What golf has to do with innovation in business

We were booked for a workshop with a customer: a weekend with the employees. They should work together to develop new ideas for the future of the company. So far so good. But before going to work, the workshop participants had to warm up and relax after a long week’s work during a short 1 hour course in golfing – one hour of pitching on the green and one hour of training on the driving range. For our 10 people just the thing to escape the stress of the week.

“Just hit it,” said Markus, after showing us the basic concept behind the tee. And already the balls flew – rather just above the top of the grass in any wrong direction instead of high in the air. Practice makes perfect, doesn’t it? So just keep tapping the balls. At some point there will be a lucky hit.

Just tell us the secret golf tricks and then we can do this too

One participant was not satisfied with the instructor’s instructions. If he ever had the opportunity to be taught by a real golf professional, then he wanted precise tips so that he could make a good punch here and now. “Hey, watch out,” the coach replied. “There are 10 people here. I have to see that I do not prefer a single participant here. Of course, I could give you tips now, but that would be unfair to the others. It is just a 1 hour course and unfortunately we are limited. “But the participant did not give up. “All right,” said Markus, “if everyone agrees, I’ll give your colleague a few tips on how to do it better. Well, first of all, you’re standing wrong. Your left leg must move 2 inches forward. The upper body is bent too far, the knees are stretched too far. The right shoulder is screwed-in too far, the club angle is too open. Actually, you need another club. You should also come 3 inches to the right. In addition, you have a 3-wood. You have to bend your torso, like that. If you get momentum, then you should … “. And so began a volley of tips that pounced on the participant.

So Markus had met the participant’s request for professional advice to give the workshop participant a good punch. When he was finished with his speech, there was a brief silence at all, the individually coached participant started to strike and played the ball over the lawn. He came a bit higher than in the previous attempts. Of course he thanked for the numerous tips.

A good punch, but I think you have not warmed up yet, right?

At that moment, Philip came around the corner, who has been training with Markus for over 7 years. “Do you want to see what a drive looks like with a pro? Where should Philip hit the ball? “Philip took the target, took the perfect club, put a golf ball on the tee and got ready for the drive. Concentration, tension and strike. The ball flew far into the air and landed close to the target, despite the crosswinds that had increased in the last few minutes. There was an explosion of applause and Markus and Philip exchanged ideas about which individual measures would have made the drive even better.

The course participants returned to their tee mats and focused again on what the coach had said to them at the beginning of the training: “try it out today – we’re just doing a 1 hour course here.”

Make us an offer

Sometimes we are like Mark. We are asked if we could hold an innovation workshop in the company of a client. But then for 20 people, 30 people, sometimes 40 people or even more – “but only one coach. Incidentally, we only have half a day to invest. And please be aware that the participants have to do all this in their free time. And after the course, they should then be able to apply this themselves and contribute as multipliers within the company. Can you make us an offer for that? “

Since then, our answer has been: “Have you ever taken a 1 hour golf course with your team?”

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