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For our first episode of 2020, we have a special guest host: our very own Chief Data and Analytics Officer, Alan Jacobson. Alan sat down with Stan Van Gundy, celebrated NBA coach, for a chat about the parallels between driving transformation as a basketball coach and driving transformation in business. Stan provides so many great morsels, from what is means to coach “the why" to how important it is for players and business associates to be adaptable.

Special thanks to JW Legacy Music, our first winner of the 2020 Alter Everything Podcast theme music competition, for the awesome theme music track for this episode. Stay tuned for more winning tracks throughout this year.

 

 

Panelists

 

Alan Jacobson - @AJacobson, LinkedIn, Twitter
Stan Van Gundy


Topics

 

 

2020 Podcast Social.png

 

Brendan Malone and Stan Van Gundy in 2007 NBAE / Getty Images / detroitbadboys.comBrendan Malone and Stan Van Gundy in 2007 NBAE / Getty Images / detroitbadboys.com

 


Transcript

 

Spoiler

MADDIE: 00:14

[music] Welcome to Alter Everything. A podcast about data science and analytics culture. I'm Maddie Johannsen, you're producer for this episode. We have a special guest host for you today. Our very own Chief Data and Analytics Officer, Alan Jacobson, who sat down with Stan Van Gundy, celebrated NBA coach. They had a chat about the parallels between driving transformation as a basketball coach and driving transformation in business. So let's get started.

ALAN (NARRATING): 00:42

In business, it is a change or die environment. The half life of a company that is the amount of time it will take for half of the businesses today to no longer exist is shrinking. With half of today's companies only having two decades or so left, nearly every business is looking to change, to improve, to transform. Perhaps the most common way that companies are currently talking about changing is through digital transformation. Maybe due to the pattern seen across so many industries where digitally innovative companies are the driving force shrinking this half life. Companies like Amazon that are impacting brick and mortar stores like Sears or Netflix and the impact it has had on businesses like Blockbuster. The difficulty in improving for many companies lies not in the challenge of digital technologies as they've continued to get easier and more prevalent, but instead, the ability of these companies to change. It turns out change is hard. Hard for individuals, hard for teams, hard for companies. Just as the leaders in the business world look to compete and win, so too do sports teams. And in sports, the position most noted with facilitating change for helping players get better is the coach.

ALAN (NARRATING): 01:58

In today's podcast, we'll look at techniques used in sports to compare those to the business world. Perhaps there are similarities we can draw from. Or even where there are differences, maybe there's still something we can take away. Stan Van Gundy coached basketball for over two decades, from the small college of Castleton in NAIA division five school through to coaching NBA teams and championship series as well as being the first coach of an NBA All-Star team. In each of these roles, one could argue his job was to facilitate change. Whether rebuilding a team or helping to develop an individual player, the job of a coach is defined by helping transformation happen. What can we learn from these experiences, and how did these experiences compare to the business world? That's what we'll focus on today with our conversation with Stan. We'll start with an axiom well-known in business, that you have to be willing to fail to innovate. Let's talk to Stan and understand how the pressure to perform and to succeed meshes with the ability to innovate and change.

ALAN: 03:00

I can remember I grew up playing soccer versus basketball. But one of the things that I remember vividly is that every time I went out to practice, it seemed like it was a tryout. I don't know. I think fundamentally, that was a philosophy of coaching to have high performance at every practice, making it almost to try out every practice. And I felt like to maintain my position, I could not make a mistake. And I remember after exiting, basically finishing college and playing for fun, I think I actually got better because I could now be more creative. I was playing very differently. And I'm curious, when you're coaching, how do you balance the ability to give players the freedom to experiment, try new things? But with that, comes obviously the risk of failure. And how do you balance that with coaching players to be able to be in that high-performance situation.

STAN: 03:59

Yeah, that is an absolutely great question. I don't think I've ever been asked that before. I think the way that at least that I balanced it is different periods of the year. So these guys all work basically year round now. Even though the games are going to go from late October until mid-April and then the playoffs, the players are working year round. And so I think for the off-season and Summer League for the younger players and the early season workouts training camp and even the exhibition games, you're certainly encouraging people to stretch themselves, to do things that they previously haven't been able to do. And then I think a sort of little lesser version of that happens early in the season. If they've shown the potential to do some new things, you want to keep encouraging that. But there does come a time, 30 games into the year, halfway through we play an 82-game schedule. Somewhere in there where it becomes about the bottom line which is winning games, which means everybody's got to be playing to their strengths. And if now we've got enough data where you've proven that that's not really your strength, that's not something that's going to lead to us playing winning basketball, then that needs to be eliminated. So I think that there is a balancing act. And you don't want people who are static and never improve. And at the same time, you have to produce a result. And so I think that you give everybody a chance to try new things, to stretch themselves, but at some point. And I think that point is whenever you have enough data to make your case. Is to say, "You know what? This isn't working right now. Let's stick to these things and we'll go back to this stuff in the off-season and see if we can get it there."

ALAN (NARRATING): 06:26

So in business, are there periods of time that we give our players the ability to experiment. At Alteryx, we have Innovation Days. A few days each month where engineers can work on items they're passionate about without the direct deliverable tracked. Does this help allow innovation to occur more freely? But when we are close to the deadline, close to the key deliverable, we move back to the bias of performance.

ALAN: 06:51

We're talking about a player learning new things, kind of expanding their game. Because one of the other things that I recall seeing is a player wanting to do a certain thing that clearly wasn't working. And in some ways, the coach needing failure to happen so that they could see that that wouldn't work. I think of NFL preseason football maybe for this analogy. I don't know that this is actually what's going on, but at least when I watch some of those preseason games, I actually wonder if this is going on. Does the coach put in that play for the running back to do the thing that they keep wanting to do intentionally letting it fail so that that opens the player up to the conversation of maybe we should try something different here. Are there techniques where you're in-- again, maybe this is in the spring ball or spring league play and NBA. I'm using NFL maybe as the analogy in preseason. Are there situations where it's not as much learning new things and extending your game, but what are techniques that you use to maybe make it obvious that certain things don't work well?

STAN: 08:02

I think again, so even when we start a season and start training camp, I mean, we do a lot of scrimmage-type work in practices. And in those times, players certainly have more freedom, I guess is the word, to do the things they think they can do. And everything of course is charted and everything else. And so the guy who thinks he can shoot three pointers effectively can go ahead and shoot them in those situations. And over time, I find that players respond pretty well to objective data. Whether it's statistics or film or both to say, "Look, we've been through a month now. And you've shot 43 3s in these situations and you've made 5. That's not going to cut it, but you're doing this really well. Maybe driving ball to the basket and making layups. We want you to play to your strengths. This is clearly your strength. Let's go that way." And I think in general, players respond to that better than simply my opinion that you're not a good shooter. That I think they see as a coach trying to limit them and limit their growth and everything else. But if we've given you the opportunity and you've proven that you're not ready to do it at that point, I think it makes sense to most players.

ALAN (NARRATING): 09:51

In business, how do we get the data to show our players what is working and what isn't? It's interesting that in this case, analytics are being used to help drive change. I'm left wondering how we collect performance data on our employees in a way that can help them perform to their peak. Are you a manager that is working to develop your players? Are you being viewed as a boss that is limiting your players or helping them get better?

ALAN: 10:16

Let me turn into something more subtle. And maybe you actually chart and graph down to this level. But now I'm looking at your defensive technique and your stance and kind of you're two squared up. You need to be more angled, which has a lot of muscle memory and habit I'm sure is built up by the time you're coaching them in an NBA situation. In terms of those sorts of changes and behavior, I've got to imagine that's a bit harder because you can't simply go to them, I would assume, with the data as much. You have to be able to-- in business, we might say to teach things like that. Some of that's lead by example. We have to coach in business, show them how to do it maybe a more effective way. Although I can imagine a coach in the NBA, maybe the younger coaches have an easier time, but being able to coach the superstar and say, "Okay, this is the way you need to defend and not get blown away," I would assume is hard for coaches because it might be more difficult to get on the court and actually show them how it's done. How do you go about those sorts of things?

STAN: 11:24

With us, it's film. And so I think the two objective feedbacks that you're constantly giving to players are the data, the statistics, the analytics of what we're doing. And then in other situations like what you're describing, it's the film. And so yeah, it's hard for me to have a statistic on your defensive stance. But I can certainly see it on film. And I think you need this objective data because if you simply tell a guy you're not down low enough in your stance or you're too opened up in your stance or whatever it is, I think the tendency is to either not believe you are not want to change because the stance they're in is more comfortable for them. And I think everybody as much as possible wants to stay in their comfort zone. But when you can show them on film the mistakes they're making in that stance and what it's leading to for the offensive team, for the offensive players, then I think, again, they're more willing to make that correction because they're saying, "Okay, he's right. That's the stance I'm in. I am up too high. And what it's leading to is people driving by me at will."

ALAN (NARRATING): 12:55

What film do we use in the business world? Can we break down the past in a way that we can see what's happening and what's working? It's interesting how objective the sports world has become, how data driven everything they're doing including the coaching.

ALAN: 13:10

So I got to imagine, so you've got these players coming in, whether you're the new coach to the team or it's a new player to the team, getting that team cohesiveness so that it's an environment that is accepting of change, can handle the changes that obviously, you want to make as you keep trying to get better and better. In the business world, there are techniques that are used to set up that environment, whether it's having everybody over to your house for a meal or team building activities or opening yourself up and sharing the mistakes you've made along the way to get people more comfortable to be open for change. Are there those sorts of techniques that coaches are using? You've talked a lot about the data, which obviously is a data and analytic company. Love to hear that, but I'm curious on maybe the softer side. Are there things that fundamental you find are critical to build that environment and that culture that is conducive for change to happen, for people to be open to those sorts of conversations?

STAN: 14:16

Yeah. I think a few things. I think some of the things you brought up, I mean, obviously, I think a big thing in trying to get anyone individually or as a group to try to change, I mean, it's going to be relationship oriented. And so you have to build some trust and you have to build a relationship. I think the relationship part of it starts with being able to listen also, hear the other person's ideas. And the guys that we're coaching at the professional level have obviously reached a high degree of success and they've been around great coaches and they've done things on their own that have led to success. They have their own ideas. You listen to those and give those ideas due consideration. Then I think you try to explain your own ideas and why you want to do that, what you want to do. I think that's crucial and sometimes left out. I think that what players need to sort of buy into what you're doing is not just the demand of we're going to do it this way because I said so. That doesn't work. I had an assistant coach, Brendan Malone, who would walk by me and practice a couple of times every day and say, "Coach the why. Coach the why." We're going to do it this way because of this and how it fits into our overall philosophy. And so I think that's important.

STAN: 16:00

And then I think you also have to be able to gain the trust of the players that what you're asking them to do works. And most of the time, you're not doing something that has never been done before most of the time. And so either it's your record as a coach where you've had some success where people say okay, I'll give this guy at least the benefit of the doubt because his teams have been good and he knows what he's doing. Or hey, we're going to do it this way. We've seen it done this way in other programs, in other cities, other teams, and it's worked well and players can say yeah, you know what? I've seen that. It works well. Okay. Now we're going to try it. I think those are easy. Now, if you're trying to do something that literally is new, and I really haven't seen much of that in the NBA to be honest. We all steal from each other. But if it is somebody new, something new, then I think you're going to really have to do a good job in showing the why. Why do you think this technique or this style of play or this line up or whatever it may be is going to work? What are you basing that on? And at that time if it's never been done, it's truly only a theory, but you've got to have good reason for it and you've got to be able to explain it and answer their questions and everything else.

ALAN (NARRATING): 17:43

So many great morsels here. The coach being taught by his assistants. The coach listening and becoming better. And the assistant being comfortable coaching up. Does your business have an environment where this occurs? And I just love that. “Coach the why.” I have frequently seen in business teams struggle because they do not fully understand the why. Are your team members fully understanding why they're doing what they're doing? Do they understand how their work will be used throughout the business and how it ultimately affects the customer? Coach the why. So critical in helping drive the business forward. In business like sports, relationships and trust in your teammates and leadership is key.

ALAN: 18:27

So I'm curious. You mentioned benchmarking effectively other strategies, other coaches. I'm sure you talk to other coaches and probably did while coaching. Do you find that your benchmarks as a coach are other teams in the same league, other leagues that are also professional, maybe International? Do you actually look at what's happening in college and high school even to take techniques up? I'm not sure if there's anyone kind of above the NBA in the hierarchy to benchmark. Or do you actually look at other sports even? Do you look at what works in hockey or soccer or football and find pieces that translate back into basketball? I mean, where do the ideas come from?

STAN: 19:09

Again, another great question. I mean, I think, first of all, yeah. We do look at other coaches throughout our sport at every level. You'll see things that will either one, directly give you an idea. In other words, you want to do it the way that team has taught it, that team has done it. I really like that. I want to do it. It doesn't matter the level. And we all particularly in the off-season spend time trying to watch other people that we think are good, seeing what they're doing, what's leading to their success. But also a lot of that work will not just come directly to I want to do it that way. But you may like a part of what they're doing. And it may spur a thought that leads you to something that's a little bit different and maybe a wrinkle on what some other team is doing or maybe a wrinkle on what you were doing. And so you sort of combine what you've always taught to what you're seeing from someone else. I find that a lot when I'm watching other people, is I won't just wholesale implement what they're doing because I've developed my own philosophy over time, but I see how one technique could be better say in my pick and roll defense. Maybe we teach something just a little bit different. Sometimes it may just be the use of a different term that seems to make more sense to players, something like that.

STAN: 20:50

And so there's all kinds of ways to learn from other coaches. And I think anybody would-- any coach would tell you nobody's too worried about what level the idea came from. It's the idea itself. And I think we're all aware that there's great coaches at every level of the sport. And so it's not that just because somebody is coaching in the NBA, they're the best coach or have the best ideas. And then I do talk to people in other sports. Though I have picked up some things on footwork and balance. Years ago when I was coaching in college and you could go watch football practices or talk to often single line coaches, and they're really dealing on balance and not getting your head out over your center of gravity and keeping your center of gravity low and not having a false step and all of these things that may not-- again, obviously, making a move toward the basket is not the same as an offensive lineman coming up out of his stance and blocking, but there's some principles that are the same. It's the same. My son was a baseball player and used to do-- he did catching workshop on weekends for a while where he was working with a former major league catcher. My son was probably, I don't know, maybe 10, 11 years old at the time. Very young. And I would go out there and I'd watch this guy teach, and again, footwork balance, all of that. And so you can learn from people in other sports. But a lot of it is just like Fredi Gonzalez who used to manage the Marlins and the Braves and is now a third base coach for the Marlins. He and I are friends. And a lot of it is hey, how do you keep the guy that's not playing regularly motivated? Or how do you deal with a star player who's not giving you the effort that you expect? Things like that that are just general leadership coaching, team dynamic type of stuff.

ALAN (NARRATING): 23:21

In business, benchmarking is a critical method for driving change. Seems easy to limit your benchmarking efforts to closely within your industry. It's great to see an NBA coach looking beyond just basketball. Looking at baseball for examples of things that can be learned. Could their lessons in sports come from the battlefield or political warfare or some other form? Are we broad enough in our benchmarking in our businesses? Are we looking across all industries?

ALAN: 23:50

So I'll flip this around a little bit. We've been talking a lot about kind of the influence the coach can have on the player. I'm curious a little bit about the player themselves. So one of the things that comes to mind in terms of highly adaptable players is scout team players. So at least I picture I was never on a scout team, but I can picture a scout team able to quickly mimic what the upcoming opponent is going to throw at the starters and be able to adapt the way that they play like a chameleon very quickly to that. And I'm curious if the skill of doing that, if the best scout player in the world in a sense by definition is one of the best players in the world, because in order to do that, you have to be really, really good, or if it's really a separate skill that maybe the best players in the world would not make good scout players. And there's a specific skill to being a scout player that's all about being able to change incredibly fast. Do you find those to be separate skills?

STAN: 24:55

In the NBA, we don't per se use scout teams, but you will at times have a team playing a style that your opponent's style more so than your own for certain periods of practice. And I do think it's a separate skill. I do think though that in general, it is an important skill in being able to adjust quickly, pick things up quickly, learn something and have it apply on the court quickly. I mean, look, I've said many times in speaking engagements that I think one of the most underrated things about high-level players at least in our league is their intelligence. And it's like all intelligence, it's specific. And so our guys who are the smartest basketball people, that relates directly to the success that they're going to have on the floor. And I've said this. I've never seen a great NBA player who was not extremely smart and quick to pick things up. There are some not so smart players in the league, but in general, they don't reach a real high level.

ALAN: 26:34

Does that imply that the best players typically can play multiple styles? They can, in a sense, be a chameleon because they have that incredibly fast-learning curve and that high IQ to be able to adjust on the fly? Is that in a sense part of what comes with being great is you are good at change? That's part of what made you great is the ability to keep learning new things.

STAN: 26:57

There's no question about that. I mean, in my time in Orlando, I coached Dwight Howard who was in the five years we had him was first team all NBA all five years and was the defensive player of the year three times. And at one point in there in the off-season, he was playing for Team USA. And I got a phone call basically saying, "Hey, what can Dwight do in terms of pick and roll defense? What's most comfortable for him?" And I remember my reply being you can do whatever you want. He has the physical ability to do it. He can pick up anything. And if you want to adjust at a time out and go to something totally different in the game, he's going to be able to do that too. I mean, he's just an extremely smart individual. Now, he was really, really smart. So sort of at the-- he was the elite of the elite in terms of that. But all good players I've been around are pretty good with that being able to pick things up quickly, make adjustments on the fly. I think it's one of the things that sort of separates out the people who become really successful in the NBA from a lot of great athletes and highly skilled people who don't make it in the NBA. Maybe get weeded out in college or end up playing in the G-League or overseas. They just don't have quite the same ability to make those adjustments.

ALAN (NARRATING): 28:47

In business, is this true as well? Are our best athletes the ones that can adjust to any situation, can change their moves, their way of doing business to fit the situation they're in? If businesses need to change or they will perish, do our leaders need to also have this as a core skill?

ALAN: 29:04

So maybe down a different dimension. I'm curious, you've coached a lot of different levels from high school all the way through NBA. And I'm curious if you see age as a factor? Are young players more adaptable than older players? Is age really a factor at all or it has more to do with, in a sense, it's a skill and some players are higher on that dimension and others don't and it's not age or any other factor that relates to it?

STAN: 29:38

Well, I think certainly, all players will improve in that regard with experience. I don't think there's any doubt about that. But at every level of experience, there's still differences between players. And so while each player may get a little bit better as they go along, some guys are way ahead of other people as rookies and then they tend to be way ahead of them as 2nd year players and 5th year players and 10th year players and everything else because they're also able to take those experiences and learn from them and learn to recognize situations. I remember once talking to JJ Redick. Was probably his fourth or fifth year in the league. And there was a noticeable jump in his ability at the defensive end of the floor and him saying, "Hey now, there's only so many situations that can happen in an NBA game. I've seen them all. And I see them coming now ahead of time before I was reacting to the play. Yeah. Now I'm ahead of the game." And so that does happen. But then there are some guys quite frankly, and they don't make it very far. But the experience just doesn't really help them a whole lot. I mean, they're not as tuned in, not as focused mentally whatever it is and can't make the same kind of improvements.

ALAN: 31:21

Makes sense. So when a new player comes into a team, do you find that there's a level of the change management that the coach can provide, but you need the front office, you need the other players to do certain things in order for that player to have the right environment to be able to adapt easily and fit in? I mean, do you almost turn some of the players into the voice of the coach to some degree because that's going to be received differently than coming directly from the coach or?

STAN: 31:54

Yeah. I think the more people you can have as long as they're all on the same page. And I think that's an important caveat because sometimes somebody new to your organization can be hearing four different voices. And three of them are on the same page, and one of them's sort of got their own ideas, and that becomes a negative. But if you have your team on the same page and he's hearing the same message from the general manager and the head coach and assistant coaches and other players, that's certainly a major positive. And I think the more people that someone new can go to with questions and get the right answer certainly speeds up the adjustment period for anybody new. And that's true whether it's a player or a coach or somebody in your front office or anybody else. It helps them get up to speed a lot faster. And it's very, very helpful, but with that important caveat.

ALAN: 33:05

So you've had the unique experience of both being a coach in the league as well as part of the front office. I'm curious the different techniques that you needed to leverage in the front office to make change happen versus what you saw on the court with players. Was it, I mean, obviously harder to break the film out and do it that way. I'm curious if you saw very different sorts of methods being used to bring people along the journey and kind of get them to see your position and to make changes.

STAN: 33:40

I think it's basically the same techniques, to be honest, in terms of selling the changes that you want to make. I think again, even before you're selling the changes you want to make, I think it starts with building a relationship and listening to other people's ideas. Because obviously, when you hire people, you're hiring very talented people. But then once you decide on a course, again it's this is what we would like to do. This is why we want to do it. Explaining your reasoning behind and that will usually be backed up by analytics and, again, what other people have done where you've seen your strategies work, things like that going forward. And then you have the exact same challenge as you have with players too. And that is that if people have had success at some level doing it the way they've always done it or doing it one way, they're a little bit resistant to change. I mean, I think people or human nature is to, I think, to find a comfort zone and not to really want to move out of that. I mean, you really have to be shown how it's going to benefit you to get you to enthusiastically at least move on to something else.

ALAN: 35:15

Curious when you have the winning team versus the losing team, and one's maybe on a burning platform for change. The other one maybe doesn't have the same motivation of change. If that works to your advantage or if it's actually the opposite of that, the winning team has the comfort to try new things. And so it's actually easier for them to continue to get better. Wondering which is the easier platform to change from?

STAN: 35:44

Well, I think certainly, if you're coming in new, it's easier to sell people on change when they have been--

ALAN: 35:57

Part of the winning.

STAN: 35:58

If they've been losing. Because those people are now hungry for give us something new. We want to do better than we've been doing. We know what we've been doing isn't working. Let's move on. What have you got for us? It's actually a pretty easy sell. I think the hardest sell there is in sports is going from being good, maybe even--

ALAN: 36:29

You're a playoff team but not the champion team.

STAN: 36:30

Yeah. Above average. And then making changes that you think are necessary to get to great where people have had some success especially on an individual level. Maybe they've had some success and they don't want to let go of what they do. More afraid of failure than they would be to reach for success. And so I have found that that's tough. And if you've say been a head coach in a place for X number of years and you've had success, and then you're saying, "Okay. Here's what we need to do to the next step." And if that doesn't work immediately, then it's hard. Then guys want to say, "Hey well, let's just go back to what the heck we were doing." And so to me, it's that growth period that's difficult where in my experience, when you're doing new things, you will almost always have to take a step back before you go forward because it's new to people. So you're not going to be as good at it. It takes time. And then you can get better and move forward. Yeah. And that's hard for people. It's hard not only for the players. It's hard for you as a coach to maintain belief and stay with what you're going to do because--

ALAN: 38:06

Or even the data is arguing against you initially, right?

STAN: 38:09

Yeah. And you lose a couple of games in a row and you just want to get the next win. The heck with what's going to happen two months down the road.

ALAN: 38:18

Right. But unfortunately, you can't do all of that in the spring season. Some of that's happening--

STAN: 38:23

That's exactly right.

ALAN: 38:24

--when it matters, right?

STAN: 38:25

Most of it has happened and when it matters. And you've just got to be able to stay the course and at least give what you're trying to do a fair trial to where you have enough data to really judge and you've gone through the adjustment period. And sometimes you do end up going back. I mean, we played one whole season with sort of what was to me a new rotation on our pick and roll defense. And some of it was good. And in certain situations, it worked better for us than what we'd done before. But the bottom line is we went through the whole year like that. Still had a good year in terms of our defense. But in that off-season decided to go back to where we were before because in looking at everything both on film and the data, it was slightly worse than what we had done before. But you've got to stay with things long enough. If you've had a good reason to make a change, you've certainly got to stay with it long enough to make a fair judgment on what's going on.

ALAN: 39:40

Makes perfect sense. Hey, Stan, I really appreciate your time this morning. Great conversation. As a student of sports in general, I love watching basketball and comparing it to soccer and seeing the analysis of different sports and both the similarities and the differences. It's been great hearing your thoughts on change and look forward to hopefully crossing paths again in the future.

STAN: 40:06

I appreciate it. Thank you.

ALAN: 40:07

And thanks again for the time.

STAN: 40:09

Okay, yeah. Bye-bye.

ALAN: 40:10

Take care.

ALAN (NARRATING): 40:13

How to create a culture of change. A culture that can not only transform themselves, but can transform others, a department, a company. It likely all starts with trust and listening. An environment where the coach, the boss, is able to listen as well as give direction. When many picture a boss, they have an image of someone giving the direction. But how this direction is given really may be the secret to great outcomes. Allowing people to not only transform themselves but to transform a business. How do the best coaches in the world give these directions to their players? It turns out even some of the best coaches in the world get coached up on how to do this very thing. Coach the why. An amazing piece of advice by an amazing coach. And this makes perfect sense. There are numerous studies that show how understanding the vision and the mission translates to better success on the field. In order to innovate, it all starts with a new idea. But where do these ideas come from? Benchmarking your competition, benchmarking others that aren't as strong. Would you look at someone outside of your industry? How does this work in sports?

ALAN: 41:24

It's amazing to me to see the similarities between the sports world and the business world. And I'd actually suggest that in some ways, it feels like the sports world may be using more data-driven decisions than many industries do today. We'll continue to explore this in future podcasts. Thanks for joining. [music]

MADDIE 41:42

Special thanks to JW Legacy Music, our first winner of the 2020 theme music competition, for the awesome theme music track you heard on this episode. You can learn more about them on our show notes at community.alteryx.com/podcast, and stay tuned for more tracks from more winners throughout this year.

This episode of Alter Everything was produced by Maddie Johannsen (@MaddieJ).

Madeline Johannsen
Alter Everything Podcast Producer

Hey there! I'm Maddie, the Producer for our Alter Everything Podcast on our lovely Community team. I'm skilled and experienced at connecting people, and work to foster an encouraging analytics culture for learning and collaboration to help grow the Alteryx Community. Drop me a line to say hello and listen to Alter Everything on your favorite podcast app!

Hey there! I'm Maddie, the Producer for our Alter Everything Podcast on our lovely Community team. I'm skilled and experienced at connecting people, and work to foster an encouraging analytics culture for learning and collaboration to help grow the Alteryx Community. Drop me a line to say hello and listen to Alter Everything on your favorite podcast app!

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Alteryx

Hey podcast listeners! Hope you're all enjoying this episode kicking off the 2020 Season of Alter Everything!

 

With each calendar year that Alter Everything has been on the air, we've revamped and altered the album artwork as a nod to our namesake. With Episode 51: Coaching "the why" with Stan Van Gundy, we debuted the new look featuring a blueprint of something that altered the capability and ease for humans to create fire: the zippo.

 

We're really into the blueprint look of this artwork, and wanted to share the desktop wallpapers with you! In fact, @NeilR got early access to the wallpaper and sent me this message:

 

Image 1-8-20 at 10.40 AM.jpg

 

Help rid Neil of his guilt and make your coworkers jealous instead. Comment with a photo of how you altered your workspace by freshening up your wallpaper here!