5 Lessons HR Leaders Can Learn From IPL's Winning Strategies

The Indian Premier League has begun with much fanfare and excitement! Amidst all this frenzy, cricket teams and team leaders are strategizing to play their best game. A big part of the IPL teams’ success arises from sourcing the right players, complete coordination, strong communication, relationship building, and the right leadership. A close look at IPL reveals some of the best business lessons that talent leaders can leverage. We spoke about this in length with Ram Ramanathan from Fandom Sports on our recent Hireside Chats podcast.

IPL team building bears a striking resemblance to new-age corporate teams in more ways than one.

In both, team dynamics keep changing, and for the teams to perform, it is essential to pick the right candidates, with the right balance of skills and expertise with a good captain or leader to lead them to victory. Corporate success hinges on leadership and team spirit, both of which are abundantly on display in the IPL.

Here are some IPL winning strategies that talent leaders can learn from:

    1. Scouting and Sourcing Talent: It all starts with scouting the right talent taking into account the capability fit and right balance of people who complement each other with emphasis on team chemistry and team culture. Bringing in talent with the X-factor, the ones who can change the game. Corporate teams, too, need the right balance of skilled talent that brings in specialized strengths for team success.
    2. Making way for the next-gen: The tech world is faced with the task of integrating young blood into the mainstream and the IPL does this admirably. In the IPL teams, there is no hierarchy; senior players work towards the success of the young new talent. The close-knit integration and fusion make teams balanced and competitive.
    3. Teamwork: Teamwork and equality of all team members is key to winning a game. In the corporate world, too, there should be no place for inequality.
    4. The right captain or leader: A good captain or leader is really important to provide motivation, stimulation, opportunities to succeed, and the assurance that they have your back.
    5. Creating fans of the employer brand: A relationship with employees or potential employees similar to that of a diehard fan’s relationship with the sport, team, or a player, is something organizations can greatly benefit from. Creating fandom for their brand for deep and lasting engagement can evoke a sense of belonging to a community. Building these fan communities can greatly benefit in creating talent pipelines for organizations.

There’s also quite a bit to take away from how IPL franchises manage their talent …

Let’s look at each team’s winning strategy:
  1. Chennai Super Kings: CSK has always relied on experience, good team chemistry, and having a consistent core. They don’t change the team dynamics too much. Everyone knows their strengths and what they have to deliver during match time. They have a captain who keeps the team together with harmonious chemistry.
  2. Royal Challengers Bangalore: They are all about flair and flamboyance. They bring in big names and seasoned players to take them to victory.
  3. Mumbai Indians: This team has a 50-50 strategy where they rely on a solid core but also invest in the new-gen youth that shows potential. They build their teams for the long run.
  4. Kolkata Knight Riders & Rajasthan Royals: these teams go for consistency of performance and build their teams around it. They rely more on uncapped players who have the potential, and they find a way to take them to their peak potential.
  5. Gujarat Titans: Very brand focussed and deliberate in picking the whole team, from the coach to the captain.
IPL, undoubtedly, has revolutionized cricket and the whole Indian entertainment space. There is a clear strategy behind every single IPL team’s constitution, a pattern where teams play to their strengths and their core values, and they build the teams around it. And that’s really something for us as talent acquisition leaders to take away while building teams in our own domains.

How does leveraging winning strategies from the IPL help Talent Acquisition Leaders? Share your thoughts in the comments.


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