OK, I’m hoping this will be the last sports to business analogy article I will write for the rest of the year (unless of course the Giants win the World Series and I will have to write SOMETHING).

Well, they did it. This improbable group of outcasts, misfits, rookies, freaks, and guys with frighteningly disturbing facial hair have beaten the odds and made it to the World Series.

The 2010 Giants are not your prototypical baseball team. They have no real superstars. Their best pitcher weighs 160 pounds soaking wet. Their NLCS MVP is a player they claimed off of waivers to prevent their rivals from getting him. They have some funky nicknames tho: The Freak, Kung Fu Panda, Pat the Bat, and a great slogan for their closer and entire bullpen: Fear the Beard.

But this Giants team has this great chemistry that makes them better as a unit than the sum of their parts. They have a singular vision and goal, a great manager that has made adjustments on an almost daily basis, and while the wins have not been pretty (in fact many of them have been as they say: torture), they have been able to execute down the stretch and put themselves in a position to achieve their goal – win the World Series.

In trying to relate this to our everyday work experience I’m sure almost everyone has a story or two about banding together to make an impossible deadline, product launch, trade show, press conference, etc. But the World Series?? That’s big time. That is like, hmm let’s see…the launch of an impossibly successful product like the iPad? the iPhone? the iPod? Am I actually comparing the Giants to Apple? Well, no.

But getting to where you can see the finish line, win the championship, or successfully launch a product takes vision. It also takes a team of people focused on a singular goal, it takes discipline, and it often takes overcoming adversity. The real lessons from sports or in business come from dealing with failure or adversity. Our industry in particular has been dealing with a recession that has been more than anyone ever anticipated. We’ve had to change our plans, change our strategy, change our everyday approach, and there have been casualties.

But the good news is that we’re still here. Not only are we still here, we’re better than we were when things were better. We’ve improved. We’ve looked at our processes and shortcomings and put a strategy in place that we are executing. We will be posting about our new data processes in the coming days and weeks, and documenting how we took a fresh approach to a very critical piece of not only our business, but our customers’ and partners’ business. We are confident that our new process and approach will help both our partners and customers be more successful – which for us has always been our ultimate team goal.