Growing into the future, part 2: Growing STRONGER How Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls went from mediocrity to a dynasty by growing stronger — and how your organization can apply the lessons they learned.


In part one of this series, we looked at how Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls went from mediocrity to a dynasty by growing faster — and how your organization can apply the lessons they learned. Now we’re going to check out how Jordan grew stronger, giving him the ability to dominate both inside and outside, as well as on offense and defense.

In the mid-90s, I lived about three miles north of the United Center, AKA the place where Jordan now clearly dominated basketball. And by dominate, I mean no one could touch him. No one.

Still goes today, as he’s undeniably the GOAT.

Why is that? It wasn’t because he shaved his head. Although he looked so cool, it inspired many of us “hair-follicly challenged” people to follow his lead.

No, one of the reasons why he was dominating was because now that he had adapted to a faster-paced game, in the off-season, he had grown stronger.

Much stronger.

“I never really lifted weights before, because I was always afraid it would mess up my shot or slow me down,” Jordan told the Chicago Tribune in 1992.

Turns out, after adding 30 pounds of muscle, he was still lightning fast. And his shot only improved. Meanwhile, big defenders could no longer push him around. And he had enough stamina to play outstanding defense as well.

Down south in Chicago, we could feel the Detroit Pistons — whose incredibly physical style of play had repeatedly stopped the Bulls in the playoffs — shaking in fear.

Physical transformations and digital transformations

At their cores, transformations are alike — whether you’re a professional athlete undergoing a physical transformation or an organization going through a digital transformation. First, you need the right equipment.

For Jordan, that meant the weight room. For organizations, it means the right technology and strategy to automate business tasks and deliver information to people when and where they need it. With instant access to current data from any system, they’re empowered to make more informed decisions and provide an excellent customer experience.

But to enable a successful transformation journey, you also need experienced guidance and support. For Jordan and the Bulls, that meant the right coaching staff. For organizations adapting to an increasingly digital and mobile world, it means a true partner with tech and industry experts who understand your business needs and have worked with other organizations to ensure their ongoing success.

Tapping into the wisdom of experts helps, because just like physical transformations, digital transformations are ongoing journeys. After all, once Jordan was strong enough to shoulder press 225 pounds over his head six times in a row, he didn’t walk away from the weight room.

“You’ll notice that every year his game evolved,” said Tim Grover, Jordan’s personal strength coach for most of his magnificent career.

The same goes for business. You have to constantly evolve. Your competition won’t like it, but your customers and fans expect it.

And right now, the best place to either start, or continue, your organization’s digital transformation journey is in the cloud.

Strength, flexibility, and agility — in the cloud

In the world of software, people usually equate strength with security. Which is great. But to compete at the highest levels, that strength also needs to include flexibility and agility.

Otherwise, you’re a lumbering giant in the paint, and your competitors — a la Jordan the great — will leap right over your head for an easy dunk. Repeatedly.

In the world of business, the strength and security of your future depends in large part on your resiliency in the face of challenges. No matter what you’re up against, whether it’s a natural disaster, the threat of a hack, or even working remotely, access to your data is imperative.

However, when your organization is preoccupied with trying to maintain content, processes, and legacy infrastructure, it can’t keep up with the competition — let alone evolve, innovate, or transform.

That’s where the right cloud content services platform gives you the edge.

As solutions become more widespread and complex across your organization, the more strain it puts on your IT staff. But with cloud-delivered content services, you put the responsibility of your platform into the hands of experts who know it best. This frees your IT department to focus on moving your business forward.

Here are just a few facts about cloud content services platforms from a survey of business and IT leaders by IDG Resource Services:

  • 78 percent cited availability as an advantage
  • 70 said the cloud gives them more flexibility than on-premises solutions
  • 52 percent said security is an operational advantage

Clearly, if your organization is looking for strength, flexibility, and agility, it should have its head in the cloud.

Next up: Growing smarter

Now that your organization is ready to grow stronger, come back tomorrow for the finale of this series. We’ll look at how Jordan and the Bulls took everything they learned and grew smarter — both as an individual player and as an organization.

… And became the indisputably greatest player and team of all time.

Scoop Skupien

Scoop Skupien is a former radio station mascot. A rabbit, if you really want to know. These days, he’s a content marketing manager at Hyland, as well as the editor... read more about: Scoop Skupien

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