It's that time of year when the snow melts, taxes are due and baseball begins. And even if you are not a fan of America's game, this time of year undoubtedly marks the beginning of something new. But what if the business world took a queue from baseball and companies had an opening day? Here are six-and-a-half reasons why they should:
1. Hope. On Day 1, every team has hope for the season. Sure, the Cubs have a 100-year curse, but they begin the season in a tie for first; hope springs eternal! Being able to annually hit the reset button -- be it a year-end celebration or a kickoff to the busy season -- can renew the energy of a workforce.
2. Celebrate The Past. Sure, last season's champions get to raise a banner, but even teams that didn't have a memorable year can lean on past successes. Heck, fans of my team still celebrate a 1991 World Series title like it was yesterday. While living too much in the past can be a hindrance in moving forward, allowing your company to celebrate successes can create a spark.
3. Growth. The ballpark allows us to see something that was hidden by a white sheet for months: grass. It may not be growing in our neighborhoods just yet, but inside those sacred walls, our eyes have to adjust to the green hue that hasn't been seen in some time. Growth in the workplace brings a youthful energy and can provide that proverbial baseball slap to the backside your office might need.*
4. A New Era. Even if it is 40 degrees where you live and flurries are in the forecast, opening day still marks the unofficial start of summer. Getting a fresh start means a clean slate, and that mindset can bring great things to the office. So bundle up and pretend it's 80 degrees!
5. Crappy Food Tastes Better. When have you ordered a hot dog at a high-end restaurant? I hope the answer is never. But somehow at a ballpark, I wouldn't trade that nasty treat for the finest filet. The same is true at an office celebration. The workplace cafeteria may be horrible 364 days a year, but when the meal is funded by the company at the annual party, suddenly those undercooked carrots are delicious.
6. Crappy Beer Tastes Better. Opening day is a one-day respite from the craft beer era. Leave the hops at the door and serve me the watered-down magic that got me through college. This applies at a workplace function as well. If you would never consider drinking a light domestic, try one at your next company outing. Trust me -- it hits the spot when the boss is buying.
And Six-And-A-Half: Bring Back The High Five. Baseball brought us the high five in 1977 but it has since been out-shined by the less-inspired fist bump. So today, make eye contact with Jill from accounting, walk briskly across a sea of cubes, and make a hand slap with a volume that will awaken Benny sleeping at his desk. Then yell, "Play ball!"
*Please check with Human Resources about the appropriateness of the baseball backside slap. Policies differ depending on the office.
Jack Stahlmann is a corporate speaker and founder of Don't Flinch, LLC. Visit www.dontflinchguy.com for more information.