Unlocking the full spectrum of human potential lies at the heart of organizational success, and a well-planned HR strategy becomes the compass for achieving excellence.

If you are looking at maximising human potential in your organisation, you are quite likely to adopt a human resource strategy similar to what Nike did for its  Breaking2 Project.

Let’s take a step-by-step trip through this incredible journey. We’ll look at the smart moves and innovations that made it a milestone in breaking limits.

December 2016

In a groundbreaking move, Nike announced the Breaking2 project, a scientific initiative to unlock the secrets of maximizing human potential in long-distance running. The goal? To have a human complete a marathon (42.2 kms) in under 2 hoursโ€”an achievement deemed impossible by most scientists and experts. Back in 2016, the average marathon completion time stood at 4 hours and 22 minutes.

To achieve this, the Nike team devised a 5-point strategy:

  1. Select the best, based on previous track record,
  2. Provide the best possible training,
  3. Optimise the environment, including the race track,
  4. Deploy cutting-edge technology, including innovative shoes and apparel, and
  5. Maintain the right health through a focus on diet and hydration.

The three candidates chosen for this experiment were athletes with the best track records:

  1. Eliud Kipchoge, the reigning Olympic champion.
  2. Zersenay Tadese, the half marathon world record holder.
  3. Lelisa Desisa, a two-time Boston Marathon winner.
Nike's HR Strategy
Nike’s HR Strategy. Image Source: Nike Breaking2

Despite incorporating the best ‘energy-conserving’ shoes and apparel, meticulous training, and optimized environmental conditions, the Nike team faces a significant challenge as the performances during training fall far short of the ambitious target, remaining at best ‘ordinary’.

May 6, Monza, Italy

The marathon begins at 5:45 am on a race track. Halfway through, Desisa and Tadese fall behind the pacers. Kipchoge, however, keeps up. Despite heavier legs, depleting energy, and metabolic challenges, Kipchoge avoids hitting the wall.

Crossing the finish line at 2:00:25, slightly shy of the target, he sets a new record. This achievement was once believed to be humanly impossible.

What’s the Real Secret Behind This Achievement?

Over the following weeks, there were endless debates about what helped Kipchoge. What gave Kipchoge the edge? Was it the energy-conserving shoes, the encapsulated carbohydrate gel that he took just before the race, or the pacers shielding him from wind resistance?

The best of scientific data suggested that all these factors offered an economy of 4 percent or a minute to Kipchoge. In myriad ways, the world eagerly sought to uncover “The Real Secret.”

The Real HR Strategy
The Real Strategy. Image Source: Nike News

According to Kipchoge, the true catalyst behind his peak performance was ‘The Game Itself.’

Unlocking the secrets of human potential may be elusive, but it becomes observable, assessable, and improvable through ‘The Game Itself.’

In the words of Plato, “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.”

Picture a child happily building a tower of blocks, completely lost in the moment. Each block is placed with care, showing focus and determination at every level. Alternatively, envision a chess player deeply involved in a strategic game, with the mind navigating a battlefield of possibilities. Each move is a thoughtful step toward mastery. In these moments, the “game” goes beyond its rules and mechanics. It transforms into a place where skills are sharpened, resilience is built, and the best version of oneself comes to light.

The Missing Strategy

Even with a solid five-point HR strategy and committed leadership, unlocking the genuine human potential within a company can seem hard. Why, despite investing in ‘maximizing human potential’, does it sometimes stay just beyond our grasp?

Could it be that the missing ingredient is, surprisingly, “The Game Itself”?

Nike’s Breaking2 project is a powerful illustration. It wasn’t just an experiment; it was a planned experiment.

So, how can you, as an HR professional, inject “The Game Itself” into your company’s DNA? Can this transformation turn your well-crafted HR strategy into a potent catalyst for unlocking human potential?

Let ‘The Game Itself’ Revolutionize Your HR Strategy

Imagine a world where job interviews aren’t just about nervous small talk and awkward resume grilling. Instead, picture applicants stepping into a virtual world where they’re handling a sales scenario, or managing in-flight situations as a flight attendant. It’s not just talk; it’s a hands-on experience!

Mobile and Virtual Reality games have the power to replicate job-specific scenarios or ‘The Game Itself,’ drawing the most genuine and optimal responses from job applicants, trainees, or employees. This enables organizations to reduce selection errors, ensuring the recruitment and selection of employees who are the “best fit” for the role.

This isn’t science fiction; it’s the exciting reality of mobile and virtual reality (VR) games revolutionizing the way we recruit and select talent.

These games mimic real-life job scenarios, offering a glimpse into a candidate’s true potential. They go beyond traditional interviews and resumes, revealing a richer perspective.

The Way Forward: How PerspectAI Can Elevate Your Strategy

Forget dusty resumes and stilted interviews. PerspectAI, a game-changing talent assessment company, is revolutionizing hiring by recreating “The Game Itself” through engaging and user-friendly mobile games.

PerspectAI doesn’t just assess potential, it unlocks it. Imagine a mobile game where your top salespeople face realistic challenges, their decisions driven by targets, rewards, or even goodwill. This isn’t just a game; it’s a window into their true selling potential, revealing what motivates them to excel. Professionals in any field can be assessed in immersive simulations and games that measure cognitive abilities, showcasing their true capabilities in a pressure-tested environment.

It’s not just about finding the right fit; it’s about sculpting the perfect player for your team. If you are game for โ€˜The Game Itselfโ€™ in your organisation, click here to know more.

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