Posted by: drewdice | February 29, 2012

Does Luck lead to high performance?

Whether you are a fan of professional football or not, you have likely heard of Peyton Manning. You may also know that he is at a crossroads in his career, due to his recent injuries – and so, his current team, the Indianapolis Colts, is also at a crossroads with regards to their future path.

Many people feel that the Colts will release Manning, who will then be free to join another team to continue his career, and will draft Andrew Luck, a highly touted quarterback from Stanford. The football pundits feel that Luck could be the next great quarterback – with comparisons to John Elway and other past (and current) greats at the position. Debates continue stirring around whether it is best for the Colts (and Manning and Luck) to draft Luck, and have him serve as an understudy to Manning for a year or two, or, to release Manning, and put Luck in the starting lineup right away (much like Cam Newton and Andy Dalton did in 2011).

On the radio this morning, I heard one NFL expert express that the notion of having a rookie quarterback learn as an understudy to a current quarterback is flawed and urealistic – that the way quarterbacks learn is by taking snaps, practicing reps, timing and game-like situations, and that holding a clipboard and trying to soak up the knowledge and expertise that is in the heads of the starter is not productive – for anyone.

This made me think of the launch of your next potential high performer in your organization. What is your best strategy to launch a highly productive member of the team – possibly in a critical role – and what culture and processes do you have in place to capture the expert knowledge, processes and approaches in your organization, and transfer that to new hires (or, people who change roles) to enable those folks to be proficient as quickly and sustainably as possible?

Is it:

– On the job training?
– Formal (classroom based, as an example) learning/training?
– Communities of Practice?
– Something(s) else?

What is your secret sauce to driving high performance?

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