Friday, May 11, 2012

Management lessons from tennis court

During my hotel management days, students were advised to pursue a degrees from universities because Hotel Management was a Diploma program which could hinder chances of pursuing higher education.

So, in order to safeguard my future, I enrolled for BA Sociology. Not sure if I understood and followed whatever I studied as part of the course. But then something must have registered while mugging for the exams. One of the chapters that I studied was on the difference between Psychology and Sociology. Don't remember much but the crux was that human beings behave differently as individuals and very differently when in a group. Got a taste of that at the tennis court, recently. And that too from the set of acquaintances and friends with whom I play regularly.

So like any other day, I reached the court. And like any other day, there were already people playing. Usually, when a set gets over, one of those players come out to accommodate the person waiting. This day was different. As the game got over and I got up to play, I noticed that no one was planning to sit out.

My ego was so hurt that I walked out and determined never to play with those with whom I have played for years. But then, quick calls from them followed by apologies, I relented and went back to playing.

One thing that I learnt in the episode was that the demand and supply theory also applies to gentlemanly behavior. That this applies in the tennis court with supposedly the erudite and sophisticated was interesting. Now, it is not for no reason that it is one of the fundamental economic theories.

But then evolution is also in human nature. It was discussed as to how we can avoid such situation. We decided to apply the Inventory Management technique - Last in, first out (LIFO).

Apparently, it is a common practice in other clubs. Just that our learning curve took a bit longer to arrive there. Or probably, it was become fiercely competitive.

Thankfully, we have now managed to go back to being gentlemanly on the court.
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