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March Madness: A Lesson from Louisville

By Tru Pettigrew | Small Business

The four #1 seeded teams in their respective regions for the NCAA tournament are Louisville, Kansas, Indiana and Gonzaga. The overall #1 seed and Vegas favorite to win it all is Louisville. Whether Louisville wins it all or not is still to be determined, but as for now, they have earned a #1 ranking. They obviously worked hard and played well to earn the number one spot. They finished the regular season with a 26-5 record and have a diverse roster of talented players and coaches that got them there.

As I look at the overall #1 ranked team, I see some things that they have been able to accomplish that many of today’s corporations, brands and agencies will need to be able to do in order to become top contenders in their industry. Head Coach Rick Pitino and the Louisville Cardinals have done a great job of employing what I call “Culturational Chemistry”. Culturational Chemistry is the ability to blend and bridge both cultural AND generational gaps that are so prevalent between many of today’s corporations and multicultural millennials. There are organizations and agencies that focus on understanding how to connect with one or the other, but it is paramount to an organization’s success to place an emphasis on bridging the cultural and generational gaps, thus creating Culturational Chemistry.

Coach Rick Pitino is a 61 year old white male. The players are multicultural millennials between the ages of 18-22. The player diversity ranges from inner city African American players to White players from middle America to players from Africa and Australia. This clearly presents cultural and generational differences between the players and leadership. This is no different than the dynamic that exists for many of today’s Fortune 500 companies and the young millennial talent walking through their doors. The difference as to why Louisville and many other teams on The Road to The Final Four have been successful with their rosters and many corporate entities have not, is simply due to lack of Culturational Chemistry. Take a page from #1 ranked Louisville and develop a system to bridge the cultural gap as well as the generational gap. Doing one without the other is only giving half the effort.

3 tips to ensure your organization is creating Culturational Chemistry with Multicultural Millennials:

  1. Put as much emphasis on making money WITH Multicultural Millennials as your brand has put on making money OFF of them. Both equally contribute to your bottom line.
  2. Develop an organizational culture that is inclusive and representative of the diverse tastes and interests of the current team make up. Avoid forcing new team members to fit into a traditional corporate culture that catered to a homogeneous group of the past.
  3. Much like sports programs such as Louisville, develop and share the vision with the full team and get their buy-in so that everyone is working toward the same common goal that everyone is passionate about. Winning your industry’s CHAMPIONSHIP.

One man may hit the mark, another blunder; but heed not these distinctions. Only from the alliance of the one, working with and through the other, are great things born. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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