Business lessons from Harry Potter

With JK Rowling releasing 2 new e-books today and primed to release 2 more over the Summer its clear her business empire is assured but can we learn anything from her fictional universe to help us out in our own business?

Some of the meetings I’ve attended over the years have definitely been as intimidating as entering the Great Hall at Hogwarts for the first time that’s for sure. I’d also have appreciated a Sorting Hat to work out the motivations, expectations and choices of some of the people I’ve had to work with.

Business can seem like a game of Quidditch (bear with me!). Not familiar with the books – think magical polo. Like the game, good business relies on teams with different skills and abilities working together to keep loads of different balls in the air. The seeker is at the heart of the team and has the ability to turn the whole game on its head, working in the background to benefit everyone. That could be you with a great idea that’s a complete game changer. Without a flying broomstick though, how will you win the match?

It may be that your company’s culture supports you in getting things done, or that it doesn’t. In Harry’s world, just like business, there are different characteristics of teams and organisations. Which Hogwarts house best describes you and your team? Are you Gryffindor – competitive and risk taking, Hufflepuff – collaborative with a strong work ethic, Ravenclaw – analytical and inventive or Slytherin – resourceful and hierarchical? It’s likely you’ll have to work with people from all these houses to achieve your goals. They’re all so different though, how can you get them onside and encourage collaboration between them?

We think SmartApprove can help. We too make the seeker our key player. The system allows approval seekers to fully involve their team in decision making and allows each person to contribute to the approval process in different ways according to their role and preferences. Whatever the motivations of those you’re seeking approval from, their response to your request will be valued and visible. We know this helps people make the right decisions.

In the words of the late Albus Dumbledore: “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

Embrace your inner Harry, take the initiative, be a hero and give SmartApprove a try now.

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