The latest Pokémon craze should get us all concerned about performance

I‘ve seen them and you’ve probably already seen them if you live in the US, Australia or NZ – gangs of youths (and adults) who would otherwise be happily and sometimes lazily ensconced in their homes or offices walking about, head up high, with phone held equally high in front of their faces, searching for Pokémons on the streets. (Is the plural of Pokémon the same as the singular?)

The question is: “How much does your performance look like a Pokémon Go user?”

These poor guys in my home city were even intercepted by police because of their Pokemon obsession
These poor guys in my home city were even intercepted by police because of their Pokemon obsession

In just over a week, the Pokémon Go app has added over US$9 billion to Nintendo share value, not to mention what is rising to $2 million a day in in-app purchases. It’s about to eclipse Twitter in number of worldwide users, based on release in just a few countries, and is the hottest thing out there. Taylor Swift is probably writing a song about breaking up with her Pokémon as I write.

But the app comes with its own pros and cons, as this article from the Wall Street Journal points out. Yes, it does seem to be getting people out and about walking – but they’re also not looking where they’re going! People have badly hurt themselves and others. Young children have even found dead bodies in strange places.

Just yesterday morning, I had taken one of my daughters to the orthodontist and the hygienist told us that her children almost caused her to have a major car accident due to their fascination with this game.

She was driving on a major highway when her adult children yelled suddenly that she should stop. She braked the car and swerved off madly.

“What’s wrong?!” she exclaimed.

“There’s a Pokémon on the side of the road. We have to get it!!”

How Leaders and Organisations Run About Madly Chasing Pokémon

Pikachu is not the only culprit in people’s never-ending running about, madly chasing after the latest craze. Here are some ways various organisations and functions chase after that elusive Pokémon in their performance and leadership:

Marketers and Social Media ‘experts’: From Content Marketing to Facebook likes, marketers get caught up chasing after numbers that make zero (or sometimes, negative) impact on the bottom line. How about ROI?

Human Resources: All the MBTIs and DISCs make little difference to productivity and leadership when the solutions to behavioural change and organisational growth are much more direct and common sense. E.g. stop swearing at your staff and calling them idiots while running a million profiles to try to determine their astrological propensity towards innovation when you should ask them what’s stopping them from doing better work and then shut up, actually listen and act on what you hear.

C-Suite: Endlessly chasing after shareholder value, running from spot to spot, bruising themselves and turning up dead bodies, because they have no coherent long-term strategy. Using Accounting Firms or Legal to develop strategy – they’re endangering the car chasing those Pokémon off the highway.

Management: Using Annual Performance Reviews to try to manage or dividing productivity into pointless Booz or McKinsey matrices, when they should just pull their noses out of their screens and start talking properly with and working alongside their people. You know… it’s called ‘managing’.

Careers & Your Business: You know how it goes – chasing after the latest shiny looking opportunity, in hard to reach and dangerous places, when you should be heading for a singular destination. It happens all the time: I’ll run over here because someone asked me; we’ll bring in that new product line that has nothing to do with our business, but might bring in new custom; I’ll head for that promotion in an area that I’m totally not interested in, hoping the promotion will lead to something else. It’s all too easy.

Which Pokémon Are You or Your People Chasing After?

Don't go chasing the Pokémons of leadership. Instead, follow a true course to Your Vision- Peter J McLean Click To Tweet

You need to determine the best path to take, keep your head up high, get your nose out of the screen and observe what’s actually occurring around you, not chase after imaginary rewards, if you want to be successful. Plus, you’ll get there without repeatedly bruising your knees, bashing into poles and, let’s be honest, looking like a bit of an idiot.

Question: How have you eliminated the Pokémons from your performance strategy? Leave a comment below.
If you want to improve the performance of yourself or your organisation, contact me here. We create great results for organisations and individuals through our consulting, coaching, speaking and development services.
© 2016 Peter J. McLean
The Pokémon Chase That’s Killing Your Success
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