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Shark Tank Secrets For HR Leaders

The gripping and immensely popular TV show, Shark Tank, has left an indelible mark on small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs, culminating in a remarkable season 2 finale. Over the course of this captivating series, a staggering 166 companies pitched their ideas, with 115 securing life-changing deals with investors known as “sharks.” This extraordinary journey not only transformed the lives of these visionaries but also ignited a spark of inspiration among people nationwide, encouraging them to relentlessly pursue their dreams. For the uninitiated, Shark Tank offers participants a once-in-a-lifetime chance to present their innovative business concepts or products to a panel of seasoned investors, seeking funding in exchange for a stake in their ventures.

As the show’s influence continues to expand, it has become an invaluable source of inspiration and knowledge for entrepreneurs and professionals from diverse domains. From students gaining insights into financial terms like depreciation and net profit margin to small businesses passionately vying for equity, Shark Tank’s profound lessons transcend industries and leave a lasting impact on individuals. Beyond its immediate appeal, the show also holds great potential to revolutionize the realm of HR, the core wing of organizations where leaders can derive invaluable takeaways to reshape their approach to team management and foster employee growth.

Here are a couple of key lessons that we found to be valuable for HR leaders from the show.

1. Negotiate for Right :

In the competitive world of Shark Tank, negotiation reigns supreme. From “I am out, this is not my expertise”, Namita Thapar, Emcure Pharmaceuticals to “We have built 4 companies, you know my value.”, Amit Jain, CarDekho Group, the sharks showcase purpose, clarity, and expertise in their respective fields. They excel in balancing and understanding people’s needs while safeguarding their interests via adept negotiations.

In today’s diverse generational workforce, HR leaders need to adapt their approach to comprehend the multifaceted needs of candidates right from onboarding to exit. It entails skillfully presenting benefits such as tailored L&D programs, flexibility options, and growth opportunities while adhering to the organization’s guidelines. Additionally, they sometimes need to surpass deal-making to elevate the mutual journey, driving the organization and its employees toward unparalleled success.

2. Data-Driven Decision Making :

Have you ever encountered a shark saying, “We don’t need your last year’s sales or next year’s plan in numbers, just give us a speech, and crores are yours“? Well, whether it’s just for show or actual business, one thing is common among entrepreneurs: their unwavering focus on data, analytics, insights, trends, and competitiveness when making decisions for future success.

Amidst today’s uncertainty, HR leaders recognize that their decisions will shape the story of tomorrow. To ensure a strong foundation, they need to make sure that everything from hiring to organizational choices is balanced with both analytical and emotional thinking by effectively embracing advanced assessments, platforms, systems, and tools to elevate their decision-making. By incorporating personality tests during onboarding, HR leaders can glean deeper insights into potential hires, ensuring a seamless fit within the organization’s culture and goals.

3. Embrace Technology :

Peeyush Bansal (CEO-Lenskart) once said that “Thinking technology in solution of every problem is a must.” Advancements such as AI, gamification, machine learning, AR/VR, and others have transformed our services, reducing the time required to complete tasks. Amidst this landscape, instead of fearing, sharks embrace these tech aspects to fortify their organizations’ competitive power, fostering benefits for all.

As technology pervades work, HR leaders need to acknowledge that by 2030, manual tasks they handle will be automated by AI or Machine Learning. To stay ahead, they need to introduce tech initiatives for themselves and their workforce. From implementing AI-powered feedback systems for performance to adopting gamification platforms for training, the possibilities are boundless. However, recognizing that everyone has varied tech proficiency, they can bridge the tech gap via workshops, sessions, and seminars to enhance employees’ knowledge and capabilities. By equipping the workforce with the skills and knowledge, they can ensure a smooth digital transition and maximize the cutting-edge tool potential.

4. Knowing Your Competitors :

In every season, across every episode, every shark poses multiple questions to the pitchers, spanning from the inception of their idea and sales figures to their long-term vision. Amidst this one question remains constant: how well does the pitcher know their competitors, whether existing or forthcoming? This enables the sharks to ensure that entrepreneurs aren’t operating in a vacuum and are aware of the obstacles and opportunities posed by their rivals in the market.

For HR leaders, competition is a constant reality. Just as sharks expect pitchers to meticulously research their market and competitors to identify unique selling points and areas of differentiation, HR leaders can conduct comprehensive market analysis to identify emerging trends, benchmark talent practices, and gain deep insights into how competitors are evolving. Armed with these insights, they can revamp practices, attract top talent, and devise effective HR strategies to position their organization competitively in the industry.

5. Perseverance as Guiding Light :

From Sulay Lavsi, the founder of Bummer, clashing with Ashneer Grover in season 1, to Jugaadu Kamlesh, who held an idea for 7 years without formal education or skills – they all faced clashes, disengagement, and discouragement. Despite the hurdles and numerous disagreements, they secured investments from two sharks and their success came through their patience and self-belief.

Shark Tank isn’t only about the sharks’ journey and learning their traits; it’s about gleaning wisdom even from the participants. HR leaders, in their pursuit of organizational excellence, can draw inspiration from this resilience and patience, fortifying their organizations to stand tall, especially in the face of challenges. From participating in workshops to engaging in evaluations like Resilience Questionnaire and from embracing coaching to actively seeking feedback from peers and superiors, they can illuminate the path to lasting success, where challenges are transformed into stepping-stones toward greatness.

In the 21st century, inspiration and lessons abound in every form, be it a captivating talk, an engaging show, or even the valuable wisdom gained from failures. Among these, one show has risen above the rest, captivating audiences worldwide and igniting the flames of passion and ambition in people of all ages.

While the concept of applying Shark Tank-based strategies to HR leadership may not be entirely unique, the true essence lies in recognizing the transformative power of these principles. Many leaders may have already explored such tactics and more to elevate their organizational and talent outcomes. However, what sets exceptional HR leaders apart is their insatiable hunger for improvement, seeking valuable insights and ideas from various platforms, no matter the industry.

At NamanHR, we firmly believe in reinforcing learning in every aspect, be it through small talk, significant interventions, or even binge-watching a good show. If you are looking to empower your workforce and create a more future-ready organization, contact us today to learn about our services.

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