Talking Point: The Disney Institute Blog

3 Business Lessons Organizations Can Learn from the NCAA National Basketball Championship

April 08, 2014 by Bruce Jones, Senior Programming Director, Disney Institute

3 Business Lessons Organizations Can Learn from the NCAA National Basketball Championship

Last night, the UConn Huskies won the NCAA National Basketball Championship against the Kentucky Wildcats. “March Madness” has come to a close but these business lessons derived from the tournament are applicable to your organization every day.

  1. Leadership: According to a recent article on Inc., UConn’s coach Kevin Ollie was listed as the conceptual leader, a new coach with big ideas. At Disney Institute, we encourage organizations and leaders to develop a strong set of values and a strong vision for the organization. The more a vision is expressed in a passionate and vivid manner, the more likely a team will rally behind the leader to bring his or her vision to life. In this case, Coach Ollie’s vision and big ideas motivated the team to go all the way. How can you motivate your team based on this leadership model? Believe the sky is the limit for your organization. Create a vision that brings your business to the next level and share this with your team.
  1. Fan Engagement: The fans are a crucial element during NCAA March Madness. Without the committed fans traveling thousands of miles to support their team, the dynamic on and off the court would be significantly different. Last night a record attendance of 79,238 filled the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. These fans travelled from all over the country to show their support. Think of your organization as the UConn athletic program. Your fans are your customers and raving brand loyalty is your goal. Customers who go out of their way to support your products and services are crucial to the success of your organization. Loyal customers bring repeat business, new customers through word of mouth and a willingness to invest in new products and services. How far would your fans go to bring your organization to success?
  1. Teamwork: All the teams in this year’s March Madness provide businesses with a refreshing view of teamwork. While any number of variables can impact the success of a team, it is truly the team-oriented culture displayed on and off the court that brought UConn the championship. Every year March Madness is filled with surprises, upsets, and compelling stories of underdogs. The lesson? Organizations may think they have all the details mapped out, with the brightest leadership and a “certain” future. However, when unexpected situations occur, culture always prevails in determining how the organization responds. Basketball teams – and organizations - must hold strong to their values and vision in the face of pressure and constant change. When all team members are on the same page, the organization will find itself on the path to winning.

What business practices can your organization adopt from the winning NCAA National Basketball Championship team?


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Posted in Business Excellence | Tagged Business Excellence, Leadership, Fan Engagement, Teamwork, Business Practices, NCAA Tournament, NCAA Basketball Championship, UCONN, March Madness, Bruce Jones

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