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The universe of competitive sport is full of apt metaphors for business. And perhaps more than anything else at present is the notion of “meeting the moment.” The world of sport reliably provides instances where preparation meets the opportunity for greatness. The same is true with the world of business and technology. When you’re building teams and defining roles, you should always do so with an eye to the future. How will these individuals perform together during these defining moments? What will help them succeed in meeting those goals? There are a few common truths shared across the landscape of business and sport that we can examine for clues as to why some succeed — and some don’t.
Rugby is a huge global sport; Connacht Rugby competes at the highest level in Europe. When we decided to partner with Connacht Rugby and become a club sponsor, two things stuck out to me about the club that also are relevant to the culture of innovation at Genesys: the value of diversity and the importance of community. And both are integral pieces for anticipating future trends and innovating accordingly.
First, let’s look at the power of community. At Genesys, we often speak about our “One Genesys” culture in which we strive to support one another and elevate our collective performance by knowing our unique roles — inside and out. It’s similar on the pitch — and not just among the players. The community in which the team plays and resides is just as crucial.
“Connacht fans are so loyal to the team and the game that anytime we play, especially in the Sportsground, they make the atmosphere indescribable. My favorite thing would be the sense of community within the team itself; they’re a great bunch of lads to go to work with every day,” said Bundee Aki, Centre for Connacht Rugby, when asked about importance of the Galway community to the fortunes of the team.
The community at large, feeds the community of the team. The One Genesys culture that we’ve created feeds the energy and production of employees in more than 50 offices globally. Community is a primary link. It’s also another intangible factor that matters a great deal when pressure is high. Whether it’s the thousands of fans urging on players on the pitch or an empathic all-hands meeting addressing the needs of thousands of employees during a global pandemic, the significance of community is profound.
One of the primary drivers in our decision to sponsor Connacht Rugby is our desire to become a more integral part of the Galway and Connacht communities. There are far-reaching youth programs, as well as junior and women’s sides. And we want Genesys to be seen as more than a sponsor. We also want to be a valuable member of the community. “Grassroots to green shirts” is what Connacht Rugby calls it. At Genesys, we can’t wait to be as visible in the community as we are on the jerseys.
Part of that community visibility will no doubt come from the innovative technology we’re developing right here in Ireland. At Genesys Galway, we’re building artificial intelligence (AI) technology that empowers contact centre teams to deliver amazing customer experiences. We’re “building for the moments” that customer-care representatives face every day. Meeting a moment takes many forms but having a supportive community in place around you is an undeniable advantage when that crucial moment arrives. To that end, we look at our relationship to the community of Galway as a reciprocal one. And we’re actively recruiting in the region and throughout Ireland. If you’re looking to join a community-focused technology team, look at our job listings and consider joining us.
Meeting the moment takes many forms. And building teams with an eye toward diversity is imperative. Diversity of opinion and background among teammates is a multiplier. It promotes a learning environment where best practices surface naturally. Diversity also breeds innovation. It promotes a type of dialogue that unlocks potential organically. In the context of our Connacht Rugby sponsorship, Captain Jarrad Butler summed it up as follows:
“The best thing about playing for Connacht for me has to be the mix of players you get from all over Ireland and the world. You get guys with chips on their shoulders and a point to prove.”
More than anything, diversity fuels an organic ambition that echoes the organizing principles of Connacht Rugby. Demanding the best of one another — and challenging expectations — can take different forms. But when you have a wide range of diverse backgrounds participating in the conversation, ambition is inherently elevated. Different training methods are shared. Different styles of play are evaluated and combined in innovative ways. What you end up with is a unified team that’s more comprehensively equipped to meet whatever moment awaits.
When community and diversity goals are top of mind, they tend to amplify one another.
“Everyone in the Connacht Women’s squad was delighted to hear about Genesys’ support of women’s rugby in the West of Ireland. It has been a really encouraging few years for women’s rugby in Connacht, with the U18 Interpro win two years ago and then the Women’s team getting to the final last year, so the support of Genesys will help us take that next step,” Captain Nichola Fryday of the Connacht Women’s team said. “Rugby has afforded me and so many women the opportunity to represent our province, while countless others of all ages are playing with their local clubs solely for the fun of it. It is a sport that brings communities together, which is so important — now more than ever.”
To Connacht Rugby and the Galway community as a whole, let’s keep going out there and finding new and innovative ways to meet the moment. Let’s build for that moment together.
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