March Madness and Predictive Index®

PI Worldwide Offers Proven Tool for Motivating Teams, in Basketball and in Business: Winning Coach Uses Data-Driven Assessment to Beat the Competition

When March Madness comes around, every fan wants to know: What makes a winning team? In today’s competitive economic environment, managers at companies large and small are asking the same question. They face the same challenges as coaches competing on the courts – how to build, motivate and maximize the talent of their people to build winning teams. Wellesley-based PI Worldwide, a premiere global consulting company specializing in leadership and sales performance development, works with coaches and senior business leaders alike to provide key insight into the natural behavioral drives of people through the use of their proprietary assessment tools and expert consulting, helping to create world class winning teams.

Coaches and managers agree that motivating a team, whether to win games or to meet sales targets, is the winning strategy.

Tennessee head coach, Pat Summitt, who recently reached an astonishing record 1,000 wins in her coaching career, leverages the data provided by PI Worldwide’s assessment tool, Predictive Index®, to better understand the drives and motivations of her players. Using the PI helps “…you learn so much about who has patience, who has competitive drive, who you can count on to have the composure you need in big game situations, and how much pressure they can take,” said Summitt in a 2009 interview with ESPN.
In fact, 41.7% of companies recently surveyed by PI Worldwide cited the development of effective teams as the primary source of value and use for the detailed data that PI provides on the motivations and behavioral drives of employees.

“The high pressure environment of March Madness is similar to today’s highly competitive market,” says Nancy Martini, CEO, PI Worldwide. “A reliable, valid behavioral assessment tool like Predictive Index can help create the most effective teams by equipping coaches and managers alike with the insight to understand how each player is most naturally suited to perform at both the individual and team level, enabling coaches like Pat Summitt to tailor their coaching and communication style to motivate and drive team performance.”
So what lessons can managers steal from the court to apply with their own teams? PI Worldwide offers the following lessons:

• Know who you can put in the game when the pressure is on. The use of well-developed and well-validated measures of personality, technical skills, values and cognitive ability consistently leads to higher-quality hiring and promotion decisions.
• Learn who you can push. There’s a danger in using the same communication and motivation strategies for every individual. Not everyone perceives pressures the same way, and not everyone is alike in the way they handle change. Some players need to hear “You’re better than this,” while other need to have their competitive buttons pushed.
• Do you want to beat your rivals or help your team? Incentives that focus on competition and achieving a great prize might seem like a terrific motivator. In reality, many players are more team-oriented and motivated by cooperation. Knowing that will help you motivate Sally AND Patty, even though they have different styles.
• Every player brings something unique to the team. As new players are added to the team, roles are shifted. It is important that individuals are recognized for the special talent they bring to the team and to emphasize to all players that the team’s success is dependent on everyone working together.
• Develop your leaders. Remember that training and development is the whole point of coaching, and that focusing on skill development is only going to make the team stronger.


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