Friday 27 April 2012

Sport Management & Entrepreneurship SM&O Summit ... very inspirational

Wednesday afternoon I had the chance to check out the "Sport Management & Entrepreneurship" SM&O Summit at the HVA [University of Applied Sciences in Amsterdam] - what an inspiring afternoon.

Initially I was attracted to the summit by the proposition of seeing Reinout Oerlemans founder of Eyeworks speak - due to my interest in sport, marketing and media. Unfortunately he wasn't able to attend for personal reasons ... but the summit certainly didn't disappoint, in fact it was extreemly inspirational.

There were 30 or so Dutch sport entrepreneurs who's passion and drive was incredibly addictive. The title of the summit was "Show me the money" but the real theme running through the conference was "Don't make money the goal": start with your passion and use your a drive to make things better or solve a problem ... that is a kick in itself ... then the money will follow.

My 5 highlights from the day were:
  1. The enthusiasm and professionalism of the students of SM&O faculty ... just listening to their relevant questions they asked of the experts made me very positive about the quality and professionalism of the students that this HVA faculty is developing and producing.
  2. The wisdom of Durk Jan de Bruin founder of with his very sound advice for entrepreneurs around collaboration and the 2 phases of online businesses. His "pizza" story & 100th marathon says something more profound about the man behind the businesses.
  3. The insight from writer and speaker Susanne Piet, who presented her thoughts from her book De Kick ... she made me really think about link between influence, motivation, energy, experience and learning.
  4. The consultatancy cafe with ... Guus van der Meer [Founder of PowerPlate International] with his passion for helping the untrainables [40% of population] and Eelco Berkhout [Partner of cycling @ Sport Entertainment Group] with his passion for supporting talented cyclists and giving them a second chance in the case of drug offenders.
  5. The entertainment value of my good colleague Henri de Weerd who stole the show before the break with his "moon walk".
What an enjoyable and inspiring afternoon. I makes me even more enthusiastic about helping develop and produce more quality graduates. It also got me thinking about exploring some new business ideas of my own. As my last sporting entrepreneurial venture didn't work out as I had hoped, but the learning and experience was a real kick ... I still have that itch to try again!

The only little downer of the summit was the fact that of the 30 entrepreneurs, there was not one female among them! This got me thinking why is this? Some comments from the entrepreneurs themselves maybe provide some answers to this puzzle - "its all about your network", "its about attitude", "emulate a hero", and "sponsors/money follow the eyeballs". This gap remains a huge opportunity for the sports world and in my role as a teacher I believe I can start to address this.

Monday 16 April 2012

My attempt at being a talk show host!

Wow, that was challenging, but so much fun.

Well it wasn't so much a talk show, rather a virtual open day for prospective students at ISMB [International Sports Management and Business] where I teach part-time, sport marketing, sport media, professional development, badminton and squash. In fact it was the very first virtual open day the HVA has ever hosted.

Talk about multitasking during the show ... present, watch for signs from floor manager, pose questions that make sense, make it as natural as a conversation, check for incoming questions from the web interface, listen to the answers of the guests and make sure it fits in 1 hour. All at the same time, without forgetting to smile!

We had 128 people logging on during the show, from, for example China, Argentina, Netherlands, the UK, Bulgaria, and Lithuania.

Thank goodness, the guests [Nick, Claudia, Angelique and Dave] were fantastic and saved me a few times.

Monday 2 April 2012

My Myers-Briggs Type [MBTI] makes even more sense when combined with my personal hedgehog concept

Last week - some students I am coaching, as part of the HVA honours programme - did the MBTI test for the first time. This made me think [way] back to when I did that test a number of times during my late 20's and early 30's.

Regardless of how many times I have taken the test, I always came out as an INTJ. So I was not cheating the test. My type hasn't changed either, because when I was creating my "Hedgehog" concept, my MBTI type was confirmed 100% ... as I am passionate about "improving things".

An INTJ is a mastermind. They have original minds and great drive for implementing their ideas and achieving their goals. Quickly see patterns in external events and develop long-rang explanatory perspectives. Independent, individualistic, single-minded, and determined. They trust their vision of possibilities regardless of universal skeptisism. 

INTJ's devise strategy, give structure, establish complex plans and outline sequences of events in reaching distant goals dictated by a strong vision of the organization. They thrive on putting theories to work and are open to any and all ideas that can IMPROVE things.

My dominant function is intuition, which means, I:

  1. Recognize new possibilities
  2. Come up with novel solutions to problems
  3. Delight in focusing on the future
  4. Watch for additional ideas
  5. Tackle new problems with zest
So if you want someone to do significant decision making, combine the big picture and applicable particulars - an INTJ is your [wo]man.

Of course there are implications to being an INTJ, they don't do red tape and bureaucracy very well. INTJ's can't handle inefficiencies well and have difficultly understanding people who can't work independently. It is painful for an INTJ to see problems in the organization and not be permitted to solve them or to contribute to their solution.

Thankfully in my role as a teacher/lecturer, I have also managed to work on the "less positive" side of an INTJ. I have learnt how to give positive feedback and show appreciation to others and show the less cool/rational side of myself. I also see the benefit of repetition and repeating myself, which of course is necessary for learning to take place!

MBTI type is even more interesting when compared with Hedgehog concept.

When I was re-creating my "Hedgehog concept" last week and filling in what I am passionate about and genetically encoded to do - the first thing I wrote down was "improve stuff".

It doesn't matter if what I want to improve is my own creation or someone elses. I like improving my own lessons/lecturers, or improving my own marketing strategy with input from employees, or improving my own marketing theoretical knowledge by going back to school or re-designing a livingroom for a friend. I am my own worst critic, and already know my errors and shortcomings, before anyone has to point them out to me. I have already started working on improving them before I can wallow too long in how something should be better.

In my experience, doing the MBTI test and creating your personal hedgehog concept independently and then looking at overlaps, is a good way to confirm and evaluate the findings of both. But I maybe alone in this observation, as an INTJ, I hunger for constant evaluation and re-evaluation.