We’ve talked before about the benefits of being proactive versus reactive. Being proactive is more beneficial than being reactive in every aspect of life, whether in business, sports, or just everyday life. A task as simple as crossing a street can illustrate this point: be proactive by looking both ways ahead of time and avoiding potential oncoming traffic or keep your head down and try to react at the last second to a large truck barreling down on you. The difference and the possible consequences are stark.
The difference between successful sports teams or businesses and their unsuccessful counterparts is whether or not they are proactive. Being proactive creates and/or discovers additional time and space that allows for better, more thoughtful, and ultimately successful decisions. Let’s compare sports to business using this idea.
Great Athletes Create Time and Space
A hockey player, as an example, is much more of a threat to the opposing team when they are proactive in four distinct ways.
They possess more agility
Being agile is the result of practicing agility – it’s not a natural quality for most of us. It is the ability to move with ease quickly and effectively in multiple directions. So, when a threat or problem is directly ahead, they are able to avoid that threat by quickly changing course.
They gather and process data faster
Creating time and space in a situation requires a fast, full, and accurate assessment of the situation at hand. The hockey player must be aware of the current position of every defender in their range, as well as being able to read their body language to know where their next position is likely to be, in order to navigate through and past them. The quicker they can take in and process all of this information, the more time and space they have to determine their next move.
They are in a better position to manage threats or risks
This is partially because of the previous two points. Because they have purposefully practiced being agile and being fully aware of their situation, they have automatically created additional time and space to prepare for and deal with any threat or risk that comes at them.
Additionally, they have balance and coordination. They know how to position their body at all times to stay balanced on the ice, and can move themselves and the puck across the ice effortlessly to where they want to be, avoiding the threats that are between them and their next position or knowing that a different course should be taken for maximum risk management.
They utilise their available resources more efficiently
Every player has the same equipment, the same playing area, the same conditions, and two hands and two feet. The difference is how efficiently those resources are used. Sometimes using a free carry in open ice is sufficient, and sometimes the puck must be handled tightly and closely. Sometimes a long stride for speed is necessary, and other times stopping completely is the right play. The ability to use the right tool at the right time allows the time and space created to be used more effectively.
Compliance Creates Time and Space
Having a good compliance program throughout an organisation creates time and space in the same way. The regular gathering and analysis of real-time big data from every aspect of the business provides the information necessary to become or remain agile, process data faster, manage risks or threats proactively and make the best use of all available resources.
Just as a good hockey forward uses these skills to reach the goal, businesses who practice these skills through the proper application of compliance can navigate the sometimes rocky seas of the business world with much more ease and confidence.
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