More than just a Friend

When I wrote my last post on the fascinating relationship between horses and humans, I already gave you a hint about my topic for this week. I thought about linking that relationship to business ideas and the other day at my riding club, an idea came up to my mind as I was watching our weekly therapy lesson. Working animals! This concept is very interesting, for there are a variety of animal jobs, such as therapist, rescuer, or watchdog. I will explain the concept of animal jobs, their goals, and their implementation, concentrating on animal therapy. (more…)

It is ok to show emotions,darling

In my recent blogpost I wrote about adrenaline, but no worries if you haven’t read this one as I am going to think a little bit further this time: emotions in sports.

Different sports and different situation such as being in training or having a competition evoke different feelings. Since my blogmates all practice different sports I interviewed them and tried to understand what they feel and think while jogging, riding, or playing tennis. (more…)

Introverts – indispensable team members

The last days, I found myself without motivation to write my promised post about teamwork applied to introversion. But today I got it back as I saw that at least one person liked my last post. Isn’t it enthralling that only such a simple thing (someone is pressing the like button) can be motivating? I think it is, what Anika mentioned about motivation in her post: “Together we can do it”. Knowing that there are people outside, who appreciate what I wrote, since it was something of personal interest to me, motivates me to continue. (more…)

Nike – More than just a smart running shoe

On August, 31 2008 for the first time thousands of  people in 25 cities put on their running shoes and ran together about 5.113.860 kilometers. They started in Taipei and finished in LA. They were all part oft he human race 10K and ran for one goal and finally for one official destination: Nikeplus.com, writes Wolverine.

Nike+ is not just running with a smart shoe and an iPod as I mentioned in my last blog, BUT Nike+ is about inspiring and connecting runners’ worldwide. “They are offering runners new ways to compete and race. It’s an unprecedented way to bring an entirely new running experience to consumers around the globe”, states Trevor Edwards, Nike Vice President for Brand and Category Management on the blog coyle media.

The power of social networks

Pat Coyle explains if you would join the running community -starting competitions by sharing your running data and experiences with the community- this community provides a valuable experience for you. Every costumer who joins the community is adding value to each member and the brand itself. This is called network effect and means that the Nike community is depended on the number of costumers using it. Because of this valuable experience you unlikely switch brands, means you probably stay with Nike. To switch brands would mean leaving your friends behind. The more people join, the more likely a bandwagon effect is created, since more value is added to the community and finally to you.

The community developed into an asset not just for the costumers, but also for the company itself. Thus, Nike has gained valuable Market shares since the last years, as Amy Calistri suggests, because of a stronger brand loyalty towards Nike.

Challenges in the Asian Market

The author of the blog New Views argues that difficulties arise when entering a new market. In Asia for example running is not very common. The target consumers never see it as something they enjoy doing. It’s something very rigorous and painful for them.

Running doesn’t come with spectators

Many people in China living in huge cities crowed by cars, bikes, and rickshaws and on the other hand running cannot provide spectators like basketball and football. Therefore Nike has to find a way to give people in China social currency, that people are worshiped by their friends and in my point of view the Nike+ campaign could help a lot there.

Create a momentum and carry it forward

As the author points out with a quotation of Ms. Huang (Nike’s communications director for Greater China) the company is very confident with the future prospects concerning the chinese market, because there is a positive perception about running right now in China. Nike is certainly aware of the fact that running just will remain a niche sport in China, but hopefully a lot of people become interested and just give it a try.

And maybe there comes the time, were all these people are participants of the –now- annual Human Race by Nike.

Motivation – the ultimate extra bit to be successful !?

Did you ever ask yourself the question why athletes are so good in their sports and why it is not you in their place?  Being famous, earning larger amounts of money by competing in marathons, championships or world cups? And if you did, have you answered this question by your lack of talent and them being gifted?

Vince Lombardi -former American football coach- got he answer, as he once said:

Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is.

Be motivated, get excited!

So, the extra bit that makes the difference is motivation. Is does not really matter of what your motivation consists Toni Church argues in his running-blog; whether you want to win, you want to achieve a personal best or if you are running in honor of a loved one.

Do not loose track

Once you found out why you are aiming for something, you are still not guaranteed any success. It is important to STAY motivated, something onelittlejill discusses in her blog asking the audience how they best motivate themselves. Kandi answers to this question that she kept telling her mum that she could make it and how strong she was in order to push her mom towards the completion of the marathon. Onelittlejil, she posted various images with motivating statements on her mirror which remind her every day of what her goal is.

Motivation in Business

And all of this can also be applied to business. Why are some more successful than others?

Nick Spano argues that Motivation, Productivity, and Change Management are very closely linked. Proper motivation can increase productivity.”

And finally, Anne Balaban concludes in her blog -after having rehearsed Steve Jobs’ speech at Stanford University in 2005- that any individual can motivate others in order to make a difference.

Together we can do it

I believe that Sports teams are the perfect role model for companies and organizations regarding team work and a common target. If you watch basketball teams or soccer teams playing, you can always observe them when failing to score a point that they give each other high-fives. This is only a little gesture but in my opinion by this behaviour they are showing each other that they do not give up and they will keep trying until they finally score and win.

And this is what managers and team leaders in companies need to do. They should make sure employees stay passionate about projects in order to encourage them to keep working efficiently on projects and even more when they suffered setbacks.

This leads me to a few questions I would like to discuss with you:

In order to stay motivated, who is the more important part to motivate others? The team leaders or the team members?

connecting to the 1st question: WHO motivates managers? Are they fully self-responsible of their motivation?

Can athletic employees contribute a bigger share to the organizations’ success?