Hey Joe

by Matthew Stollak on Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Last weekend, I attended my 10th NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four in Houston, TX.  Here are some quick observations:

  • Houston is not a great site for the Final Four.  It is very spread out, forcing attendees to rely heavily on cab rides to get around town.   Further, the cab drivers we had were very unfamiliar with the city, and at least 3 times I had to search my smartphone for the address, and even had to enter one address into the cab driver's GPS.  That did not convey a positive view of the city.   Further, the sprawl of Houston made for less of a Final Four feel.  When you are in San Antonio or Indianapolis, the event is much more compact and you see fans everywhere.  Thus, it creates much more buzz and excitement for the event.  Rotate the event in San Antonio, Indianapolis and New Orleans and be done with it.
  • The stature of the Final Four attracts a number of current and former athletes.  Until you see professional athletes up close, you never get a sense of how different they are.  Kareem Abdul-Jabbar?  Tall.   Really tall.  Really, really tall.  Charles Barkley?  Huge - both vertically and horizontally.  Imagine if you could easily identify talent as easily as you could choose height.  Then again, Doug Flutie looks like a weekend softball player.
With sports on the mind, it is time to hype Thursday's HR Happy Hour at 7p.m. Central:

You can learn all you need to know about recruiting, talent management, effective team dynamics, managing star performers, aligning compensation with performance, and succession planning from studying the history of the National Basketball Association. Don't believe it? Where else but in big-time sports can you see the effects of talent assessment, recruiting, leadership, and employee engagement played out, in public, under the spotlight, every day of the year? What players to draft, which ones to develop, which ones to cut loose, and how to build the right mix of personalities and talent to achieve team goals are the primary concern of all sports franchises, and quite honestly, they are the same concerns of organizations in all types of industries. Sure, you might think this show is an excuse for Steve to assemble a bunch of his friends to talk about sports, and you'd be partially right. But sports offers a lens to most the of most critical issues you deal with every day in HR, Recruiting, and Management, so this week we'll try to make the connection. And we will also talk about the Final Four, the NBA Playoffs, and Moneyball. Joining us on the show will be The 8 Man Rotation dream team - Kris Dunn, Lance Haun, Tim Sackett, and Matt 'akaBruno' Stollak. It should be a great show and I hope you will join us.

Leave your comment