Final Four

Right about the time this is published I'll know how poorly I picked the brackets for the annual March Madness NCAA basketball tournament.

Having just finished the local basketball season as a coach for my first-grade son's team, I feel a great deal of empathy for this year's tournament coaches, and coaches the world over.

If I learned anything from the experience it's that your players are ready to start the season at the end of the season. They finally mesh and coalesce during the last game. Their skills suddenly appear and the team works like a perfectly constructed Rube Goldberg device.

What I also learned is that this translates to the workplace. Seems like just as employees learn the system and really begin to contribute, they move on.

Then the cycle repeats itself -- lather, rinse, repeat. And starting from scratch isn't easy, as anyone who has to train people into a system knows.

One of our sources this month, Elise Cox from The Colony, Texas, has an interesting take on it. She figures to stick around for awhile because she prefers to see results.

"When I look around the market I see people leap-frogging from city to city, and yes, they may be able to improve their stature and resume, but they're not getting to see the fruit of their labor," she says.

As noted in the article (Water Zones, page 24), Knox makes sure the job is fun, and that the job is fun for those who work with her and, ultimately, the patrons at the city's aquatics facility.

The trick in any department is to make the job fun and challenging, while making each employee as efficient and productive as possible. It can be a daunting task, so we'll continue to address it in some way as much as possible throughout the year.

As per usual, let us know if you have any ideas you could share with others in your shoes across North America. We always welcome and appreciate your input. You may also share, and benefit from other professionals and their perspective, at our on-line bulletin boards at


Regan D. Dickinson