Thursday, June 24, 2010

Roll That Film

It may be soccer-crazy right now following the USA's win over Algeria, but I'm thinking football.

Let me explain.

I'm working on a leadership training event for a new church plant that is launching this fall. Their marketing campaign for the launch centers around football concepts. Borrowing the theme, I'm structuring four sessions over two days that will use the metaphor of football and its associated "team" lessons.

In the middle of this preparation drops a great article by Dan and Chip Heath (authors of "Made to Stick" and "Switch"). Published in the June issue of Fast Company magazine, it's entitled "Watch the Game Film." You really need to check out the whole article, but here's a quick summary:

  • Football coaches use game film to spot things they'd never see in real time. They have an entire week to review a 60-minute game.
  • In the business world, every day is game day, and leaders don't take the time to "study the film" of their activities. It's unfortunate, because studying game film can yield unexpected results.
  • Doug Lemov, a consultant to school districts, utilized film of top-tier teachers in the classroom to train other teachers - resulting in raising students a grade level and a half in one year.
  • It doesn't have to be film - Jump Associates, a strategy consulting firm, uses trained observers to record client meetings. After the meeting, the Jump staff hold a debriefing, modeled on the Army's after-action reviews.
What insights might your team be overlooking because no one is observing carefully enough?

Maybe it's time to press the PAUSE button and start screening some game film. There are some things you'll never see unless you look.

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