I’m a sports fan. I like most sports and have preferred teams/athletes in each. This season of sport, though, happens to be my favourite because I’m a big football supporter. I’ve got American football teams (both NCAA and NFL) and a football club here in my adopted home country of Scotland. All my football teams have delivered – in the imitable style of the late Howard Cosell – the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. Unfortunately, too much of the latter for one in particular – ahem, ‘Canes, I’m looking at you.  

In the sporting arenas of all three, where I’ve been privileged many times to cheer my team on in person, I am fully engaged. By this I mean I’m singing, I’m shouting, I’m coaching, I’m celebrating and, yes, sometimes I’m commiserating. And you know what? So is every other heaving, screaming, body in the stadium.

So, the question is, are we merely spectators in the contest or are we participants?

I think it’s undeniable that we are indeed participants – and important ones, at that.

And the teams generally know this. They walk the stadium, clapping the fans after a big victory; wax lyrical about the atmosphere of a packed arena; and presumedly without exception, stringently vocalise the importance of the “12th Player” in the contest.

It’s a passive participation, though. One that means we have no direct ability to influence the outcome.

Often, I suspect, organisations who tout that their people are their greatest assets, place them in the 12th Player category. The quality of their work and, indeed, the level of employee engagement can and does contribute to greater success for the organisation, though they don’t, as individuals, have any direct means to deliver change.

So, what would happen if this greatest asset was empowered to actively participate rather than just passively? Imagine if they could become part of the “back-room staff” instead of just sitting in the stands.

Notice I didn’t say part of the playing team. The players are elite athletes whose talent, experience and physical training require them to play out the contest and organisations have their versions of these individuals, too. The elite players are, however, actively supported by the back room. The back-room staff brings their own set of expertise which, when imparted on the athletes, can directly impact the outcome.

Imagine the harnessed power of taking your employee base – already so effective as your 12th Player – and giving them back-room status.

Empowering them to use their individual experience and creativity to offer solutions to challenges or identify opportunities that exist. Imagine how successful your organisation could be.

Engaged to empowered.

Talk about a game-winning strategy!

If you’d like to learn more about how smartcrowds can help you bring your 12th Player out of the stands and into the back room, get in touch.