common denominator? Winners are No. 1 in bench strength from succession planning. Now that’s stellar management. 

From the Coach’s Corner, here are strategies for succession planning: 

Home-Grown Succession Planning Helps Financial Performance — Companies that promote their chief executives from inside vis-à-vis recruiting from the outside have a much higher financial-success rate. In other words, successful companies identify and nurture their intellectual capital. It’s not just my experience. It’s been confirmed by a global human resources study.

Management — Big Banks Provide Lessons in Succession Planning — Many businesspeople are so focused on operating their businesses, they forget about human capital –their most important asset. Organizations from small to large should strategically make a succession plan.

Remove Guesswork for Promoting Talent within Your Business — Baseball as a metaphor for winning in business — promoting the right employees   To win baseball championships, there’s often a correlation — among  a baseball team’s management, talent and farm system. A farm system’s role is to provide training and experience for young players. The best farm systems deliver impact talent.

“I have always advocated for funding and programs that increase our productivity and competitiveness.”

George Allen


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.