It was during one of those typical 90s events of the last century when I first experienced the communicative potential of sport applied to business management. As a new sales team leader I had to give a presentation to a large group that included, besides the national sales team, managers from other departments and overseas guests, not least the director of EMEA who did not look favourably upon the “youngster” who had started in Finance and was now dealing with Sales. It occurred to me to combine a traditional presentation with images of judo taken during the Barcelona Olympics, in which I had participated as head of the Competition Secretariat. I found it very easy to convey the message, and most importantly, I managed to surprise and motivate the audience. As a result I was able to dispel the doubts of the European director and my colleagues within the experienced sales team. Today I still remember the presentation that inspired me to develop years later the method of Judo Management.
The event should amaze and inspire. The format is specially created to provide information and the ultimate goal is to create long-term memory. So how did judo help me to achieve these aims?
Judo, which is Japanese for “the way of flexibility”, was founded by Jigoro Kano at the end of the 19th century with eminently training purposes. To combat his physical weaknesses, Kano began practising ju-jitsu, a martial art without weapons developed by and for samurais, discovering through his practice that he was not only become stronger physically but also intellectually and therefore could apply it to his life experiences. That is why judo embodies, as well as the citius altius fortius (faster, higher, stronger) of the Olympic programme, which it has been part of since 1964, an additional intellectual and moral dimension, in the words of Jigoro Kano: “The main goal of Judo is to instil in the soul of man a spirit of respect for the principles of maximum efficiency, and prosperity and mutual aid to be applied to your life.“
Judo is not just storytelling, a tale to accompany the principles, tools and tasks of management, it is management in itself. It is learning to use resources effectively and efficiently. Using it as input and associating it with the appropriate input can achieve the desired effect. The key is to correctly associate the verbal message and the visual stimulus. The design of the event with a multi-sensory integration of information contributes to strengthen the message and enhances the learning experience.
Currently the judo management method, in addition to verbal and visual presentation, also combines performing judo exercises for non-judo practitioners, and in this way the participant focuses better and absorbs more content for which the event has been organised.
This is an innovative format that updates and provides training for professionals in a world that is constantly changing and becoming increasingly faster. There is no doubt that it is necessary to find proposals that break with rigid frameworks and events that resemble each other. The goal is that attendees will be inspired and leave with a unique souvenir, just like Nelson Mandela in Barcelona ’92.
Founder of Judo Management