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Would you invest your retirement plan with a company that had promoted Spartan Race or Rugged Maniac winners over those would/could demonstrate money-management skills?

Friday, September 13, 2013
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To the editor,

It is interesting the way companies sometimes embrace non-corporate activities in the name of leadership and team building.

Nautilus Inc. with a fitness orientation to their business might semi-legitimately send staff to Tough Mudder at the risk of employee death but I am not convinced that this is a good idea. I would like to suggest that the benefits of meeting people outside your part of the company (as noted by Chris Cruz from the National Academy of Sports Medicine) can be achieved without the physical rigours of outdoor challenges.

The real problem here is that despite their excitement and challenge, there is no evidence that such outdoor activities will ever transfer back to the office. Just because that fatty from Accounting didn’t make the grade at Tough Mudder is no indication that he would fail to adequately lead his internal audit team. Some senior managers are quite aware of this and will quickly show the door to a consultant who wants employees balancing on a barrel in a river to demonstrate their ability to lead or work in a team. Would you invest your retirement plan with a company that had promoted Spartan Race or Rugged Maniac winners over those would/could demonstrate money-management skills?

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Even Nautilus Inc. might find that Tough Mudder toughness does not mean mental toughness in the office.

Regards,

Tim Reddan

Human Resources Manager

Australian Office of Financial Management

Canberra, Australia

 

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