Want to get your business ready for the big leagues? It may be simpler than you think. That's because, according to Joe Hyrkin, president and CEO of Wordnik, America's pastime can teach businesses quite a few valuable lessons.
Hyrkin, who manages a Little League team as well as a Silicon Valley startup, feels teams in both baseball and business can learn from the interrelated lessons the two share. According to Hyrkin, these lessons include:
- There’s always an opportunity to contribute — In baseball, you can strike out in your first three at-bats and make three errors in the field, yet still hit the game-winning home run in the bottom of the ninth inning. The same goes for working at a startup. The first three iterations of a product may not work as envisioned, but that doesn’t preclude the team from continuing to innovate and contribute ideas to improve it.
- Everyone on the team matters — The 25th man, or 12th kid (if you’re talking Little League), on the roster has something to offer. Get to know him/her and help him/her do one thing really well. Identifying areas of confidence on your team is important. It’s amazing how the rest starts to fall into place.
- It’s all about the food — Regular team lunches build relationships and foster collaboration – it’s also a nice perk for employees. Use these lunches to talk about what your team is working on, float ideas and really get to know your players. Everyone likes a free lunch, and let’s face it – like in Little League – the players want to know what the snack is at the end of the game.
- Knowing the details matters — In the startup world, as in baseball, you need to know the count. Know how many outs there are. Know your teammates’ and competitors’ strengths or weaknesses. Play to them. Details matter when you’re managing a startup. They build confidence and accountability.
- Even the best hitters strike out — An environment that allows for mistakes and celebrates what is learned contributes to consistent greatness down the road. Often the best seasons include periods of slumps. Focus on what you can learn and ways to move beyond them. It will help you and your team better prepare manage future slumps.
Wordnik is an online word graph that pulls definitions of words from several places to give the most accurate meaning and context to them.
Reach BusinessNewsDaily staff writer David Mielach at Dmielach@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @D_M89.