I connected with a friend who is coaching a Little League baseball team and I asked him how baseball can be applied to successful team building in a manufacturing company. Here is his response,
“There is no better sport that is analogous to building a business team. Only with harmony and knowing where other players are going to play and trusting in one another can you build a great defense to support your pitcher. The defense must also communicate to know who is covering and where. And on the offense, it is one player (batter) versus 9 players. Bad odds and only 1 out of every 3 to 4 times up are you successful. Even though it is 1 versus 9 at bat, every player must try his or her odds.”
In order to be a team player for Little League baseball it is critical to understand the special rules of the sport and the importance of teamwork. For instance, every player must be given an opportunity to play and bat in each game. Also, for there to be more wins than losses than each team member needs to contribute, follow the rules, and learn to work together.
In Little League World Series, pitchers are only supposed to pitch a maximum of six innings per week along with enforced pitch counts and required days of rest. This gives other players on the team a chance to develop their own pitching abilities – a great concept that applies nicely to those employed in the manufacturing industry.
In Little League baseball, players are urged to try different positions in order to grow their skill sets and have more meaningful experiences. This translates well to workers in a manufacturing job. Being able to take on a range of tasks are critical and necessary in this type of work environment; making you more valuable to the company. “Utility infielder” is a baseball player who is capable of playing multiple defensive infield positions. While many baseball players will focus on a single role, such as catcher or outfield, the utility infielder’s flexibility to play different positions is without a doubt in demand!
Developing multiple skillsets and the ability to work together under different conditions remains important for industrial workers because it helps with efficiency and/or improves the process results. Furthermore, this adaptability allows the workers to better understand the different operations of the business and encourages employees to become more strategic in their thinking because they begin to see the whole picture. Once again, the needs of building a team and variety of work-related tasks trump other considerations.
Little League baseball offers a unique outlook on corporate teamwork which is relevant in your day-to-day work duties. Being an exceptional "utility infielder" isn’t so undesirable after all.